Catch the Wave – Google Wave

22Dec09

By Beth J. Bates, New Media Special Correspondent

If you are one of the coveted few who received Google Wave invitations and you still don’t get it – you’re not alone. I recently received my invitation and gleefully logged in, ready to roll. Once I logged in I thought… huh? On first glance, Google Wave looks like a new type of email client. But it’s much more.

Google Wave provides a collaborative environment where teams can collaborate on documents in real-time. More important, they can collaborate on the same version of the document without the worry of multiple versions floating around via email.

Google Wave is most effective when you have several connections that can contribute to your wave. So, if you are part of the small beta group of testers, you may not have other connections to collaborate on your wave.

Confused yet?

In a nutshell, Google Wave is a real-time collaborative tool that:

  • In most instances, enables you to see what someone else is typing in real-time.
  • Enables developers to build apps and widgets, so its functionality is pretty extensible.
  • Can be embedded on any blog or website.
  • Allows files to be shared via drag and drop.

While we all muddle through this new tool, we need to understand that Wave wasn’t meant to be understood instantly. Expect to take some time to familiarize yourself with the tool, its use and others that you might connect with.

The good news? There are many professionals paving the way to help us better understand Google Wave:

Is Google Wave going to transform your business? Not in the short term. But it’s a tool with enough potential that it could change the way groups collaborate in the future. For this reason, it’s worth investigating sooner than later.

Beth J. Bates consults with Hinge on social media tool selection and strategy and helps its clients find effective ways to leverage these new mediums to meet business goals.

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