Discussions in Google Docs should speed up document collaboration...
Google has tweaked the collaboration tools in Google Docs to allow people working on documents to discuss changes and developments in a structured way.
Discussions for Google Docs allows users to talk about documents in a conversation stream that runs alongside the document, seen on the right-hand side of the image above. The stream is designed to be an improvement on the existing comments feature and offers additional tools to speed up the feedback cycle for collaborative documents.
Although not strictly related to the now-defunct Google Wave, Discussions for Google Docs features similar functionality.
Users can be added to the discussions using @ mentions. Those who start conversation threads can control the comment streams by adding edit rights for different users to sections of a document.
Other new features include time stamps for each comment and profile pictures for each person who makes a comment.
People added to discussions receive an email containing any questions from the document discussion to which they need to respond.
Users can then access the document to contribute to the discussion via a link in the email or respond to the query direct from the email.
Email notifications for particular comments can be muted so people aren't bombarded with information.
Once discussion about a given issue has ended, users can choose to mark it as resolved which stops it being displayed in the current document.
Users can review and reopen resolved conversations by clicking on the discussions tab at the top of the document.