I find myself in that odd position again, one foot in a world that hasn’t heard a thing about Wave “…you mean gmail??”, and a social media/tech world on fire about this thing. So this is for the first camp.
You should learn about this thing. Oh, sure, it has many detractors, but the core intent behind it is revolutionary; what would happen if we reinvented email, to incorporate the new technologies we have today? What would email+IM+shared documents+wikis look like?
If your response is “…huh?” check out this brilliant little explanation:
Ohhhhh, right. Good, now you get it. Group conversations that actually work. A collaborative working environment, in your inbox.
But as the man says, this is only 3.5%. You can also drag “robots” into the conversation, who sit on the sidelines and edit the conversation when needed. Like translation – you type in English, and it translates your text (live) into another language. As you write it. And it translates the other language back. As they type. In real time. Or robots that insert maps whenever an address is typed into a wave…or inserts Twitter handles automatically, or shortens any links to bit.ly micro-urls, or insert wikipedia entries… and it’s only just started.
Oh, but there’s more. In addition to robots who act on their own, you can add gadgets - include a poll for the group that updates real-time; add in video-conferencing so you all can talk to each other while you’re working on a document together; etc. If you have 8 minutes, the team who developed Wave made this video:
Whew! Starting to see how you could use this in your work? Me too. Last week, I was lucky enough to receive an invitation to try out the service (along with 100,000 of my closest friends), and I’ve been trying to figure out how to make all of that promised magic come to life on my screen. And it hasn’t been easy…like most “beta projects” where a group is given a preview in return for helping the developers find the bugs before they release it into the world, Google Wave is still pretty raw.
For example, it’s slow now. S L O W … (Then again, Google is ramping up with probably a million users all of a sudden, and their servers are already providing search for the whole world.) And they haven’t figured out the Inbox – basically, if you ever look at any wave, it’s suddenly in your inbox, and if it’s a “public wave” (open to the public) anytime anyone in the wave-osphere (ocean?) adds a comment, it turns bold as “unread” – sheesh! When new contacts add me, or send me a wave, they disappear under the load of all these other inbox-cloggers. You can’t favorite or mark a wave yet, which is key now with the meta-inbox, and down the road for prioritization.
It’s also a hyper mash of humanity, from all over the world, figuring it out right now, in your inbox, commenting on each other’s ideas, teaching others what they just figured out, conversing with total strangers, stumbling through etiquette blunders because people are making up the rules as we go, etc. In a word, it’s chaos. And to many of us, it’s an absolute blast!
If you want to be part of the beta testing group, go here to sign up for the next round of invites. For those just getting started, here’s my list of helpful articles on how to use this thing. I’ll edit it and add more as I discover more, so stay tuned, or just hit my Delicious bookmarks on Wave for the latest)
- Mashable’s Wave Overview
- Hints and Tips from the Googlewave Blog
- A cheat sheet for new users
- The “Ultimate List” of Wave gadgets and tools
- A good list of current extensions (must log in to google acc’t)
- Keyboard shortcuts within Wave (and the official list)
- How to find waves with search terms
- Even more tools for using Wave
- Bug driving you crazy? Look it up on Known Issues to see if it’s on their list to fix
- If it’s not there, post your bug on the Wave Help Section, Problem Solving
Good Reasons to Use It
- Why Wave is more secure than email
- A great process flow chart plugin for business
- Explaining movies to your friends
Other Blogs on Wave
Want to listen to people who really know what they’re talking about? Try these:
- The Google Wave Blogger
- On Top of the Wave – for developers (with Spanish version!)
- Mix of developer and user posts – Mastering Wave
- Blog on WordPress, blogging and Wave – the Blog of Small Things
- Jump on that bus – SpreadGoogleWave
Ok, that’s more than enough. If you’ve tried it, let me know your thoughts in the comments below. If you haven’t tried it, feel free to speculate. Wanna wave? Try me at firstname.lastname@example.org!