I was so surprised that an invitation to join Google Wave arrived in my mailbox last night. The response wasn’t from Google and my request for an invite but from a local person who we follow each other on Twitter. So, thanks so much for that.
The only problem was that I was sneaking a look at the updates on my iPod while we entertained family for Thanksgiving. Now, some of our company have departed and the other parts are still in bed so I’m messing around, creating my first wave.
The whole premise to this is based on the question “What would email look like if it was created today?”
We’ve all experienced the frustration of only getting half the information in an email message and the need for some back and forth to get the job done. It gets particularly difficult if there are more than just you and someone else in the exchange. So, imagine what it might look like if the email was a conversation that continued in one place, was replayable at any time, and could embed activities so that you could enhance the conversation.
That’s what email could be.
That’s also what I’m exploring on this cool Thanksgiving morning. At this point, the only person that I can invite to the wave is the person that invited me. Not a problem as of yet – it will just be a testing scenario for the first while.
I start a Wave much like I would in Gmail but it remains an open document and the conversation could continue with all of the participants. At this point, I’ve just brought a map in, started a discussion, included a vote, and also included the weather for the map.
All of this came into the Wave very easily and allows for the possibility of a conversation that’s richer, and in real time, than you could have with email. I’m liking what I’m seeing – I’m a big supporter of collaboration.
I suspect that there’s going to be some real learning for people. You’ll need to shake the mindset of email and think more in terms of a discussion, face to face, with little arbitration, as you aim towards the ultimate resolution of whatever it is you’re discussing or creating. However, even at this early juncture, I see this as a big productivity tool for people with the proper mindset.
I just can’t wait until there are more to collaborate with! I know the folks I interact with daily. They’re going to fly with this.
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Please share your thoughts here. I’d enjoy reading them.