google wave, take #2: we gave it another chance and we love it
on August 4, 2010
connect the following statements with an 'and' operator.
- you want to discuss stuff with people who cannot be in the same room with you
- you hate meetings in person
- more than one person absolutely must hear what you have to say
- you can wait a little bit to get your answer (as in, real-time is not a must)
- your discussion - parts of it or in whole - must be written down for some reason
- you want your colleagues to help you create the document that will be the result of your discussion
- you like to see changes and new additions to the discussion at a glance (you don't have time to fiddle with some tedious revision control system)
- you need some structure in your discussion (hierarchy via indented replies) because flat lists are a mess
if all of the above is true for you, then google wave is the best communication tool on the planet.
- remote working is a fact today and it's a growing trend. many software development companies don't have a choice and must work from multiple locations. they are afraid remote work would kill their productivity. not so - if you use great collaboration tools.
- you can put an end to those boring, endless meetings. put an air hockey table in your conference room instead. why dress up and come sit in a meeting, if the company can throw a google wave party online?
- conference calls with a lot of people usually don't work. skype for conference calls works best with no more than three people involved. for any more than that, you really must have a) good audio equipment and b) experience with moderating conference calls. if you can't talk, write.
- real-time communication is usually not necessary because everyone can afford to wait a bit. type chatting in real time is the biggest time waster i've seen in my life. i know google is promoting wave as a real-time communication tool, but i wouldn't use it for that. wave saves a lot of time if you reply to people's blips in turns.
- sometimes you need things in writing and only talking about it won't do. for example, you need a document: to show to the client, to archive forever in google docs, to save as pdf and send it over e-mail, to print out.
- everything you write in google wave can be edited very quickly into a document. after you and your wave mates come to a written conclusion, just make every participant clean up his own unnecessary written mess, and you'll have a usable document done in no time.
- you won't miss one single new reply in a wave. newly added replies are highlighted in the wave. so, when you log on, you can immediately jump to the first new reply, and newly added parts of existing replies will be highlighted in yellow. if you want to see who said what and when, just hit "play" in google wave and it will play back the whole conversation, step by step, as it happened.
- google wave lets you indent your replies, if needed. because, written discussion in a flat list can be a real mess. you never see who replied to what part of the conversation, or there's unnecessary repetition and quoting. e-mail, instant messenger, google docs, ticketing systems... all those applications mostly use flat lists. when you take a quick look at a typical wave, it's easy to follow the flow of the discussion if people use indented replies.
is google wave a one trick pony, then?
nope. it's not a pony. it's a racehorse. because if you use it right, no other tool is faster and more fun. one trick racehorse, for sure - but it will win all the well chosen races you send it to compete in.
and google wave won't replace my favorite e-mail client any time soon. because gmail is so damn good, that even google would have to try very, very hard to outdo gmail.
update, later today on august 4th, 2010: google kills wave
isn't this just great. google just announced they're killing wave. i guess we'll be developing our own google wave substitute for use in our ticketing system.