Saturday, October 17, 2009

Google Wave is Here!




Back on June 2, 2009, I wrote the post "Google Wave: Google Docs Meets Email (& Social Networking)". At that time I was quite excited about this and I still am. They said that it wasn't going to be available until December of 2009, but I just received a Google Wave demo account (Thanks Seth) and it is quite an interesting product. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Google Wave, it is Google’s latest innovation in email.  Google wave is about having conversations, sharing photos and files, working with others on documents, chatting in real time, posting to blogs and lots of other things that I haven’t thought of yet.

Imagine using Google Docs as an email system. You write one version of a communication (i.e., letter) and then you share that with other Google Wave users. This document/communication is called a Wave.

Next, you add contacts. These are the people you want to have access to your new Wave. They can come to the single letter and then read, edit, reply, delete the letter depending upon what you allow them to do. The advantage of this is that you don’t have to send out 27 emails to 27 people, as you would do with today’s email. It’s a whole new concept (one video points out that today’s email system was developed the same year as the lava lamp so . . .)

The beauty of Google Wave is that you don’t have to worry about sending huge files.  They will just be at one site and then people will be able to go to the site and access what you want.  This can also be a place where you can share a large collection of photos or company files or . . . .

The Wave is more than just email. It can be a chat room or collaborative document that multiple people can edit at the same time. I would imagine that the Wave will eventually replace Google Docs. It is the next move towards a single app that “does it all.” 

Google Wave doesn’t work with regular email right now.  It is a system unto itself but they say that they are in the process of developing the interface.

A REALLY cool aspect of Wave is that it has a built in “Translator Robot.”  This means that even an a chat, if I write in French it will appear on other screens in the selected language of that user. I wrote earlier about a system in Second Life that acts something like this. (Language Translators in Second Life.)

I envision this Wave product as the beginning of a new Wave in online communication.  What do you think?

Here is a video which depicts 15 features of Google Wave:



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2 comments:

  1. Doc Z,
    I just found your blog today during this east coast snow storm, good stuff here. I wanted to let you know that I have been using Wave with a select set of students in my high school. It is an amazing tool, it is even cooler to watch the students discover what it can do.

    They plan our schools video news cast using the tool. They script, gather graphics, vote on stories, and edit. It is a great tool that continues to show more promise with each extension and robot that is added. It has changed the news crew community and given them a different way to communicate as a team. Its been way cool.

    Have you had the opportunity to put the tool under pressure and use it in a production setting? If so what have you found? Thanks.

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  2. Onyxviper,

    Sounds like you have really had fun with Wave. I would like to learn about what you have been doing.

    So do each of your students have Wave accounts? If so, how do they coordinate them?

    I haven't done much to put the tool "Under Pressure". What kind of pressure are you thinking?

    Please get back to me about what you have been doing. In fact, perhaps you could guest post on my blog to share what you have been doing.

    Looking forward to hearing from you,

    Z

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