Google Wave: Two Weeks In

google_wave_logoGoogle Wave: the final frontier of digital communication…ok, maybe just the next medium.

A LOT of stuff has been written about Wave and how it will revolutionize communication.  While I don’t have much more to add to that discussion, I would like to offer my review of using it for about two weeks.

First Few Days: Barren as the Antarctic

Yeah, so it was ‘cool’ to be in the first wave of nominations that went out (thanks Dan!), but man, there simply weren’t a bunch of my paesans there to try out this new medium.  Thankfully, Dan and I tinkered, crashed a wave or two and generally kicked the tires while we waited for more folks to join in the fun.  The good news was that this ‘forced’ me to do some research and see what was already out there in the form of bots, extensions and how to search public waves.

Since then…

Many of my SocNet friends have gained their nominations and joined in the Wave.  Kinda fun breathing deep that “shiny new object” smell.  You know, kinda like that new car smell? Except not so automotive…

For sure, Wave is still experiencing growing pains.  For example, one feature that was present from the beginning was the “green dot of here-ness.”  This dot simply showed whether someone was online or not.  It disappeared and has recently made a reappearance, though it only shows the current user as online and nobody else, regardless of their status.

A few more features that need to be implemented:

  • better contact management –> too easy to add someone you didn’t mean to a particular wave
  • better wave management –> currently can’t remove someone from a wave unless you are that person
  • GUI needs to be tweaked for better contact and wave management –> kinda clunky and too easy for confusion

Sounds Kinda Rough.  Is It Ready for Prime Time?

While Wave is a bit on the rough side right now, the potential is staggering.  Currently, with patience, a little spit and polish, it has been pretty easy to collaborate with a few folks on some upcoming projects.  Agendas have been proposed, revised, edited and finalized all while being able to track who made what changes…in real time!  And if we’ve needed to go face to face or ear to ear, there’s a plugin for that!

Wave is not ready for prime time just yet.  However, if you and your associates are willing to be patient and want to explore the edges of modern communication, this medium is a riot!  It is too simple to drop YouTube videos, pictures and other resources right in the middle of the conversation…and not just out of sheer goofiness!  Wave makes getting your point across a lot more fully fleshed out than a word document or email.

Collaboration is Key

So, uses that I can see for Wave immediately.  Yeah, so I’m a real estate guy, right?  I can see where Wave can be used to collaborate between agent and buyer, the homes that are being considered.  At the buyer’s discretion, I can see a lender being added to the wave to discuss financing, with auto-updating rate sheets.  Or even allowing access to folks whose opinion the buyers value.

I can also see a setup where emails are delivered right into a wave and addressed by the wave collective.  Kind of a customer support on crack.  If you have a distributed team, your CS could potentially be 24/7 worldwide and every CS member would see what had been asked and what had been documented via Wave.

Once screen sharing makes an appearance in Wave and it becomes more stable, presentations will change forever.

Honestly, the possibilities only accelerate from there …

Some Initial Wave Tips to Share:

  • First tip : to search for other, open, public waves, type- with:public
  • This will return a list of ALL public waves. Want to search for other waves? Modify the search string. To search for real estate type – with:real estate
  • In order to add yourself to a public wave, be sure that your own googlewave contact is in your own contact list. Therefore, when you want to participate in a public wave, you simply hit the + button and add your contact to that wave…
  • To “embed” a video, simply grab the URL of the video, paste in your new reply, and a little light bulb pops up at the end of the URL asking if you would like to embed the video…
  • To create a public wave: Add public@a.gwave.com to your contacts and add the bot to any wave you’ve created that you would like to be public. To date, you will need to add this bot EVERYTIME you log back into wave if you want to add it to a wave.

4 Responses to Google Wave: Two Weeks In

    • Thanks Tradina! I suspect you were also checking out folks online with the last name Waller too… 😉

      WP is a great platform for blogging, and content management. I’d suggest checking out http://smashingmagazine.com for WP ‘best of’ lists for themes, plugins and uses.

      Cheers!

    • Chris,

      You know, Google Docs is also a pretty full featured, collaborative & free set of office applications. Neat part with GoogDocs is that aside from the collaboration that can be done, you can embed your final product (spreadsheet, report or slideshow presentation) on any website.

      I simply see Wave as an easier, wholly centralized and wildly asynchronous service for this kind of collaboration. The other kicker, for me when it comes to Wave, is that it is ‘supposed’ to eventually be available to install on your own domain, much like Google Apps for My Domain…

      For ANY business, this is a huge step forward in collaboration! I know I’m drooling just thinking about it…

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