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Google Shared Spaces breathes new life into old Wave Gadgets

Google Wave may be dead as we once knew it, but it looks like Google may be intent on keeping its many Gadgets alive for the long haul. An experiment showed up today on Google Labs called Google Shared Spaces, but judging from what it's been through since it went up on Sunday morning, it may have been entirely accidental.

The idea behind Shared Spaces is a simple one; the old Gadgets (basically little JavaScript and HTML snippets) that helped make Wave so popular have been refitted to be standalone disposable Web apps. Anyone with a Google account can create a shared space -- and there are about 50 to choose from, including annotated maps, event planners, and even a simple "napkin" on which to share doodles with a friend.

Every space comes with a shareable public link and a built-in chat function to make on-the-fly collaboration easy. When you're done using the shared space, you can simply delete it and never give it a second thought. It's actually a pretty effective use for one of the most-used functions of Wave itself, just without the bulk (and lag).

But it's not quite clear yet whether Google meant for the experiment to go live in the first place. When it showed up late Sunday morning on the Labs pages, the link it gave to the actual Shared Spaces page was broken. Several hours later it was replaced by another address, -- which worked, but the spaces themselves were all broken. It wasn't until much later in the afternoon that a final address-change, this time to, that everything began working as expected.

Except now the experiment's been taken off the listing at Google Labs, despite the fact that it now works. Judging from all the dead links, the broken gadgets, and the overall Web 1.0 look of things so far, it's probably safe to say that Shared Spaces is in a very early stage as far as Google Labs experiments go. They may not be pretty, but the spaces do function, so let's just hope that the Ghost of Wave doesn't curse them all to follow in its footsteps.

Tags: apps, gadgets, google, Google Shared Spaces, Google Wave, GoogleSharedSpaces, GoogleWave, productivity, Shared Spaces, SharedSpaces, utilities, web, web apps, WebApps