Previously I posted an article on the possible reasons why google wave has failed to meet expectations. The responses I got were mostly in favor of the view and thought that google wave has failed, and some were neutral about it and thought that only time will tell whether google wave actually makes waves in this growing online market. But Mike was opposed to the whole idea. He submitted a comment on why google wave is still very useful medium for communication. Mike runs a Functions Band as his business (www.thecoverups.co.uk). There are 3 partners in the business (Mike and 2 others), and they also write thier own original music (www.fixmonday.fm) with a regular drummer from the Functions Band.
So I asked him that why does he think that google wave is very useful and how has it helped in his business.
Mike’s reply to my question was as follows:
Wave has been brilliant from the first day we got our invites (I got mine, and within a week had invited the other 3 guys). Ever since then, we’ve seen no reason to go back to e-mail for our internal communication.
Why do we find it so much better? As I outlined in my comment, the collaborative aspect of wave means that we’re all working in concert on anything we need to communicate about. Waves are built to work like the conversations that e-mails are now grouped into, but unlike e-mail, where it’s a to-ing and fro-ing of messages, all the messages are there on the wave as we work.
A recent example of a use has been a gig that we’ve been asked to put on for a cooperate client that we’ve worked for a lot in the past. Now, they asked if we were able to play something different to what we’ve done before. So, I setup a wave posing this question to the band, and giving my thoughts.
We began listing songs that we each thought we could add, and as we were going, we’d add them to a collaborative spotify playlist (granted, not a wave feature, but all collaborative editing is good :). We could then all be listening and making comments on each song people had suggested; adding a reply that started exactly where the song had been mentioned. I can’t imagine trying to do that in another way, aside from all being sat round a table together… but that doesn’t give us each the option to dip in and out as we go. We could each be working on something different, and come back to the wave – catch up on what’s people have said, and make our own comments. Because everything is written in contexts, answers are given exactly where questions are posed, and reading through a wave even now makes complete sense.
The next phase, after a set list was approved, was to begin work on the arrangements of the songs, and indeed the set-list. I wrote out a set-list in a wave, and one of my colleagues made some separate waves of the individual song arrangements. Then we made the reference to the song in the set-list Wave a link directly to the arrangement wave, which contains lyrics, chords, keys – everything we need to know about the song. Despite the fact that such ideas have been possible since the invention of HTML, nothing so straight forward and simple has ever been devised – MS Access is a far cry from being so simple, and never so collaborative.
There’s just a few reasons why it’s been so ace! I honestly hope that Wave isn’t considered a failure before its time. It’s worth bearing in mind that it was probably 25 years before e-mail became at all mainstream, and the wave federation is only 6 months or so old!
The wave federation is another reason I think Wave shouldn’t fail: Google don’t own wave. They’ve opened it up so everyone can make their own Wave clients. You’ll haveHotWave, Yahoo wave… as many Wave providers you’d have e-mail providers!
The use of Wave is beginning to expand beyond our internal communications, with more and more of our dep musicians (non regular players) using wave. Again, it simply needs some people to use it, and to stick with it, and it’ll be off the ground… Oh, and a mobile client. The sooner we get that, the sooner everyone will migrate.
And they will migrate. Once you’ve used wave, you’ll realise how limiting so many other forms of communication are. Like Facebook – ok it’s a social networking site, but it already frustrates me to try and reply to a long message addressing a number of points by having to write a new, completely unrelated message directly underneath! Not to mention the facebook ‘likes’. You can like a status, but not a comment made on said status – whyever not? Because the data structures underlying facebook are too limiting!
This is perhaps turning out a bit more ranty now – my apologies for this. I’ll try and sum up, if I can quickly…
The real time collaborative aspects of wave mean that information is transferred in a much better organized way. Less of people repeating each others points, less trying to figure out what was said.
The multi-media aspects of wave mean that waves can be richer, more meaningful, and more helpful than a simple e-mail.
And as I’ve just demonstrated right now: waves can be as simple as e-mail, without any additional fuss. It’s no more complicated than e-mail, if you don’t want it to be. But it’s better in so many ways, that you’ll only realize when you get your teeth into it.
Is there a future for google wave?
It can be a really popular application for real time collaboration.
Businesses like Mike’s will be able to increase their productivity and make decisions in a faster way.
Like email, google wave will take time to grow from bottom to top.
Google wave is the future of email and it will take time to be accepted by people before it can be a huge success!
Do you think google wave has any future? Has the google wave app helped you in any way? Share your stories.