I could pee in my pants I'm so excited. This developer demonstration of Google Wave starts to make reality exactly the trends I have been predicting for filtering communities. This Google team notes that e-mail was invented forever ago--long before we had the Web, and is modeled on the metaphor of Postal Mail. I've been mentioning this for a while, now--that e-mail isn't a native technology for a digital environment because it doesn't think like a digital environment. We know from Pew Internet that among internet communications tools, today's junior high kids use e-mail dead last, typically for communicating with teachers or older users--not friends.
This Google development team seeks to answer the question: what if we invented e-mail today?
Google Wave is what they've come up with so far. It's exactly on the trajectory I think we've been doing (though we'll see if they take it... notice many similarities to Facebook, which I still think is better positioned than Google to reinvent e-mail, etc).
This presentation is over an hour and half, but a few minutes of watching is prolly worth it.
Google Wave is getting plenty of attention, like this critic comparing it to a spork, but I think he like others is missing it. E-mail and IM and social networks are not irreducibly helpful tools combined, like the brew-and-grind. They are bring back together what naturally will be.