Google made a lot of big headlines last week by demonstrating its Chrome OS. One item that fell through the cracks, you could say, was something new that popped up on the Google Labs Web page: Google Data Wiki.
Described as "a wiki for structured data," Google says it will allow for creation and editing of structured data, creation of "simple mashups" in just minutes, better sharing capability because of a built-in federation and -- this sounds interesting -- input or output from a variety of sources, including Twitter.
Right now, it's just in a testing phase. That means that it has the appearance of something a 7th Grade computer programming student could put together with about an hour of focus.
The basic idea behind Google labs and innovation inside of Google is to let folks just play around with code and ideas and see what happens. Sometimes it works (Chrome browser). Sometimes it doesn't (Google Wave.)
One item is clear, though: To keep growing its text advertising revenue, Google needs inventory. Data Wiki, right now, appears to aim to do basically the same stuff as existing open-source software like Twiki. (By the way: Twiki Inc. will soon be offering a hosted version of the free Wiki application.)
If Data Wiki works, though, it adds to Google's inventory. If it let folks I/O with Twitter data, it could really add to Google's inventory.
The world, and the online text advertising market, will look on with anticipation.