in Technology

Google Wave: now with added usefulness.

Background

Remember the hype just before and during the launch of Google Wave on 30 September 2009? It was going to be revolutionary, change the way we work forever, and oh! to have an invite…

And then reality hit home. What can you actually do with it?

It was all a bit… meh. :-(

Growing maturity

Google certainly does love the ‘release early, release often’ mantra. That means, of course, that its offerings tend to get better as time goes on. And this is certainly true of Google Wave.

As you can see from the screenshot above, when you go to create a new wave you are given 6 templates from which to choose. Below is the ‘Task tracking’ option:

When you throw the extensions into the mix, you’ve got a very powerful collaborative tool. The iFrame gadget, in particular, is an extremely valuable option. I can imagine, for example, distributed teams using Google Wave for meetings. They’d use the meeting or brainstorm template, add the ‘Yes/No/Maybe’ gadget and the ‘Map’ gadget to organise a face-to-face meetup. There’s also several gadgets to turn Google Wave into the liveblogging app to end all liveblogging apps:

I’m going to be recommending Google Wave for meetings, project management and more over the next few weeks/months – both at work and for ‘extra-curricular’ activities. I’ll also be purchasing The Complete Guide to Google Wave by Gina Trapani’s, of Lifehacker fame. The book’s also freely available to read online – probably for a limited period only. :-D

Are YOU using Google Wave? What for?

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  • http://clintlalonde.net Clint Lalonde

    I recently gave Google Wave another shot for a collaboration project and am starting to see the application and affordances a bit more clearly after having a “meh” moment after the initial hype.

    I found this article in particular helped me shift my thinking about collaborating in Wave (http://www.learningsolutionsmag.com/articles/131/catching-the-google-wave/page2). In particular the comment that “By virtue of sharing something in a wave with others, the default expectation is that someone WILL edit what you say. It is not an authoring platform to exchange ideas. It’s a platform to converge ideas.” True to my experience, I found Wave to be a horrible asynchronous discussion tool and, if used this way, quickly fills up with a cluttered mess that leaves you scratching your head. But if you edit as if you are crafting a final document, I found it to be much more useful, less cluttered and less confusing.

    • http://dougbelshaw.com/ Doug Belshaw

      Thanks for the advice and link, Clint! :-)