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Viewing entries posted in November 2009

Surf the [Google] Wave...

Posted by Ed on 18 November 2009 | 0 Comments

I'm a bit of a cynic. No, I really am.

I also like really cool and useful new things, including gadgets and trinkets but especially software. And if it's in the clouds, even better...

I hate it when people come up with really obvious ideas, like Google have with Wave, because I get all bitter and twisted about why I didn't think of that.

Ok, I shouldn't beat myself up about it. After all, Google have an [almost] endless pot of resources, including the all important time and money. But this is just a simple mash up of a few aged concepts, a snappy title and a little sprinkle of the, ah yes, the endless Google marketing resource. See the cynic kicked n there.

I'm not sure this would get anywhere close to the heights it will achieve without the Google brand, but it's still a great idea and will be a really useful tool for networking.

So what exactly is Google Wave and why is it going to be good?

Well, Google Wave is a piece of software that runs in a browser, that allows more than one person to  collaborate on a document that can include pictures, text, movies and, well, almost anything electronic.

Imagine MSN, Facebook, Twitter, Skype IM, well, it's like all those, except different.

It's different because it's been crafted and shaped to focus on, errmmm, well, focus. All communication and social networking style apps, like those mentioned above, have some kind of access permission. So does Google Wave. With Twitter you follow, MSN etc, you invite contacts and waffle about things, with Facebook, you just pop in and out and see other people's washing.

My take on social networking is that Twitter is someones opinion, rant or observation that others can read if they want to. That's cool. MSN et al are quite intimate, one to one, friends in the living room, chatting. Again, a great app and indeed the grandfather of IM/Social Networking. Facebook is great at helpin you organise your life a little better. It's quite irreverant, has fun things to do while you are there, so you hang  around some more, bui essentially, a waste of time. Albeit a cool one.

So is Google Wave just another Social Networking app? Well, yes and no. It may well mature and grow into something as vast as Facebook and is probably as snappy as Twitter, although it is wrapped in that clean but  rather sterile Google style GUI. What Google Wave has is that focus. There I go again. What I mean by that is, it is structured so precisely and finely tuned with exactly the right amount of meaningful functionality that it is almost perfect for any Social Networking task. It is also really well suited to collaborative brainstorming and teamwork. That is where I will be using it most.

Yes, you can distribute invites to your 21st birthday party, with maps and everything, but for me, it's going to save many trees because I won't need to 'brainstorm' with post it notes on a wall any more.

I've only had a very brief look at Google Wave, which is in Beta at the moment anyway, and I have no idea which direction Google will want it to go.

The 'product positioning' part of my brain, just next to the bit that likes motorbikes and Halo on the '360, says it will gather as much meaningful information as it can before launch, decide which demographic it is most popular with and steer gently in that direction without really lowering its appeal to other users and groups. This cynic feels his 'product positioning' centre may be moving slowly towards the bit at the back, next to canal boats and gardener's question time.

Read about Google Wave at: [url]https://wave.google.com/wave/[/url]

Thanks for reading.

Ed/

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