Cool Enough to Surf Google’s Wave?

No I am not talking about surfing, but there is a new wave getting ready to strike our shores. Just when you thought it was safe to go into the water a new shark is getting ready to take on the current social networking powers that be. As you read this over 100,000 people are testing Google Wave and suggesting improvements.

What is Wave? Wave is a hosted conversation. Anyone can add to the conversation in real-time. Wave moves far beyond what ordinary email can do.

What would email look like if it were invented today? In Wave instead of individual messages the whole conversation is hosted on a server and any of the message recipients can add directly to the original conversation. This puts the responses to an email into the body of the original email text. The responses are easy to identify, as they appear with the responding persons name and photo similar to an instant message. In addition, you can respond directly to the particular text that you’re commenting on. In a 5-paragraph email, you can choose to respond to paragraph two or sentence three and your message will be juxtaposed with that section of the original email body.

If you have ever tried to follow a 12 person threaded email, it is very confusing to get the flow of the conversation. Wave features a tool called “playback” which replays the changes overtime to the original conversation and who made the changes. You can see who added what and when.

When it comes to attachments you can simply drag them from the desktop and drop them into the Wave conversation. Perhaps the biggest use of Google Wave will be in collaborative editing. In the Wave multiple people can make edits and the changes will show who created the edits in the body of the text.

Wave has other great features like embedding other applications into the Wave. You can read tweets or send them out all within the Wave conversation. Posts can be made to blogs from Wave. If you’re communicating with someone that speaks a different language there are on the fly translators. Pierre can type in French and Bob will see the text appear in English. This is all done simultaneously.

When will Wave be available? I don’t know when Google Wave will be officially released. I do know that having email, collaborative editing, Twitter embeds, foreign language translation, and instant replay of conversations is sure to make one big splash!

David Derrico

My guest writer David Derrico, esq has decided to dive in to social media. Every Monday his blog posts will illustrate what he has learned, and what he has to share. Hopefully those of you new to social media will find his posts helpful. In addition, I will be holding FREE weekly conference calls each Friday at 10:00 AM EST to help new professionals as they try to figure out social media. This Friday’s call is titled, “Are You Pareto Efficient? Control Social Media, Don’t Let it Control You!” -you can sign up for the call here.


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