Is Google Wave suitable for collaborative work?

Google wave is a project announced by Google during the conference of I/O, May 2009. It’s a web platform with the purpose of uniting e-mail, social networking websites such as orkut or facebook, wikis and instant messaging into one single environment working in any browser or operation system. It has a strong focus on collaboration and instant interaction. This is a One of the most interesting things about it is the spelling system and instant translation while typing.


Another important characteristic about Google Wave is that is open source due to the fact that it is still necessary the help of developers to perform some final changes. With this fact, the help of Google web toolkit and the with the embedded Application Programming Interface characteristics of Google Wave it is possible to develop wave sub systems or extensions. An example of this was when one of the presenters showed how to use Orkut which is a social networking website with wave. This will then apply to a number of web applications.

For the work we are doing which is extremely dependent on our real time collaboration Google Wave can be an option. We are an on-line magazine with many departments. We have the bio editing department, the website design department, the slide editing department and so on. We are around thirty five people divided into several groups. Each group is performing a task and at the end of the semester we need join all the work together and make a conference. For each task we need input from the whole company individually.

Google Wave can be an option as it allows people to leave comments and form threads. It allows real time communication so people don’t need to waste time walking around asking things to different groups. Something that is not possible with PB works or the Forum as they don’t allow real time communication, when there are too many posts or comments you need to keep scrolling down to find what you are looking for and it is usually very slow. With Google Wave you no longer have to keep scrolling and looking for what you are looking for a very long time. It has a flashback feature where it is possible to view the all the posts in a very easy way. This is specially made for threads with a big size.

As part of our work we need to keep a blog updated. Google wave can work together with a blog and you can have a real time conversation on a blog post.
What we see now in our company is people walking around the room making sure the message that they post either on the forum or on PB works. If there is a doubt or question or an urgent matter when you post something on one of these two websites you need time for someone to reply and you need to refresh the page constantly. With Google wave you can see who is online and ask the question directly. As we are all on the same room and we are all working on the same schedule there should be no one offline. This way all the walking around with papers and counting names can be avoided.

You can also select the people that you talk to in the wave. You can select for example the people that interest you the most for one task and add to your wave.
For our weekly paper we can add the eight people that work on it on a wave and collaborate together. We can for example embed the websites that we research with a wave and comment on whether it is relevant or not. We can also add waves to previous posts and evaluate or performance.

This real time communication and collaboration enables us to be more effective, save time and have more opinions in our work. We are no longer working on our own and presenting the final result. We work, receive comments and continue working until we get our final product which does not have to be re-done.

I am looking forward for using Google Wave.

To find out more about Google wave you can watch the video of the conference

Or you can access these links

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