Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Google Wave

I've been under a rock for a while, but found out about Google Wave thru a post on Keen and Graev's. There's a two hour video that comes up if you search google for "google wave", this is going to be a 30 second post just while the grill heats up outside.

If you DON'T know about it yet, go learn. It's going to be huge. I basically think this is going to replace email, and not in some lame "twitter" way. It's a radical re-imagining of the core of what email is.

Think of it like this: email is basically an electronic version of normal mail (duh). You have it in your possesion, and then send it out to someone else. Imagine you want to forward an email I send you to Bob. Okay, send it. But then imagine that the email was technical, and I want to update the info in the original email. You need to send it again to Bob, so he sees the updates. Now what if Bob wants to send it to Sally, and then I change the info again. With a wave, you don't SEND the email OUT, you COME TO the email. It's a live, hosted document, that multiple people can edit or alter. In essence, every email becomes a wiki (and IM app -- you can watch changes happening in real time, so it can function as everything IM currently does). You can embed video and pictures in it, and it can even play back a "movie" of which changes happened when, and by whom. My description doesn't do it any justice. Watch the beginning of the 2 hour video. If you're into tech crap at all it will blow your mind. It's nuts. It's easily Email 2.0. At this point, with everything they're throwing in, they might as well just skip a few versions, and call it 5.0.

I'm going to see if it's possible to incorporate waves into the blog here, and if it is, I'm going to dive right in. With an account, you're granted the ability to send a limited number of invites. I'll be sending a few out there to ixobelle regulars, or drop a comment if you're looking for one. One of the main points is that you need a base for it to begin. Being the only person you know with a Wave account is lame.

Let's get this rolling! I'm mostly just testing the waters to see who knows about it, and who's already got an account.

HERE's my one pro ass "more info" link. Protip: it's the results of a google search for "google wave". Enjoy.

p.s. the image for this story ended up being 13.37 kb. COINCIDENCE?!


Kyff said...

What if the changes made by somebody else to MY mail are essentially wrong? What if I need to step back and examine version 2.5 of the document when the current version is 6.7?
What if for legal reasons i need to pove what exactly i did send to somebody on a certtain day?
Even if all changes are traced and reversable the document is going to be a night mare, like a redlined word document after it's been run by 5 persons.

scrusi said...

Kyff, the wave playback function allows turning the documents state back to exact points in date and time, stored by a (I'd say trustworthy) third party. Unlike email which is relatively easy to fake, wave actually gives you proof of what has been said up until a defined point of time.
This also easily allows you to revert to an older version if needed.

Wave is clearly still in its infancy and many things still need work. There doesn't seem to be a real ownership of documents for example or an ability to set permissions for different users. (Hell, you can't even kick people from a wave once they are invited.)

Loving it so far though and agree with Ixo that this is the future of collaborative work.

Saritor said...

Been riding wave for a little bit so far, and its definitely more like a ripple in the pond at the moment than some tsunami email destroyer. However it is still very much beta software too.

Another great resource that was linked to me to help people understand what wave is about was

Been itching to get a game design wave started, but the lack of other known users is somewhat of a drag in that respect. :(

Kromus said...

I've been testing it out lately also, and I agree with saritor, he put it perfectly. Atm its more of a ripple then a tsinami, but again as saritor justified, its in beta and what not.

I personally don't think this will catch on very fast, but once it does I think it could replace email, I mean; So many times I've made a small mistake that can look very unprofessional and there is nothing you can do to change it, so this Is something I welcome. It could be annoying if mistakes are made by others, though.

Hatch said...

I think within the next 5-10 years something very much like this (for businesses, most likely a version microsoft is certainly hard at work developing, and the google one for personal use) will replace email. It will definitely be how work gets done in offices. It's definitely going to be worthwhile to learn the basics of it. Email certainly won't die quickly, or even completely, but I agree with Ixo that this will overtake it eventually, I just think it's further down the line.

Rich said...

@kyff: yeah, you can split a wave into a new one, to maintain a "clean" version of it. I really haven't had a chance to poke around too much. This is all stuff I was just seeing in the video.

I started a wave, and attached a bunch of people to it, BUT EVERYONE IS NOOB AND DOESN'T WANNA PLAY, JEEZ.

Unknown said...

It's cool, but I think it's too complex to make it mainstream. The majority of users shy away from complex changes and prefer their happy simple email world.

Ian said...
User does not have a Google Wave account.

Maybe it takes a while?

Rich said...

Ah, doh... I sign ed up on rericksen@gmail

Larísa said...

Ixo, I feel honored to be invited! Now, I'm normally not a g-mail user, I only use my g-mail for my blog and forward everything to a hotmail address. I guess it gives me some fake sense of security, adding an extra layer. I don't know where that brings me with upgrading my g-mail account to this google wave thing... But I'll have a look at it asap, hopefully in the weekend!

You have taste and knowledge of this kind of stuff and if you're excited about something you've probably got very good reasons for it.

Tesh said...

I poked around the edges a little, and it looks like it has promise. It's still in the beta phase, so there are bound to be rough edges, but it has a lot of potential for collaborative projects.

Now, if only I could work from home and have meetings this way. I'd be set.

oshin said...

Look cool, I guess its the cloud version of sharepoint, or even lotus notes (which has shared documents as well) which I use a fair bit at work.

Not a new idea, but google have tendency to implement it in a way that it makes a joke of old implementations