I guess I'm a few months behind the curve on this one, but I just watched the Google Wave demo about the new social media/collaboration tool and I'm seriously impressed. They said it should go live in 2009, so maybe by Christmas? Pretty please...
In any case, when the video first started, the guy said something that caught my ear. He mentioned that traditional email is built around the snail mail model where a message is an object that goes from a sender to a receiver. But, Google Wave discards that model in favor of a model of a "conversational" where the conversation as a whole is a single object which simply gets updated in a single place, not sent around (like a chat session).
This struck me as linguistically interesting because this is more in line with traditional conversation analysis theory which centers around "the floor" where one can "hold the floor", or "interrupt the floor", etc. This more natural model of conversations has yielded a beautiful and elegant collaboration tool that I can't wait to get my hands on. Hopefully Google's model of conversations is more coherent than the ragtag sloppiness that pervaded the linguistic analysis of conversations. It's a tough field, no doubt.
Also, near the end, the speaker made what I took to be a geek version of a linguistic relativity claim: he said the it was only the Google Web Toolkit (HTML 5 & Java) that allowed him to think of Wave's possibilities that he never would have thought of otherwise. I'm not sure this is really true, of course, but a cute thought nonetheless.