Friday, November 20, 2009

Ambivalent towards Google Wave

Apropos my previous post): I got a Google Wave invite, but after logging in I haven't done anything with it. I don't know anyone I could "wave" at, and am not very motivated to find such people -- or to wave at them. It's hard enough just to keep up with email, Facebook and Twitter. I communicate with most of my real-life friends over Facebook, so Wave would be duplication of that functionality. If, however, I started "waving" at a completely different set of people, that would double the time I spend on my virtual social life, and I can't afford that. So I haven't been doing anything with Google Wave.

But I saw this great article, What problems does Google Wave solve? by Daniel Tenner, where he argues Google Wave is not so much an enhancement of your social life, as a corporate collaboration tool. This ties back to what Tristan Slominski said in his Innotech presentation (see my previous post). I can see how a Wave-like IDE plugin might enable programmers to work on shared pieces of code. Then again, many if not most companies would not let their code past corporate walls and firewalls. To route confidential information, or even source code, through third-party servers is considered unthinkable in most companies.

But if Google Wave is so great for collaboration, I can think of some uses for it. Perhaps it could help me and my friends to work on our fanzine more efficiently. (I spoke about our fanzine in this post.) Preparing each issue of the fanzine involves bouncing documents back-and-forth multiple times between authors, translators, copyeditors, and illustrators. So if Google Wave really works as advertised in Daniel Tenner's article, it could be useful for that. The only problem is I would have to convince my friends to use it. For all I know, they might feel the same kind of resistance to it as I do.

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