Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Google Wave - After a day playing with the API

Have very mixed feelings about Wave after a day of heavy use. It has helped clarify in my ming what I want and don't want from an online comms tool. Here is the summary of strengths and weaknesses developed during a wave conversation with Bart.

Blip: What is your impression of wave - strengths and weaknesses?


- It's an 'Excel spreadsheet' of the messaging - giving you the power to do things your way
- open API
- realtime
- great if you want to carry on a number of chats at the same time
- can bring in clever gadgets/custom gadgets in a way that is not possible with googledocs etc. eg. voting, map.
- can develop custom gadgets and have the interface provided by wave - I could see this as being used for particular tasks/conversations rather than being open all the time.
- can be used for document sharing and commenting it (altho probably not much different from editing these documents on googledocs or )
- will give a new set of standards/language for doing this kind of thing - shares many ideas with tinycomms, making tinycomms an easier sell I think
- saves time on 'reinventing the wheel' by many contributors as everyone sees what other are thinking and writing about - avoids repeating the same tasks/ideas by all
- Wave as a wiki?


- Too much freedom - leading to mess quickly if not very very careful
- Right now feels like an island - no email like clients - you have to have your browser opened on the Wave page and keep lurking there
- inconfigurable interface (for now)
- Yet another thing to monitor and distract me - don't plan on leaving it open!
- not really suited for multi-user editing / brainstorming - but how is it better than etherpad or the dreaded googledocs. Just a smaller screen with people able to create new threads all over the place.
- Making any sense out of an advanced conversation may be a challenge (many contributors editing and changing things in-line over time) - the playback feature tries to make that easier, but still it is far from perfect.
- lack of built in support for voice/video - voice provided by gadget verillio (sp?) - yes but that's third party, not built in, no guarantees on its stability or usability
- if other people are editing at the same time as you but not within the same few lines, I can't see what they have changed. Snap! / it's not easy to keep track on cursor position of participants in a large document.
- too many ways to chat - yet none of them seem to be natural or streamlined.

Overall I'm left feeling this is another tool to help me multitask even more manically, whereas what I want is a tool that will help me focus on one thing at a time! So don't expect me to monitor wave and respond to your posts, I plan to use it for particular tasks, which will depend on the 3rd party gadgets developed. But this is after one day of use.....

1 comment:

Phoebe Bright said...

Google have acquired appjet, the company who make etherpad. The deal believed to be around $10 million, is the fourth google acquisition in a month. The team will transfer their attentions to work on google wave, and will shut down the etherpad as of march 31, 2010.