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Google Wave Is Easier To Understand Than…  (View post)

WebSonic.nl [PersonRank 10]

Saturday, October 10, 2009
11 years ago7,426 views


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WebSonic.nl [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

easiertounderstandthanwave.com ...

Above 2 comments were made in the forum before this was blogged,

Libran Lover [PersonRank 4]

11 years ago #

Needless to say, that website is not a true measure of exactly how easy or difficult it is to understand Google Wave.

Obviously, people's prejudices come into play. But even more importantly, they have compared Google Wave to many theoretical concepts which are only taught in colleges. In most such cases, people seem to think those theoretical concepts are easier to understand than Google Wave. I find that hard to believe. I have studied my fair share of theories (I have a master's degree and am working on a second one now).

Most theoretical concepts listed on that site were taught in the college by a well-qualified professor, people read up on them, did homework on them and even answered exam questions about them. If Google Wave were to be given the same level of academic treatment and taught to people, I bet more people would understand and use Google Wave than the people who understand and use those theoretical concepts in daily life.

Libran Lover [PersonRank 4]

11 years ago #

Regarding the comparison of Google Wave to a room in this blog post – I wonder how many people have collaborated on Google Wave with a particular objective in mind.

The kind of rooms Philipp has described were created on Google Wave by people who simply wanted to try the service and explore as many of its features as possible, without any particular objective in mind. For example, the Blogoscoped public wave. No wonder the wave turned into a circus room.

On the other hand, suppose you create a wave with a specific objective in mind. Eg: Use a wave for all the Blogoscoped users to list the ways in which Google Spreadsheets can be used that is different from how Microsoft Excel is used. I bet that wave would turn into a much better example of collaboration. That wave might eventually end up in the form of an article that could be published straight on Blogoscoped with little editing.

The power of Google Wave is that it gives you this blank room which can be turned into any room you want – a reading room, a writing room, a library, a photo album, a vacation planning draft board, etc. Obviously, you need to define the objectives and some basic rules on how to play to the people who enter the room. If people don't do that and then end up with a circus room, why blame the features of Google Wave itself?

Libran Lover [PersonRank 4]

11 years ago #

One more thought: the people all over the Internet and in print media who are saying Google Wave is hard to understand did not watch the video from the developer conference when Wave was first introduced.

I bet lots of people who were used to riding horses and horse-carts did not understand the car when it was first introduced.

sndrd [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

Waves aren't very useful for communicating with large groups of people you don't know or work with. In those cases, it's just a messy productivity killer indeed. My guess is that the public wave functionality will be the first to be removed. (Why else would it be hidden so well?)

I've personally successfully used waves to chat with friends and discuss with colleagues. It's very easy to create a wave, drag some pictures in it, reply to eachother and close the conversation. The fact that what I type is immediately visible on the other screen, helps a lot since I can't take seconds/minutes to think about writing a better message.

In the co-worker situation, I created a wave where I proposed a new widget for our website. The attachment system made it easy to include some screenshots with proper labels, that were viewable in a nice slideshow. While I was writing the wave, the contact could already check out some of the images and screenshots, so that he could respond immediately when I was ready. We discussed some different aspects in different threads within the wave, each of which ended with a proper conclusion. We made the decision about the widget within minutes, and now have the wave archived for reference.

So the best way to understand Google Wave would be to stop using emails, chats and Writely docs and replace those with waves. Unfortunately, this is hard to do completely until you can invite all your contacts to Wave...

O. Berkeley [PersonRank 1]

11 years ago #

I don't use the public Waves, but for collaboration with colleagues on manuscript drafts, it seems to work very well.

Roger Browne [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

I haven't used Wave yet, but I've participated in a few software development projects that used IRC very productively. But they also had to resort to additional tools like pastebins to post source code, and image hosting sites to post images.

Would I be correct to say that Wave brings all of this together, enabling a group to collaborate in real-time on a project using multiple forms of communication: text, images, multimedia...

If so, it will find a niche.

Dylan Bennett [PersonRank 1]

11 years ago #

I created a public wave to discuss issues/bugs/etc. that are currently in Wave. Over 150 people have edited it so far and it has been a very clean collaboration effort. The resulting document is useful and easy to read. There is quit a big of discussion that is happening below the document, and that discussion is useful and relevant. I have been very happy with that side of the public waves, and I've had quite a bit of fun using waves between friends.

David Crandall [PersonRank 1]

11 years ago #

Until the Wave is released to the full public (or at least more than 100k), I can't really buy into anyone's opinion on it. It's collaborative features won't really have a lot of functionality until more than just a bunch of strangers are on it.

I feel like a lot of the negative reviews are part of the sour grapes mentality. So many people have not received invites (myself included) and would rather poo-poo the whole thing than be willing to think it could be amazing and that they are on the outside for now. I really, REALLY wish I had a Wave invite, but just because I don't doesn't mean I'm going to start crying and saying how awful it is.

In fact, I'm impressed that so many people are nay-saying it. There are thousands of crappy apps across the internet that no one even cares about. It's funny that so many people want to be known as having had an opinion of the Wave in its early days. It's almost as if they are thinking they can come back later with the disclaimer "while I originally thought the Wave was poor..." as if it will lend credibility to their opinions in the future.

I'm just jealous of anyone with a Wave account, but it doesn't mean that I'm going to trash Google.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Libran, I think you're right that right now, many people just want to test Wave which skews the thing. Worth noting though that even the few Waves that started with a clear purpose went sort of off-topic after a while (might again be that test phase thing)... and it's also worth noting that you're still only describing a single use case, multi-user collaboration for documents, whereas some people tried to use this thing as email or chat, purposes which often conflict with each other. But as I indicated, all reasons I will make sure to come back later to see how it has evolved, and that one option is still that the tool is just a bit ahead of us, and people will figure out how to properly use it.

By the way, one question that was asked on Wave: For which particular use-case is this really more suited than existing tools?

Example: "Use a wave for all the Blogoscoped users to list the ways in which Google Spreadsheets can be used that is different from how Microsoft Excel is used." If we would use a Google Spreadsheet collaboration for this, the Spreadsheet might be superior because the chat is clearly separate (to the right hand side) from the resulting cleaner document (to the left hand side). This way, you could actually release the result with little editing. Similarly, Wikipedia has a discussion page. On a Wave, who's to say people don't start chatting in sub-items right in the Wave? That may not be proper behavior, but it's made very easy to create somewhat unorganized Waves. Maybe the right behavior is to separate discussion from end result by splitting it up into two different Waves (this is what happened with the Google Wave FAQ Wave) but in a good social design, wouldn't some of these issues be resolved by the tool itself? And who, by the way, will keep the "discussion" Wave sibling of a particular "end document" Wave cleaned up if it turns into a super long chat?

I can list many uses for which Waves so far wasn't as well as older tools (chat, mini blogging, wikis, email, to some extent even document collaboration). But I'm interested what it's very good for. So again, For which particular use-case is this really more suited than existing tools? I think we may find one so this is no rhetorical question, but not daring to ask it probably wouldn't help the progress of Wave either.

Sndrd above gives some answers: [Up] blogoscoped.com/forum/161816.h ...

And O. Berkeley writes, "for collaboration with colleagues on manuscript drafts, it seems to work very well."

> The fact that what I type is immediately visible on the other
> screen, helps a lot since I can't take seconds/minutes
> to think about writing a better message.

I think the typing-real-time is excellent, and some other tools (like Google Chat) should adopt it...

> It's funny that so many people want to be known as having
> had an opinion of the Wave in its early days.

I think that thing may have started with Google sort of indicating they rethought email, etc. People may have interpreted this to have meant "here comes something better than email", the next big thing, whether or not that was what Google wanted to express. And while Google tools often get a lot of attention, that's not only true for criticism, it's also a bonus. Which other tools by competition get 100,000 or so people to sign up just to try it out, because they've heard of it?

By the way, if you will use Wave for a while, you will see many of the issues yourself and you'll see that they are not mere theoretical ones. From larger issues to very small things (I create a ping to someone then decide to undo and won't type any text in it, now that turn into an empty chat message which the other will see but which I can never delete again from their view – I've sent one of those myself, and then I began to understand why people had previously send me a couple of those odd empty messages! That's of course a seemingly small thing... the bigger issues are the social clash of the use cases, because you don't want to be distracted by use case X if you're working within use case Y, and you also don't want to spend most of your time manually muting all Waves which could cause such distraction). Let's see how much of the behavior adjusts to proper Wave use, or how much Wave will adjust its tool to streamline proper behavior.

If those who successfully used Waves list some more use cases, I could perhaps turn it into a follow-up post here.

Libran Lover [PersonRank 4]

11 years ago #

Philipp,

You sum up main issue perfectly when you say: the bigger issues are the social clash of the use cases, because you don't want to be distracted by use case X if you're working within use case Y, and you also don't want to spend most of your time manually muting all Waves which could cause such distraction).

I think it just a matter of people getting used to effective behavior and etiquette within a Wave. But I don't think the Wave product itself is as complex and confusing nor as useless as the general media seems to be portraying it to be.

LL

corlyon [PersonRank 1]

11 years ago #

I think most of us do not need so "much" communication, we just need simple things like twitter, Gtalk ,Email ,Phone calls etc.

Google wave is too complicate to use , we feel confused ,this is the biggest problem for Google wave.

Why I should sit on my chair , trying to invite my friends ,then tell them what is Google wave, how to use it...What I need to do , is just several phone calls and ask my friends to come here ,drink some tea, then ,have fan...

Philip Arnason [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

Corlyon,
I think it would help if you were to take a couple steps back and look at the big picture. Simple problems can be solved with simple solutions. Trickier issues require more complicated getups. If you have a 10 person team trying to hash out a meeting agenda, that would be an awful way of using email, yet many people use it like that.

David Crandall,
Find some way of shooting me your email address, and I'll give you an invite.

corlyon [PersonRank 1]

11 years ago #

Philip,will u sent me an invite,I should have to try it out :) thanks
My email : corlyon#gmail.com

martapiqs [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

corlyon, you can ask Google directly to be invited... no idea how long it takes for them to accept your request, though! I just requested an invite today.

Honestly, I can't wait to see it. I do see the advantages it has/will have as a collaborative and communicative tool. And personally, I think that using Twitter, Gmail, Facebook, blogs, Skype, phone, etc. is very time consuming if you don't watch out!

Better have it all in one place, don't you think? :)

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