Google has announced a new application under development that will allow people to share information over the Internet using public digital noticeboards.
Google "Noticeboard" will allow users to create text messages or record audio snippets and then post them to one or more of their contacts' noticeboards.
As opposed to email, all of the messages posted will be publicly accessible by anyone and is mainly aimed at communities looking for a place to exchange messages and announcements with one another.
For example, Google suggests residents of an apartment complex or perhaps members of a dancing club may find Noticeboard useful.
It is designed to be usable by all, even those with no prior computer experience, and as messages can be voice-based, Google points out that "literacy is not a pre-requisite".
As for how you get your hands on it, Noticeboard is a Firefox extension that is installed and configured on shared computers by an operator. After the initial configuration, the Noticeboard application enables community members to exchange information over the Internet without an intermediary.
Of course the shared computers used to access Noticeboard messages need internet connectivity, but Google says that the application will tolerate an intermittent or slow internet connection.
Once messages have been downloaded onto the noticeboard, they can be accessed when no connection is available. However, only when it is re-established can new messages be sent and downloaded.
You can download Google Noticeboard now, but as it is still in its early stages of development with Google Labs India, be prepared for a few glitches along the way. Google has set up a discussion board for you to post your feedback so don't forget to report back with your thoughts.