Today Google Docs added a new feature that is very reminiscent of Google Wave. Discussions, which is a new and improved alternative for comments, is a social-conversation tool. Discussions will display your Google profile pictures, add timestamps, and send you notifications when there is an update. “We learned lessons from Wave and incorporated some of the ideas,” Google Enterprise product director, Mathew Glotzbach, stated.
What you can do with discussions
There’s a lot of things discussions allows you to do, certainly more than the original document commenting system worked.
Here’s just a few things you can do with discussions:
- Mark them as resolved (which hides them from view)
- Send messages and ask questions using the @emailaddress social-networking style.
- Send discussion update notifications to your email
- Reply to discussions via email
- Display your Google Profile picture next to your comments
- Timestamp your comments
- Opt out of receiving email alerts
What discussions boils down to is a built-in instant messaging platform for Google Documents that easily allows group collaboration. The one catch is that the discussions feature only applies to Google Documents. But, if the discussions proves successful it might be added to other file types as well. (such as presentations and spreadsheets)
Google released a demonstration video of a collaborative team using discussions, check it out below!