Sunday, October 25, 2009

Google Wave Collaboration Examples

I just got access to Google Wave. It's not too much fun to play with yet because I don't have enough friends or collaborators with Google Wave, so there's nobody to play with, and Google Wave is a collaboration platform at heart.

I posted about Google Wave when is was first announced. Since then, the Wave people have put together a lot of educational videos, and videos showing early applications are starting to show up, too. Here's an 8 minute overview of Google Wave (a reduction from the 80-minute video the Wave team posted when they announced Google Wave):

Some important Google Wave terms:

  • Wave - an instance of a collaboration created using Google Wave. I assume this is a log file contained time-stamped information that collaborators are entering and deleting. The file is shared somewhere on the web (at some point Google will let you host Wave on your own server).
  • Extension - an application collaborators include in a Wave. A simple Extension that you get in the default Wave client is a polling application that allows collaborators to vote ("yes", "no", and "maybe" are the choices). I assume that a Wave contains one or more instances of any Extension collaborators include in the Wave.
  • Robot - a collaborator that is an application (as distinct from an application that collaborators use, which is an Extension). One useful thing for Robots is to provide programmatic interfaces to other services. For instance, Google is developing a Robot called Twave (short for "twitter wave") that allows Wave users to post and read tweets, and filter for keywords. Twave isn't available as of this writing. Google is building a very cool Robot that will translate Wave conversations between collaborators. I can't wait for that one.
To get an idea of possible Wave-based applications, here is a video that shows a customer service application for Wave users to access a customer service cloud built on

This blog post describes an SAP collaborative technology called Gravity that interfaces with Google Wave. Here is another video that shows how employees from two companies that have merged might use Gravity and Google Wave to collaborate on combining business processes:

In the future, I think there will be Robots that will help with tasks like legal compliance or ISO 9000 compliance for organizations that use Google Wave.

I'm interested in using Google Wave for start-ups I'm working on (Garth!!!), as well as for the Moab Music Festival, a not-for-profit with collaborators spread all over the map. I'm figuring out what Extensions and Robots might help writers, musicians, photographers, and other creative types work together, too.

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