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Google Wave Experience And Productivity

Productivity And Google Wave
Google Wave

About three weeks ago I euphorically wrote about Google Wave, had a Wave embedded in the blog post, got a lot of comments, … and did many things with Wave in the meantime.

Since then I also have started a list with my humble suggestions for improvement of the user experience.

Let me give you a quick update on my personal Wave experience.

Status Quo

Wave has already become a sort of everyday tool for me. My firefox plugin shows the number of unread messages in the inbox and the number of people I communicate with is on the rise.

We even use the ties from Wave into Google Groups to create private Waves with restricted access. Therefore, with a small circle of partners and friends Wave has partially replaced email for some communication needs.

Never having been fond of walkie-talkie style instant messaging or chat conversation or Twitter the feature of instantaneous, collaborative, style of communication is certainly a great one. And Wave crushes it. We nailed communication which would have taken much more effort and time for accomplishing the same results via email, chat, skype or phone.

Brilliant Concept

The concept of hosted conversations with synchronous access for working collaboratively is just brilliant. The real power comes from the combination of — the removal of the barrier between — synchronous and asynchronous collaboration in one tool, one document.

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Improving The Usability Of Google Wave - A Personal Wish List

Usability In Google Wave
Google Wave Usability Issues - Some Road Work Ahead

Since I have started using Google Wave a couple of weeks ago I keep a list of potential improvements that come to my mind while working with it.

You can find my original wave at the link below (requires a Google Wave account).

In the list below I omitted some minor issues.

Usability And Other Improvements For Google Wave

(1) Search panel: Selecting one wave or multiple waves with Shift+Click is unfamiliar. Shift+Click lets you select a range, but not single entries. There is no obvious wave to deselect one. A click without a Shift will open the wave and the Ctrl+Click will open the wave in a new panel.

(4) Right/Access Management: This will be essential to protect blips from being edited unauthorized and to keep conversations private.

(7) Privacy: A privacy feature for the “green presence dot” would be great. Like on Skype. Invisible, don’t disturb, away, online, chat with me, … Something like that.

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Google Wave - Forget Plain Text Emails

google wave
Google Wave Interface

Seriously. I am in. You remember that I did not write that positive about Google Sidewiki. Well with Google Wave this is different.

It definitely pays off to be active in online forums. Last week one of this online friends asked,

“Anybody wants an invitation
into the \/\/ave?”

Since I was among the first who virtually had raised there hands I got one of those precious nominations and got in within a couple of days.

Usually I am not excited so much about becoming a beta tester of anything and Google calls the current stage of Wave a Pre-Beta. Sounds worse, doesn't it. But actually I am surprised it really feels great. I was not among those in the early rush for Gmail accounts. Started to use Gmail seriously not before 2009. But the loooooong video from Google presented Wave got me hooked immediately.

So now I am in. And I am even more excited. Let me tell you about a couple of prerequisites.


(1) Obviously you need an invitation currently.

Google wants to slowly build up a base of about 100,000 users and fine-tune their infrastructure as well as completing features that we have heard of in the video but not yet seen in the preview beta version.

Now I have a confession to make.
I am guilty

But first, let's look at a fun video.

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