If there were ever a need for a “Google Wave For Dummies” book this is the time. But until one is published it looks like a pretty darn good alternative is already on the market; it’s called, The Complete Guide to Google Wave. And it’s FREE!
During my Social Media and Future of News class at the University of Connecticut I began talking to a few students about my early thoughts using Google Wave. It was a short conversation since I hadn’t realy dug into it yet, but the truth is at the time I couldn’t say for certain how and why I would use it. I’m sure my new Wave book will help. My lack of clarity right now shouldn’t be viewed as me saying the Wave won’t live up to all of the early hype, it’s just not totally obvious to me right now. But I know I’m not the only web enthusiast out here scratching his head about this.
In fact, Sunday night between innings of the World Series one of my former graduate school professors and I began Google waving back and forth to each other online. Now this is the guy who taught me everything I know about Java Script and PHP and web project management; so he knows his stuff. But I think even he is wondering what people are supposed to be doing with the Wave. We both laughed at each other’s less than accurate typing skills. One feature of Google Wave is you can watch your wave partner type a response to you in real-time. But once the top of the 6th inning began, we both waved goodbye to our little social networking experiment and went back to watching the game.
Google Wave reminds me of when I first signed up for Twitter a few years ago. It looked interesting, but I wasn’t sure how much time I wanted to invest in figuring out how to use it. But for some reason I kept coming back to Twitter and began following a bunch of interesting people and quickly realized Twitter wasn’t the narcisstic digital tool many critics were making it out to be. More importantly, I soon realized that Twitter was in fact a very powerful, real-time search platform. Thus the main reason I beleive Google Wave will be succesfull — someday.
The ability to search is the single most important thing you can do on the web. And as we know search is what Google is all about. The ability to interact is the second most important thing you can do on the web. It appears the Wave is Google’s attempt at social engagement. Up till now, Google was a non factor in the social networking game. The Wave is search, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Digg, word processing, doc sharing, cloud computing and email all in one.
So, it’s time for me to crack open the book and start learning more about Google Wave. If you are already waving here is my info. email@example.com, let’s connect and figure this out together. If you don’t have a Google Wave account, I have two Wave invites I was saving for clients (found out they already had invites) but I’ll offer up to the first two (non-spam) people who leave a comment.
Here’s a Google Wave video that can also be found on The Complete Guide To Google Wave online book.