Friday, December 4, 2009
After I posted, New Collaboration Tools For The Post-Email Age, a few things occurred that need to be touched on, briefly. Remindo corrected me that they have seven people (I think) and not five people, as I stated. Also, Google, who I used as an example of a tech company that does not respond, responded to several of my questions in "Big Brother-like" style that gave me a chill. To Remindo and Google, I apologize. I hereby change the quote to: "Try emailing Microsoft or many tech companies with a problem". Also, the next day after my post, I received my invitation to Google Wave (they know everything).
I should tell you that I did not understand Google Wave or the need for it for a long time. I thought, based on early reports, it was too complicated, over-hyped and would have difficulty getting acceptance, even if it was incredible. Here was a grand experiment by Google that was destined to fail, I thought. I have since changed my mind.
I should also tell you that I'm not a person that normally jumps on the latest technology. I was still using excite long after even my Mother told me I should use Google (I never listen to my Mom, unfortunately. She doesn't read this either so she'll never know I gave her credit!). Only recently, did I relent and join LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. When it comes to technology, I'm not exactly a pioneer.
However, for years I was frustrated with email, as I detailed in my last post. In short, many times, it's the wrong tool for the job. As I was reading more and more about Google Wave, fed up with email's shortcomings and lack of innovation and "scalability" and "adaptability", I started looking for a solution. Finally, the light bulb went off as I started to understand Google Wave.
I am a little surprised that I do think my last post did grasp the basic idea of Google Wave. I have been playing with Google Wave without too much interaction for the moment from other invitees. People who have asked for an invitation have not, yet, joined and those that have, have not yet, tried it out. Many people never heard of it (!). I can say that I am impressed. This is not your father's email at the risk of being hackneyed and torturing an old ad slogan.
A few things I noticed: It's not entirely intuitive to those (most of us) who've been fed a heavy diet of email. It's closer to chat than email, except, it keeps a record of the chat recorded like email and allows for in-message sharing of documents, html, maps, video, twitter, rss feeds, stock quotes,i-frame a page, video conferencing, directions and so much more. When I think about the potential for this as a collaboration too and a way to keep topics and business organized, I am awed by it. It definitely needs an alert feature like email (there are apps or bots for that for a Wave and I am certain Google will build this in-it does have a "ping" feature). While I think it probably has the greatest potential for businesses, I'd be willing to bet that young people get it and adopt it quicker. Many younger people already see email as an antiquated technology and "dumb" form of communication. They've already left email for IM, text, broadcast, video, etc. Once again, the kids get it.
I don't want to give a huge post here on all my thoughts so early in my trial (you are welcome), but let's just say, Google, despite my best efforts to not let them win me over (and they have again and again), won me over. I'm beginning to drink the Google Wave Kool-Aid. Ahh, Google, I don't want to love all that you do. I fight you at first, but you eventually win me over, every time.
I do think that that its open source coding, its ability to adapt to new technologies and its "gadgets" and "bots" will be crucial to its success. The fact that it can interact with other technologies, be put onto a site or blog, also will help spread its influence virally. Try that with your email. It will be like a vine snaking all over the internet. I also think that it will be slow to be embraced by business people (once again, ironically that is its best audience, in my early opinion). Some of the reactions I got to offering an invite were: "I'm not even on Twitter" and "Now I have to learn another thing?" No, you don't. You don't have to use a mobile phone or a computer even, either, if you don't want to.
Let me give you a couple of cool things related to gadgets and bots and then I'll leave you with a video, if you want to learn more, as some have asked Solveris for more information. Say I'm talking to my best friend in Hungary. She can speak English well, but I want to be a show off and talk to her in her native language, anyway, or talk to her grandmother who does not speak good English. I can pull in a bot from my contact list. I can then create a "blip" to her in English and my words will be translated by the bot in real-time to Hungarian for my friend and her grandmother. On my end, their words, in real time, will be shown in English. Now apply that to the business world. Now let's say my new client wants to go fishing this weekend and says "if the weather is good" in his blip. I can easily pull in a weather bot into our conversation that will give us a forecast and then pull in a directions gadget that will tell us how to get to the pier. I pull my broker into the Wave because my client asked me where he can put his money where it will be protected and still earn him decent interest. My broker pulls in a robot in his "blip" from his contact list and shows us some great investments with quotes in real time. I then pull in a chart bot that shows me that his commission has steadily increased for this financial "product" and question the investment fees (not that my broker would ever do that-hypothetical, of course). Once again, try that with your email. These are some very simplistic examples, but you can see its applications and utility. Later I can replay the Wave or share it with my partner.
More on Wave in later posts, but if you have it try it, you may like it? You don't have to adopt it (yet), but I can guarantee you, it may not be a tidal wave tomorrow, but it ain't going back out to the technology sea so quickly, either.
Warning: This is the long Wave explanation: