Google announced a new approach to providing discussion capabilities inline to a document in its Google Docs service:
“The discussion about a document is as important as the document itself, but until now, there hasn’t been a great medium for this discussion to happen. Creating comments in documents is a start—but comments can be overwhelming and at times feel one-sided with no resolution.
So today we’re introducing a better way to provide document feedback—discussions in Google Docs. With this feature, we want to encourage rapid and seamless discussions, help the right people participate, as well as integrate discussions with email in an intuitive way.“
1. I like the lightweightness of this approach – the discussion is on the side pane, you can invite people easily (through Twitter-style @Mentions), it’s integrated with email so people can respond from there, and so on.
2. I like the up-leveling of “comments” to “discussions” within the context of the document. This means that teams don’t have to maintain a separate discussion thread from the document, handle the discussion via email messages, or revert to a phone call unless they want to. It’s all in one place – brought together.
3. I like the idea of “resolving the discussion,”, and marking it complete. That brings closure, and it’s like having a task list within the document. You and everyone else can see current status. That’s good.
4. This is game-changing for Google. True collaboration document co-creation and editing.
5. I like it.