Complete and utter dominion? Mmmaybe.
And for someone like me who squirms at the thought of in-your-face monopolies plowing through the globe with such wanton resolve, I’m actually more fascinated over information itself (how it’s created, accessed, shared and managed) not so much the blatant hording and control freaking.
Yeah okay, Google will be Skynet one day blah blah blah. But for now, no harm in getting all googley-eyed over its shiny social toys.
Seems passé to blog about Wave now but whatev—I’m more interested in sharing what @charlottehrb (Charlotte Barker), @RepuTrack (Joseph Fiore) and I have gleaned based on a few Wave sessions.
Forgetting what ‘beta’ means
The Wave beta invites were a tough sell and even tougher that people forgot (or don’t know?) what being in beta meant. Beta tests must happen under controlled environments and conditions, so Google was in fact challenged to offer and deliver Wave invites more broadly. But people didn’t care. They wanted their Wave “now!” and the countless whining set the stage for unbridled criticism when Wave came crashing onto screens.
|image sourced from googling.phpmagazine.net|
When Charlotte and I started waving in November, it was like watching a Seinfeld episode—typing over each other, branching off reply streams all over the place, and struggling with on-the-fly typos. So we decided to take a few notes for best practice to help with future sessions:
- Wave etiquette
For a Wave dialogue to work, you must actually wait for whoever is currently typing to finish their thought before replying/commenting. And even if you think they’re done and they decide to edit their entry further, WAIT. Let them finish. And if you’ve been suddenly invited to join a Wave session, scan the stream first, determine what’s been covered, assess the focus of the conversation, who is “talking” at the moment and then announce yourself when they’re finished.
- Small projects, not complex ones
Wave is not very intuitive to the average user. Uber geeks have no issue since they are familiar with the programming language, syntax and API. So how useful is Wave to the rest of us? Well to date, Charlotte, Joseph and I find Wave handy as a planning and discussion tool. You can use it to map out project plans, define scope, flesh out ideas and even prepare outlines. Large, multi-pronged projects? Not really.
- Basic editor primed for enhancements
During our Wave sessions, we kept reminding ourselves that Wave is still under development. And because of its open source nature, it’s likely going to coast gingerly along with no rush. But we did notice that its Word-like text editor works fine (although no ability to undo, i.e., Ctrl-Z) and there are great ways to share files, documents and links by embedding them easily. As I write this I wonder if Google will soon be announcing updates to Wave’s ‘other’ functionalities.
Buzz got its hands slapped a few times at first with the not-so-obvious opt-in/opt-out settings. Wave, on the other hand, had no such privacy-related issues. In fact privacy was automatic. Because we chose to skip reading the manual, we decided to do basic tests to determine how private our sessions were. Here’s what we confirmed (actually, Charlotte did most of the homework on this one):
- If you start a Wave session, you are the only one who can see/interact within that Wave.
- If you invite another contact (or other contacts) to join the Wave, only you and those you’ve invited can see/interact/access that session.
- To make a Wave public, you must add the ‘public’ contact to the wave which will make it visible to anyone (i.e., click on the [+] sign above the Wave and type “email@example.com”) But why make a private conversation/project public, right?
- If you do a search with keywords, only Waves that have been made public are searchable.
|image sourced from openbytes.wordpress.com|
Joseph noted that “the one thing about this interface (#wave) is that it allows multiple discussions – a multi-tasking of discussions – and I was thinking about the way iPad got beat up over not being capable of multi-tasking. But what if the future of software application development makes multi-faceted elements, functions, features and productivity the standard in the near future. Will you need to jump out of Google to email someone when you can simply #wave?”
Or Buzz? Or..something else? See where this is all headed?
Hasta la Chrome, baby
@robdiana (Rob Diana), another tribe member, posted a thought-provoking piece on GOOG’s evolution in the social sphere, Google Buzz Is Just A Baby Step — an apt segue I thought. I highly recommend reading his musings.
So, All hail GOOG!
You’re all..shiny..and everything.