A sea of communication: will you ride the wave?

I was looking to find out more about Google Wave and was searching for a nice, easy article to read quickly to get me up to speed. Sadly one didn’t exist as it seemed (at the time of searching) that the only people talking about Wave are developers and techies who are so excited by the robots, codes and gadgets, that they talk in different language (I like to call this Googlic!).

So, I took the time to watch the entire (one hour and twenty minutes long) video about Google Wave and decipher the terminology (actually Ben Parr did the translation for me in his blog here) so I can write an easy post for everyone else who just fancies knowing what all this Wave business is about.

Let me start by explaining exactly what Google Wave is: Google Wave is a real-time communication platform. But it’s not Twitter or Instant Messenger – it’s much, much more.

Above is Google Wave. Those little images will be your contacts (think Instant Messenger). However, there is a difference – Google Wave can pretty much do everything that email, twitter and Messenger can do, in one go. And it can do more. And it can do all this bigger, faster and better!

So, you want to talk to a contact. You can click and speak with one or multiple contacts simultaneously and it is in real time. That means as you type, they see it. Forget the little “jimmy is typing” message or the speech bubble icon. Forget reading your message over and over. It’s instant! So my first question was spelling. How can you spell check if it is instant?

Say hello to one of Google Waves numerous little friends. This one is called Spellee. Say hello Spellee…

Not only does Spellee spell check as you go and make helpful suggestions, but Spellee is such a confident little fella that he changes words for you as you type, taking in consideration context and tense. Clever little Spellee!

Right, what else? You can embed Waves on any website or blog if you want. Just click on Bloggee (naturally).

Any information, document or conversation can be edited by anyone else or more than one person at the same time. Think of how this could improve client communications? For example, if a client wants to amend a list of recommended search terms for their Paid Search campaign, they can go in and we can watch these changes as they happen (although Wave helpfully highlights all the changes for you and lets you know who changed what too) – they or we can make comments on the document and on their edits (of course we can hide all of this at the click of a button too).

If you join a conversation or want to see a segment again, then you can replay any part of a Google Wave.

Now, the bane of my life is attachments. At Leapfrogg we attach documents as links because that way we can keep abreast of any changes and ensure the correct version is being updated, but imagine a world without attachments? Yep, forget attaching for a moment – with Wave you just drag and drop. Drag and drop. Anything too – pictures, videos, documents, AND with linkee (another of Waves cutely named friends) you can just drag a link in. Forget all that Ctrl/C rubbish. Excellent – AND everytime the document is updated – Wave will notify you!

Another cool little mate of Waves is Mappee. You can write, for example ‘The Tin Drum in Brighton’, highlight it, click the maps icon and everyone in the Wave will receive that map. And it’s the same with search – just highlight and click on the search icon.

There are lots of smart little additions to this newfangled and frankly genius communication platform. For example, have you got any clients who don’t speak English? No, why not? Ah yes, because they don’t speak English…well, that doesn’t need to be a problem anymore. Although they didn’t name this one on the Google Wave video I think we are safe to assume it will be called Translatee. With Translatee you can type in English and Wave will translate it for you into any desired language and it does this instantly while you type. It basically gives you subtitles! Genius!

And yes – before you ask, of course you can have your Twitter and Facebook accounts, and update that on Wave too. I literally can’t think of anything it can’t do besides give you a hug when you’re sad and it probably won’t be long before it can do that too.

Essentially what this means is that I will be able to speak with people all over the world in real time, share information and work on things together. I could simultaneously edit a blog post with a client from Spain, speaking to them in Spanish directly on the blog itself. Three colleagues and I could edit the same document at the same time while talking to each other about the changes we are making as we are making them. The possibilities are endless…

Another cute little addition is that you can click on a poll and invite people to work together with you (or you can work on your own) to create a poll. Then, once you have sent it to contact, Wave will update your results directly into a chosen format.

Google Wave will work as fast as you can think. It will make communicating online easier and more effective, and if everyone does get it, could rid the world of boring, slow emails. It also means all client conversations could be available to everyone in your company, or select people working on a campaign – gone are the days you have to copy and paste email correspondence into a client’s record. In fact, Wave could create a client record and have correspondence to that contact automatically saved in that folder before dashing to the kitchen to make your tall skinny latte.

Ok – the coffee bit isn’t true, but Google Wave seems pretty darn cool to me. Just can’t wait to see it in action now! I have requested an invitation and we shall see if it really is as good as it seems. Watch this space!

Leave a reply

What do you think? Please leave a comment below

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *