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Initial Reviews of Google Wave; Neat, But Noisy

timothy posted about 5 years ago | from the here's-yer-firehose dept.

Communications 336

bonch writes "Reviews of Google Wave are out, and opinions are that it has potential as a development platform but is noisy to use for real-time communication. Robert Scoble calls it overhyped, claiming it's useful for little more than personal IM or small-scale project collaboration. He complains about the noisiness of tracking dozens of people chatting him at once in real-time and calls trying to use it a 'productivity killer' compared to simpler mediums like email and Twitter."

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A bigger waste of time than twitter? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29611281)

...now trat's really saying something

I was thinking the same thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29611377)

This wave is a productivity deathstar.

Re:I was thinking the same thing (3, Insightful)

sopssa (1498795) | about 5 years ago | (#29611885)

Am I the only only one who doesn't like that everyone all the time know what I am doing, if i'm online or if i'm available for a chat? Or whatever other people are doing. I abandoned MSN messenger for that sole purpose a few years ago, and facebook too.

There's a lot of socializing time already even without having all these apps on your computer too. I do have instant messaging for my work, but those people *know* when it's the right time to msg me and they're doing so for a good reason - not just to ask "whats up dude?"

It's nice to have some peace sometimes, and computer is a really nice way for that. I dont want all the contacts and people bothering me when I just want to spend some time and feel relaxed.

Re:I was thinking the same thing (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29611921)

you're just too popular, bro.

Re:I was thinking the same thing (1)

peragrin (659227) | about 5 years ago | (#29612025)

Nope I have never visited facebook.com, or twitter.com ever. not even to look someone else up. I figure that by the time I finally get around to it will be unpopular so I won't have to worry.

Re:A bigger waste of time than twitter? (2)

Ingcuervo (1349561) | about 5 years ago | (#29611451)

of course, We finally have a massive chat system!!!!, ok, no wait....

Re:A bigger waste of time than twitter? (5, Insightful)

ajs (35943) | about 5 years ago | (#29611761)

Twitter and Wave are communication tools. In the hands of someone who has something meaningful to say, they're powerful. In the hands of someone who has nothing to say, they're no more or less a waste of time than any other communications tool.

Re:A bigger waste of time than twitter? (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | about 5 years ago | (#29611831)

Except for if you have something to say in twitter you can't... making it more of a waste of time than other tools. At least it might waste less time by not allowing you to say much.

Re:A bigger waste of time than twitter? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29611909)

I've never read something on Twitter and felt like that person really had something important to say.

"AT THE CONCERT - IT'S COOL -- LOLOL"

There's just not that much that is of such ultra-importance that it can be summed up in 160 characters (or however many it is -- you can tell I'm a huge fan).

Re:A bigger waste of time than twitter? (2, Insightful)

lysergic.acid (845423) | about 5 years ago | (#29611971)

Exactly. If you look at different people's e-mail inboxes, some are full of primarily work-related communiques, while others are filled with idle conversations with family & friends. If you find that your inbox is filled with chain letters and unproductive correspondences, then perhaps you need to reconsider your e-mail habits and who you give your contact info to (or use 2 separate e-mail accounts). It doesn't make sense to blame the communication protocol or your e-mail client. Likewise, instant messaging and even text messaging can be very powerful/efficient business tools (my boss, for instance, splits his time during office hours about 50/30/20 between text messaging, e-mail, and the phone, respectively), but that doesn't mean everyone will use it as such (or even knows how).

From what I saw in the demo video, you can control who you choose to invite into your wave. So if you find that it's making you unproductive, then maybe you need to be more discerning about who you choose to invite to your wave. If your friends have nothing better to do all day but to distract you from your work on your wave, then that seems more like a social problem rather than a technological one.

Re:A bigger waste of time than twitter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29611997)

Really, twitter is a communication tool? twat.

Re:A bigger waste of time than twitter? (4, Interesting)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | about 5 years ago | (#29612123)

I would argue that Twitter and Wave have the exact opposite effect. In the hands of an lucid and incisive orator, they are next to useless as a medium for the dissemination of ideas. On the other hand, for vapid, shrill and fallacious authors they are a godsend, enabling them to broadcast their general message of stupidity and ignorance to a wider field than ever before.

In a way, they are a microcosm of the Internet itself!

Re:A bigger waste of time than twitter? (3, Funny)

martas (1439879) | about 5 years ago | (#29611893)

who's trat?

[in panicked tone]: who's trere?! HELLO??

Try IRC. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29611307)

Problem solved.

Re:Try IRC. (4, Insightful)

TeXMaster (593524) | about 5 years ago | (#29611677)

IRC in itself is pretty good, but it misses a couple of features, like offline backlogging and some kind of more direct integration with pastebins, source code repository and such. I haven't been invited to Google Wave yet, but I had the impression the whole point was to have something like that: an IRC integrated with all the corollary tools that can be used to coordinate development.

Re:Try IRC. (4, Informative)

bigpresh (207682) | about 5 years ago | (#29611937)

IRC in itself is pretty good, but it misses a couple of features, like offline backlogging and some kind of more direct integration with pastebins, source code repository and such.

If you want offline backlogging, an IRC bouncer [wikipedia.org] like ZNC [en.znc.in] can take care of that for you. As for pastebins, pasting the URL to a post is dead easy; there's plenty of IRC bots out there which can automatically post a "$user has made a new pastebin post at $url" message to a channel as soon as someone posts.

At work, we use IRC to communicate, we have a copy of the codebase from pastebin.com [pastebin.com] with a small modification to report pastebin posts to our development channel, and a script run from a Subversion post-commit hook which reports commts to the channel with a link to view the diff.

Works pretty well for us!

Re:Try IRC. (1)

sakdoctor (1087155) | about 5 years ago | (#29611723)

This sounds like a nightmare.
I prefer IRC where everyone is always idle, and you can get some peace and quiet.

Echos thoughts of others after the demo (4, Insightful)

PhantomHarlock (189617) | about 5 years ago | (#29611321)

After watching the demo, a lot of people were commenting that the major problem is that it runs counter to how the brain operates...we aren't designed to heavily multitask. Email provides a linear conversation at least. Still, it's interesting and I think that it does have uses. Perhaps the user feedback will cause it to evolve into something more manageable for a regular brain. I think the potential to assist with remote project collaboration is great.

A lot will depending on how people use it, not what it is. There will need to be settings to help people set limits on the barrage of information.

Re:Echos thoughts of others after the demo (4, Insightful)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about 5 years ago | (#29611421)

Yeah I work with an air traffic control system. The UI has to take a lot of complex information and present it to the user in the most pertinent way possible. It has to understand what is important (an aircraft which is off course for example) and give just enough emphasis to that object without taking too much of the users attention away from other tasks. It is a fine balance, particularly if you expect your UI to be used for hours at a time in a stressful environment.

Re:Echos thoughts of others after the demo (5, Insightful)

Zerth (26112) | about 5 years ago | (#29611467)

Email provides a linear conversation at least.

Clearly you interact with people who know that top-posting is evil and have no urge to reply to each email before reading the following responses that have been sitting in their inbox for 3 days.

I envy you.

Re:Echos thoughts of others after the demo (1)

PhantomHarlock (189617) | about 5 years ago | (#29611673)

Yes, we are fortunate in that way. I do know what you are referring to and have seen it...that and people who reply ADHD machine gun style, a couple of words or a sentence at a time, covering one topic in each email, when they could have composed one longer email detailing everything.

Re:Echos thoughts of others after the demo (4, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 5 years ago | (#29611707)

Gmail threads top-post emails into a coherent conversation just fine.

Re:Echos thoughts of others after the demo (2, Interesting)

value_added (719364) | about 5 years ago | (#29612035)

Gmail threads top-post emails into a coherent conversation just fine.

Bah. The concept of threading is as old as dirt, and despite people "discovering" it, or otherwise implementing it as a "new feature", there's plenty of people using email that still don't grasp the fundamentals. Either way, there's far more to coherency than how a given list of emails is visually sorted.

As for Google's Wave, what I remember from the videos was that replies (at least those shown being made) were made "in-line". If that's how things will work, then there's hope we'll be done with TOFU-style posting, and Exchange users will be dragged kicking and screaming into the future. Or more correctly, back into the past before Microsoft and the generations that grew up with that nonsense screwed things up for everyone.

My concern is the with interface. While average folks seem to enjoy living in their browser, there's plenty of us (myself, included) that cringe that the thought. In the videos, there was what seemed to be an ncurses interface (it garnered the loudest applause), but few details were offered, and the discussions I've read since made no mention of it.

Re:Echos thoughts of others after the demo (1, Troll)

DerekLyons (302214) | about 5 years ago | (#29612101)

So long as you have no experience with coherent linear conversations, yeah, Gmail provides an excellent simulacrum of what you might think one looks like.

Re:Echos thoughts of others after the demo (4, Insightful)

smallfries (601545) | about 5 years ago | (#29611481)

It seems that a lot of the early reviews are complaining that when they use like a real-time forum, it gets too busy. When a reviewer claims that he's chatting to 12 people at once and it's too much of a time sink - what is he comparing it to? Chatting to 12 people in a normal IM client is a huge time sink because there is always somebody talking.

I'd like to read a review by somebody that knows what that they're talking about. Sure, it's a tool that tries to integrate blogs / forums / chat / email into a single product. But that doesn't magically mean that it can turn forum style interaction between hundreds of people into a linear two-person conversion like email.

If anything, the combination is going to create different conventions for hybrid forms of communication.

Re:Echos thoughts of others after the demo (2, Funny)

mujadaddy (1238164) | about 5 years ago | (#29611719)

I'd like to read a review by somebody that knows what that they're talking about.

Welcome to Reading. You must be new here.

Re:Echos thoughts of others after the demo (5, Informative)

RabidMoose (746680) | about 5 years ago | (#29611833)

Ars Technica [arstechnica.com] did a pretty good writeup on it.

Re:Echos thoughts of others after the demo (0, Flamebait)

DerekLyons (302214) | about 5 years ago | (#29612127)

It seems that a lot of the early reviews are complaining that when they use like a real-time forum, it gets too busy. When a reviewer claims that he's chatting to 12 people at once and it's too much of a time sink - what is he comparing it to?

The prelaunch hype by Google and Google fanboys.
 
 

I'd like to read a review by somebody that knows what that they're talking about.

Translation: "I don't agree with this review, and thus the reviewer is at fault and ignorant for not agreeing with me. Even though he has seen the software and I... haven't".

Re:Echos thoughts of others after the demo (2, Interesting)

EmotionToilet (1083453) | about 5 years ago | (#29611605)

Maybe our children's brains will function more like this if they grow up with it, and our current way of thinking will become obsolete. That seems to be the way things go. Technologies shape the way we take in and process information, and this is a huge step forward, and this technology will be no different. I think of Google Wave as stream of conscious communication over the internet between groups of people. It seems like the next logical step in mass communication.

Re:Echos thoughts of others after the demo (3, Interesting)

PhantomHarlock (189617) | about 5 years ago | (#29611715)

It could be seen as an intermediate point in that process, yes. Only time will tell if the neurological structure can build itself to accommodate that or not, or if there are some fundamental limitations in the structure that would require a few thousand years of evolutionary development to fix.

I am reminded of Stranger in a Strange Land, who's protagonist was raised by aliens to learn quite a different set of abilities, and to think very differently from humans, with the same brain. Could be possible.

Re:Echos thoughts of others after the demo (1)

MrCrassic (994046) | about 5 years ago | (#29611685)

We aren't? I mean, it's not like the brain isn't simulatiously thinking about what's for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the work due for the week, the work due for NEXT week, the work due LAST week that was done but needed thinking about, an old girlfriend, sex with said girlfriend, and your reaction to reading this, along with your decision to respond to it...

We definitely think in a multi-threaded fashion, which I think is well-aligned with Google's vision in Wave.

Re:Echos thoughts of others after the demo (1)

Luyseyal (3154) | about 5 years ago | (#29611759)

I am remotely diagnosing you with ADD. Get thee to psychiatry!

-l

Re:Echos thoughts of others after the demo (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | about 5 years ago | (#29611867)

Damn, you are even better than a real psychiatrist. They generally have to see a client before blanket diagnosing ADD.

Re:Echos thoughts of others after the demo (2, Insightful)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 5 years ago | (#29612115)

No they don't. They want to see the client in order to hand them the bill.

Re:Echos thoughts of others after the demo (1)

MrCrassic (994046) | about 5 years ago | (#29611935)

I don't know what you're talking about. I d---OH LOOK, A DUCK

Re:Echos thoughts of others after the demo (1)

stephanruby (542433) | about 5 years ago | (#29611709)

There is no reason you can't use it (asynchronously) like email or like a wiki page. The point is that you can go synchronous if you want to, but you certainly don't have to since the same context offers both modes of communication.

Re:Echos thoughts of others after the demo (1)

ajs (35943) | about 5 years ago | (#29611777)

After watching the demo, a lot of people were commenting that the major problem is that it runs counter to how the brain operates...we aren't designed to heavily multitask.

Welcome to old age. We'll set up a rocking chair for you on the porch.

The generation that grows up with heavily multitasking-oriented tools will make us seem rather sad.

Re:Echos thoughts of others after the demo (2, Informative)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | about 5 years ago | (#29611911)

The generation that grows up with heavily multitasking-oriented tools will make us seem rather sad.

Nope. Since multi-taskers do poorly on both tasks [stanford.edu] , those who grow up thinking heavy multitasking is the way to go will wonder why the old farts seem so smart.

Multitasking is great for creating the illusion that things are getting done, sure. But for real results, it seems one thing at a time is still the best way to go.

Re:Echos thoughts of others after the demo (1, Offtopic)

jonnat (1168035) | about 5 years ago | (#29611861)

...we aren't designed to heavily multitask.

On a completely unrelated note, and with full awareness of the offtopic mods landslide about to come, how about if, in these times of intense attacks on the very foundations of scientific thought, we more closely watch our language and opt for using "we haven't evolved to heavily multitask"? It's certainly what we intend to say anyways.

Re:Echos thoughts of others after the demo (1)

nilbog (732352) | about 5 years ago | (#29612049)

So you're proposing we downgrade wave to be more linear? I propose that we'll evolve into it.

Re:Echos thoughts of others after the demo (1)

yargnad (1456405) | about 5 years ago | (#29612107)

Maybe our regular brains will evolve to manage Wave better. I am all for pushing the envelope.

People will like it (4, Funny)

Lord Grey (463613) | about 5 years ago | (#29611351)

Those that simply have to stay connected to others at all times in order to feel validated and important will love Google Wave. Right there in front of you is evidence that people are connected to you! In real time! Better than texting! It's so amazingly interactive! It's like... like... a telephone!

Re:People will like it (2, Insightful)

QuantumRiff (120817) | about 5 years ago | (#29611411)

Is it as cool as having 6000 friends on myspace?

Re:People will like it (3, Funny)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | about 5 years ago | (#29611623)

Not when only 34 of them are actually communicating with you, not on a personal level or even in real time.

HAPPY HUMP DAY LOLZ!!!!!!!
* Obnoxious glittery .gif *

Re:People will like it (4, Funny)

arunkv (116142) | about 5 years ago | (#29612003)

Leonard: We need to widen our circle.
Sheldon: I have a very wide circle. I have 212 friends on myspace.
Leonard: Yes, and you've never met one of them.
Sheldon: That's the beauty of it.

Re:People will like it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29611953)

Because i can listen to loud, offensive music while talking to multiple people at once using a telephone?

I'll take my soulless emotional validation in style, thank you very much!

Re:People will like it (2, Insightful)

abhi_beckert (785219) | about 5 years ago | (#29612191)

Those that simply have to stay connected to others at all times in order to feel validated and important will love Google Wave. Right there in front of you is evidence that people are connected to you! In real time! Better than texting! It's so amazingly interactive! It's like... like... a telephone!

It doesn't need to be a "real time" system at all. Everyone pays attention to the instant message/email side of Wave. People need to pay more attention to using it for things like an issue tracker or a wiki.

An issue tracker starts out as a single idea, then may move into a discussion, and then it gets completed. Wave looks perfect, you stick the description as a new wave, you discuss it, and then once it's complete you drop the whole wave and swap in a one line summary of the problem and the implemented solution.

A wiki article is similar, if we are working on a new system we will first start with a list of objectives, and then discuss how each objective will be implemented, and then once it is implemented we drop the whole thing and insert documentation for how to use the freshly built system.

Wave is a natural fit for a real world conversation or meeting. First someone kicks it off with a description of the topic to be covered, and then everyone talks about it, and from then on you don't care about the conversation, you only want to see the final product. Conversations and meetings are real time *because we have no good tools to do it any other way*. Google wave allows you to have a discussion either in real time, or not in real time. It's up to the user to decide.

Scoble? Calling hype? Wat? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29611391)

Scoble is the last one to ask about how overhyped something is or not. He's King Hype. Why the hell is he still relevant, anyway?

Re:Scoble? Calling hype? Wat? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29611419)

Why the hell is he still relevant, anyway?

Probably for the same reason that people act like that turd John Dvorak is still relevant.

Re:Scoble? Calling hype? Wat? (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | about 5 years ago | (#29611485)

I don't think Scoble is one to overhype a lot of stuff (now that he's not being paid as a "technical evangelist" for Microsoft.

But I still don't lend credence to anything he writes, because he was a paid hack for so long. Who knows if he's still taking cash?

Re:Scoble? Calling hype? Wat? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29611549)

I don't think Scoble is one to overhype a lot of stuff (now that he's not being paid as a "technical evangelist" for Microsoft.

I'm guessing you never actually saw much of his work because he would criticize Microsoft on a number of occasions and at the same time would praise Apple and Google.

But I still don't lend credence to anything he writes, because he was a paid hack for so long. Who knows if he's still taking cash?

He only worked at Microsoft for 3 years and he left over 3 years ago. Why would Microsoft even be paying him after he left since the time he's left his has still criticized Microsoft for things.

Re:Scoble? Calling hype? Wat? (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | about 5 years ago | (#29611591)

He only worked at Microsoft for 3 years and he left over 3 years ago. Why would Microsoft even be paying him after he left since the time he's left his has still criticized Microsoft for things.

He could be taking cash from anyone.

Once a paid hack, always a paid hack, as far as I'm concerned. He's demonstrated that his pen is for hire, and so now he can't be trusted to write from an unbiased perspective (regardless of how much (or little) editorial control was exercised when he was an employee of Microsoft).

Re:Scoble? Calling hype? Wat? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29611817)

He could be taking cash from anyone.

Show concrete evidence he's taking cash from Microsoft. Again, why would Microsoft be paying him money after he's left them? What possible reason could they have? This is just more baseless "M$ $HILL!!!" bullshit from the freetarded Loonix crowd.

Once a paid hack, always a paid hack, as far as I'm concerned. He's demonstrated that his pen is for hire, and so now he can't be trusted to write from an unbiased perspective (regardless of how much (or little) editorial control was exercised when he was an employee of Microsoft).

So basically despite the fact that he would criticize Microsoft on numerous occasions and would, even after being hired by Microsoft, praise it's competitors Apple and Google that for no reason you are just going to disregard anything he says. What a fucktard you are.

Re:Scoble? Calling hype? Wat? (4, Funny)

iamapizza (1312801) | about 5 years ago | (#29611611)

Dude, he just associated 'twitter' with being productive.

Sounds like he needs to set pingable to off (4, Informative)

Zerth (26112) | about 5 years ago | (#29611405)

You can set your status to "not available to chat" and treat it just like email.

Don't look at the blinking and it can't bother you.

Re:Sounds like he needs to set pingable to off (4, Insightful)

SoupGuru (723634) | about 5 years ago | (#29611453)

This reminds me a lot of what people were saying a few years ago when they pondered whether they should get a cellphone.

"But it's always with you! People will call at all times!"

The obvious solution is to turn it off or don't answer it and people will get the idea and communicate on your terms. You have the control of how or when to respond.

Re:Sounds like he needs to set pingable to off (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29611793)

The fear is that once your friends know you carry a cell, they expect you to answer. If you fail to answer, they'll assume you're screening the call and will leave you out of the loop on the next social engagement as a punishment for breaking the social contract (screening your friend's call is a slap in the face).

If they don't know you have a cell phone, they'll treat you the same old way through the old/slow communication channels. I got away with that for a week until they realized I had a phone.

p.s. I almost completely missed out on the "texting" fad amongst my friends. They kept giving me shit about not having a cell phone because they wanted to be able to text me instead of call or email. I refused to get a phone for years, and then within the first month after I bought a disposable cell phone they all dumped their old texting phones and got smartphones. Now they refuse to use text and only want to use email. Well now I can just throw away the cell and continue using email the same old way. Wheee... (one has to wonder if my decision to get a phone is what prompted them to get smartphones -- maybe they felt compelled to maintain the same differential in social status).

Re:Sounds like he needs to set pingable to off (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29611979)

If you fail to answer, they'll assume you're screening the call and will leave you out of the loop on the next social engagement as a punishment for breaking the social contract (screening your friend's call is a slap in the face).

Only to the terminally insecure. All of my friends know that if I don't answer the phone it's because I'm busy, left the damned thing in the car again or driving and don't have my headset with me. They know I'll call them back to find out what they wanted when I'm available.

Re:Sounds like he needs to set pingable to off (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29612153)

How do you do that? I see no way to do that just by editing my profile, and the "settings" screen is currently just an under construction message.

Seems geared towards heavy chat users... (1)

Simulant (528590) | about 5 years ago | (#29611407)

... not email users.

I can see the benefit of email like features in a chat client but not the reverse.

Then again, I haven't actually tried it.

Realtime typing? (1)

phorm (591458) | about 5 years ago | (#29611465)

From what I read, it displays data as you're typing it out, rather than after you "post"

I could see a lot of problems around this. Even with IM you have a few seconds to look over something before you hit "submit", whereas you can't really "retract" something once somebody else has read it. Yes, you could backspace and retype, but if they've already read "Bob the boss is a big Jerk" then you're out-of-luck.

Re:Realtime typing? (1)

xirusmom (815129) | about 5 years ago | (#29611495)

If I remember correctly, you can turn that off

Re:Realtime typing? (2, Informative)

RobVB (1566105) | about 5 years ago | (#29611563)

You can indeed. There's a small checkbox next to the send button, or at least that's what I saw in the developer preview.

Re:Realtime typing? (1)

Zerth (26112) | about 5 years ago | (#29611593)

Alas, you can't in the current client.

http://www.google.com/support/wave/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=163057 [google.com]

Re:Realtime typing? (1)

koh (124962) | about 5 years ago | (#29611863)

$ which talk
which: no talk in (/usr/lib/colorgcc/bin:/usr/lib/ccache/bin:/bin:/usr/bin:/usr/local/bin:/opt/bin:/usr/i686-pc-linux-gnu/gcc-bin/4.3.2:/usr/games/bin)

I guess a replacement was needed.

Re:Realtime typing? (2, Funny)

MozeeToby (1163751) | about 5 years ago | (#29611565)

You damn youn^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^HYes, I could see how that would be annoying.

Re:Realtime typing? (1)

Zerth (26112) | about 5 years ago | (#29611581)

If you don't want people to watch you type, use a text editor and C&P when you are ready to post.

I'm sure other clients will add the option for "burst" mode.

Re:Realtime typing? (2, Informative)

sqrt(2) (786011) | about 5 years ago | (#29611691)

They covered that in the video of the Google I/O 2009 presentation [google.com] . It's long though, I can't blame people for not having seen it. There's a small check box right by the input area to disable that feature.

Missing the point (4, Insightful)

PeterBrett (780946) | about 5 years ago | (#29611469)

Robert Scoble calls it overhyped, claiming it's useful for little more than personal IM or small-scale project collaboration. He complains about the noisiness of tracking dozens of people chatting him at once in real-time and calls trying to use it a 'productivity killer' compared to simpler mediums like email and Twitter.

I think he's missing the point. You don't need to use Google Wave in "real time": you can treat it just like e-mail or twitter if you want. Open the wave, ignore anyone else who's editing it, make the changes or reply you want to, and leave it to come back to it later.

You can use Wave for anything from any level of communication synchronicity from e-mail, through IRC, to teleconference, on a completely continuous sliding scale. No other Internet communications medium we've seen before has that kind of flexibility.

I also think that a lot of the negative reactions are because it's a paradigm-shifting technology. People don't like change; they don't like adapting to new and unfamiliar ways of working. When e-mail first started becoming widespread, many people found it impossible to understand and deal with; now it's an intrinsic and familiar part of every working environment.

Re:Missing the point (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29611663)

Exactly.
He is acting as if you NEED to be in there 24/7 so you don't miss things.
Wave is literally a Wiki-IM hybrid.
You can be instant or as relaxed as you want, it is persistent on the server-end.
Just because all this information is there, doesn't mean you need to pay attention to it all at the same time.
Wave won't make superhumans out of us.

After playing around with it a little, the only potential problem i can see is people interacting with gadgets at the same time, causing collides.
I've had it happen when a few of us were using a Google Maps gadget.

This is the truest and best example of Multiplayer Notepad ever. IRC, eat it.

Re:Missing the point (1)

Allicorn (175921) | about 5 years ago | (#29611881)

No other Internet communications medium we've seen before has that kind of flexibility.

I'm, not sure I agree with that. I think you might be overlooking Skype.

You can chat line-by-line in realtime while both (or more) parties are online.

You can send one-off email-length messages and then ignore any response until you feel like dealing with it.

You can message people while they're not themselves online and they'll receive those messages when they next become available.

Include videos, pictures, files right the middle of the text.

Add additional people to an ongoing chat.

Share your desktop. Use collab whiteboarding or notepad apps.

Text becoming unweildy mid-conversation - switch to telephone or video.

All communications with any individual on your contacts can be kept indefinitely; searched; listed in chronological order; picked up and continued.

Personally I don't use any other IM clients but I rather suspect that they may also share many or all of Skype's features.

Wave may be little more than the next variation on the continuously evolving "chat client" theme.

Re:Missing the point (1)

PeterBrett (780946) | about 5 years ago | (#29611947)

No other Internet communications medium we've seen before has that kind of flexibility.

I'm, not sure I agree with that. I think you might be overlooking Skype.

And I think you might be overlooking the fact that, unlike Skype, Wave is an open platform. Google are open-sourcing much of their code, and developing communications protocols in an open forum that will allow others to create and run fully-featured, interoperable Wave implementations.

I'm as excited about that as I am about Wave's user features.

Can't say I'm surprised... (4, Insightful)

GooberToo (74388) | about 5 years ago | (#29611471)

...because trying to actively collaborate with 100 people, even face to face, is noisy and futile. The fact this is his resulting opinion, in my opinion, doesn't validate his view in the least. No one has ever claimed using Wave will make humans suddenly super human; able to do things no other humans could previously do.

Lets be realistic about the types of things people collaborate on and how its currently done today. Try doing that with 100 people or even face to face and its pretty message. And with mediums such as IM or email, its far more likely many will walk away with differing understandings of the effort. Even worse, after the fact, people will be challenged to recall why certain conclusions were reached or decisions were made. None of those are nearly as likely to be problems with waves.

Also, what people are currently testing and using is simply a proof of concept of a series of robots and applications. These, in of themselves, are not Wave proper. In other words, as people gain more experience, the types of activities, applications, and robots which contribute and provide increased value will only grow over time. The applications which people perceived as "Wave" today is absolutely not the "Wave" people will see tomorrow.

So the real summary is, he fails to understand what is being used. Likewise, a lack of imagination is obvious, as is realistic expectation. I'm sorry but I can't seriously consider his review on any level. He only comes off as small minded and unrealistic.

Coming full circle back to expectations, only a handful of people are able to focus on more than single thread of conversation and predominantly they are women. Like any significantly new technology, it takes time to fully absorb and leverage all that the new technology has to offer. In this case, its very likely people will be forced to retrain their brains to better follow multiple, concurrent conversations to fully benefit from the technology. Everyone can do it, but it doesn't come natural to most; especially if you're not female.

Simply put, Google has provided an absolutely awesome, sky is the limit, technology. If multiple killer applications are not in place which leverage Wave within a year or two, I'd declare this a failure of developers and imagination rather than a failure of Google and/or Wave.

In this case, I'd say the reviewer has failed everyone.

Re:Can't say I'm surprised... (2, Informative)

aaaaaaargh! (1150173) | about 5 years ago | (#29611729)

I don't need GoogleWave, I need a secretary that keeps people AWAY from me, so I can get something done.

Re:Can't say I'm surprised... (1)

gregmac (629064) | about 5 years ago | (#29611731)

Simply put, Google has provided an absolutely awesome, sky is the limit, technology. If multiple killer applications are not in place which leverage Wave within a year or two, I'd declare this a failure of developers and imagination rather than a failure of Google and/or Wave.

Okay.. so what am I missing? Admittedly I haven't really spent much time looking into it - the initial PR was way too fluffy and said nothing specific.. and this is apparently too focused on one thing and not really using the full potential of wave.. so what is the full potential?

We use skype (mostly for chat) at work, and although I don't think it's the greatest choice (I would rather use Jabber), everything described in this review is what I do today with skype. You click on someone, can have an IM conversation, and move on.. or you can drag other people in, and instantly have a multi-user skype conversation. I often have several going on at once (not always active).. and when you do, it marks the messages sent while the window wasn't focused differently so it's easy to catch up. You can even click 'call group' and instantly start a group teleconference. Very often, people will add me to a conversation and continue chatting (kind of like cc'ing with emails), and I don't necessarily add anything.

The only difference I see so far is that in skype, the button is labelled "conversations", in Wave, it's called "Inbox".

Heck, I'm pretty sure you can do everything I just described in google talk (which I actually really like as an IM platform), and plus any conversation you have gets saved in your gmail account along with emails.

So what am I missing? What is revolutionary here?

I kind of like having the separation between IM and email - there is a different urgency to both, and a different level of conversation you can have. It's the same sort of thing as

Re:Can't say I'm surprised... (2, Informative)

644bd346996 (1012333) | about 5 years ago | (#29611923)

You haven't watched the hour+ long tech demo, have you? You seem to be completely unaware of it's capabilities for collaboratively building a document, or it's extension systems that mean people will be adding new capabilities all the time. It's a lot more than just an integration of email and IM.

Re:Can't say I'm surprised... (1)

D Ninja (825055) | about 5 years ago | (#29612001)

the initial PR was way too fluffy and said nothing specific

Did you miss this [youtube.com] ?

Re:Can't say I'm surprised... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29612187)

You are viewing wave only as a IM/Email replacement. It's meant to be that, but also more than that.. For example, a collaborative tool. Have you tried to write any document in real time over video conference with just one person typing and 10 speaking? It gets way easier when you a couple people writing, while others do spell checking, grammatical correction, etc. We've used google docs before for this and we're playing around with wave. Wave seems like a better solution, as you can use the playback features to see who added/changed what when you need to ask for clarification later on a given part.

Re:Can't say I'm surprised... (4, Insightful)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | about 5 years ago | (#29611829)

Simply put, Google has provided an absolutely awesome, sky is the limit, technology. If multiple killer applications are not in place which leverage Wave within a year or two, I'd declare this a failure of developers and imagination rather than a failure of Google and/or Wave.

In this case, I'd say the reviewer has failed everyone.

So to summarize your post: the reviewer doesn't make any solid arguments to support his position that Google Wave is not very exciting, and you heartily assert that it's the best thing ever.

Parkinson's Law in action (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29612051)

In the 1950s, Prof. Parkinson observer in one of the chapters of his book stated that Bureaucracy starts at around 20 people - specifically in government Cabinets. When the number of people collaborating exceeds that number, the actual useful members of the group will splinter of and form their own cabinet, leading to the old cabinet to grow dramatically into irrelevance.

Still as true today as it was in 1950...
I swear that that book should be required reading for anyone entering into management - and government specifically.

Useful if in moderation (4, Insightful)

xirusmom (815129) | about 5 years ago | (#29611475)

I think it is going to be very useful for collaboration projects and some specific conversations. Of course, some people will stay staring at the screen the entire day, but that already happens with facebook, twitter, etc. The point is.. you don't HAVE to. I like the way you can track the conversation even if you got there at a later time. My guess there will be a first moment of wow-ness and them it will fall back to be used normally, like everything that is new.

Google let me in!!!! (1)

AnRkey (1330615) | about 5 years ago | (#29611489)

Google let me in, I wanna play like all the rest of the guinea pigs!!!!

Really? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29611501)

I was lead to believe using Google Wave would be like having Jesus bust a nut on your face.

A failure (1)

ShooterNeo (555040) | about 5 years ago | (#29611537)

This failure can be described very simply. From an information theory perspective, an ideal thinking being should complete a task more efficiently if he or she can stay synchronized with collaborators more often. In theory, google wave's technology is superior to email and check in/check out document collaboration tools. Real time chatting would in theory prevent wasted time and mistakes and allow all the collaborators to stay synchronized, analogous to a bank of CPUs running in parallel.

The problem is that the human mind's fundamental structure has not changed significantly in thousands of years, because evolution is a slow process and adding new features takes aeons. So this tech appears to be a failure.

Idiot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29611613)

Go away idiot.

Re:A failure (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about 5 years ago | (#29612183)

Probably the time frame of the "problem" is some orders lower. For a brain that could create new senses on the fly, that probably is more related to education/culture than genes.

In my country most of the school children are already doing a sort of mini-wave with the OLPCs for realtime networked collaboration. Would be interesting to see how they evolve in that environment to see if there is hope for us.

It's acutally quite neat. (2, Informative)

MrCrassic (994046) | about 5 years ago | (#29611543)

I played with Google Wave for a (very) short time, and it definitely has some strong potential to be a key social networking tool in the future. It's kind of like Facebook mixed with IRC, IM and email...which, in other words, makes it a JUGGERNAUT of a platform to have.

I think it was overhyped, but so was the iPhone before its launch...

You're Doing it Wrong (5, Insightful)

MBoffin (259181) | about 5 years ago | (#29611551)

Keep in mind that these complaints are from the same guy who followed tens of thousands of people on Twitter and complained when Facebook wasn't allowing him to add more than 5,000 friends on Facebook. If he joined an e-mail mailing list with 35,000 subscribers, he would probably complain that mailing lists as a whole are too noisy and write them off as useless. Now that he's dealing with something that requires more attention to actual individual people, he finds it harder to deal with. Well, duh.

Sure it's noisy on the public waves, but they're public. Everyone is using it all at once... hundreds of people at a time. That's not going to be the main way people use Google Wave. Right now more people are using the public waves because they want to interact with other Wave users, and all their friends aren't on Wave yet.

Re:You're Doing it Wrong (2, Insightful)

Goalie_Ca (584234) | about 5 years ago | (#29611889)

Public waves sounds a lot like 4chan.

Public Waves? Are there porn waves yet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29612055)

Is there an alt.erotica.fap.fap.fap google wave yet? If so, invite please!

The revolutionary potential of Wave! (4, Funny)

David Gerard (12369) | about 5 years ago | (#29611597)

The "tech world" is awash with excitement [today.com] for today's scheduled release of a hundred thousand invitations to preview Wave, Google's innovative new website, communication protocol, interactive environment, multiplayer online role-playing game, bulletin board, wiki, dessert wax and floor topping. Experts, all heavily consulted by the media while Parliament is in recess, say it will revolutionise how we do business, organise parties, manage projects, make friends, waste our employer's time at work, pick up girls we swear we didn't realise were under sixteen and cheat on our homework.

I've been testing the Google Wave Developer Preview. The implications for journalists alone are stunning:

  • Collaborative reporting: Using the Google Wave interface, two reporters can take turns at the keyboard of an Internet terminal and "type" both their names at the top of an article. Then they can both write material for the article below the double byline! Incredible!
  • Record and archive interviews: We can write down the words actually spoken by an interviewee. The words can then be "saved" for use later. Amazing!
  • Timelines: The Google Wave Timeline can be used to show a timeline of events — just type a clock time and then note what happened around that time! Punctual!
  • Discuss what you read: People who read stories can write "comments" on them, by writing them in their Google Wave interface, then "e-mailing" then in to the editors for due consideration and possible publication on the "site"! Interactive!
  • Smarter story updates: Instead of adding "Updated" to the end of an updated story, we can use the Google Wave Cursor and the Google Wave Arrow Keys and edit the story text in the middle! Make those commenters look as silly in their supposed "corrections" as you know they should do!

In conclusion, Google Wave is clearly an absolute boon to the noble institution of the Fourth Estate in its mission to protect the public good, further the dynamism of social discourse and watch the watchmen. And this is why we at News International consider Google a threat and menace to the news media and the institution of journalism that must be reined in by government edict without delay. God bless you all, and please PayPal us 20p for having read this article, you parasitical pixel-stained technopeasant. And now, Tories and tits.

Is that the same Richard Scoble who promotes MS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29611601)

Or is there another Richard Scoble? It's funny how he turns up like magic on stories about MS's rivals introducing a new service, and always seems to have some dismissive opinion on it. Anyone would think there's a connection there. Why not get a quote from someone at Gartner too, informing us that "analysts" believe the public are better served by the fairy dust that MS sell, not this new fangled rubbish from an upstart.

it is not a social time waster (1)

robmv (855035) | about 5 years ago | (#29611735)

Anyone who see Wave as a social time waster like twitter do not understand it. It is about collaboration, It is about writing a document with concurrency tracking, I can read notes online when people is writing it and fix it at the moment, I can be offline and read later what people have added since I left. It is not a web chat room.

It also ignores the productivity gains that we've gotten from RSS feeds, Twitter, and FriendFeed.

This guy is crazy, calling Twitter as something that give you productivity gains, well only if your job is marketting

Underlying infrastructure? (3, Interesting)

dave562 (969951) | about 5 years ago | (#29611803)

There was an article here a day or two ago with one of the lead developers of Wave. He mentioned the subject of "robots" that monitor the conversation stream. I'll admit to failing to RTFA in both cases, but it seems like Wave is intended as a low level foundation to build upon. The analogy that comes to mind is the data bus in the computer. If you try to use a computer by monitoring the 0s and 1s flying between the CPU and the RAM or the disk subsystem you won't get anywhere fast. On the other hand, if you leave that low level hardware interaction to the drivers and use a software application, the computer becomes useful.

It seems to me, and again I didn't RTFA, that Wave will only be useful when people start writing decent robots and applications to sit on top of it. I imagine it working something like SNMP. The application only traps what is relevant for what it is monitoring, even though there are a lot of conversations going on. Likewise, in terms of collaboration or project management, there might be applications that tag certain types of communication and only pay attention to similar types of communication. Status updates would be monitored by the calendaring robot and only displayed by the calendar application. IM like communication streams might be aggregated into an Inbox like feature so that people can "mute" the conversation stream and go back to it later. I'd imagine that there will be a great demand for threading and search capabilities on those sorts of streams.

Right now it seems like people are looking at Wave from the perspective of an individual user. Does one user need to talk to twelve different people at once? Hell no. On the other hand, your average organization has dozens if not more conversation streams taking place between departments and individuals at any given point during the work day. Different departments might not know what each other are up to in a timely enough manner to be relevant. With something like Wave tying together the various information streams (email, calendaring, wiki, etc), connections can be made between individuals that might otherwise be missed.

Then again, I didn't read either article and for all I know Wave might just be a Twitter clone with a worthless API that can't be leveraged for anything other than talking about Britney Spears.

Interesting (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | about 5 years ago | (#29611811)

It's interesting how many of the objections to the review don't address anything technical (which they haven't seen anyway) about Wave (other than to insist that despite what anyone says "it's way cool, it's Google, it's cool by default, four legs good, two legs bad"), but instead concentrate on ad hominem attacks on the author.

Overhyped? Yes. Useful in the long run? yes. (1)

ImNotAtWork (1375933) | about 5 years ago | (#29611945)

It looks like he needs to configure Google Wave to do what he wants. Who isn't overwhelmed at 1st when confronted with a new way of receiving what seems to be an overload of information? Think Security Video Wall dozens of monitors and controls/switches. Most people in the 70s, 80s and early 90s would be overwhelmed. However today people use multiple monitor rigs while watching the news/game and listen to their portable music device.
I see this as macro-managing all your communication avenues blogging/tweet/e-mail/etc.
From the article...

DO TRY THE API if you are a developer. From what Iâ(TM)m seeing thatâ(TM)s where the real value in Google Wave will come, but we havenâ(TM)t seen enough apps yet so end users wonâ(TM)t find much here to play with yet.

I do agree with one thing it will cost productivity but not for any of the reasons he mentioned... it will be PHBs demanding that answer right away with out the proper research since they can see you riding the Wave.

Audio editing (1)

DanTheLewis (742271) | about 5 years ago | (#29611955)

Here's an application whose time will come: real time multi-track audio editing with multiple collaborators. I know it sounds totally crazy, but I think this could be way cool with the right robot maintaining the song and branches for you.

Re:Audio editing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29612117)

Hrm...you'd need somewhere else to store the audio data (I think? I'm not sure how they handle photos, but I'd imagine it's base64 in the wave XML, which may not scale well), and gobs of bandwidth on all sides to make it remotely usable. Otherwise...sure, why not.

Google syndrome (0)

joh (27088) | about 5 years ago | (#29612089)

Google always comes up with good ideas and has the hardware and the sheer number of users to make it into a somewhat useful beta product, but the user interface and the finish almost always is so bad that the software actually sucks. Any tiny company without such a large userbase would go under with such products, nobody would care. Google's just too large too really fail, that's all. I think there's a lesson in that.

Small OSS Projects (4, Interesting)

Idiomatick (976696) | about 5 years ago | (#29612167)

I could see this becoming popular for small OSS projects. These can often have an IRC channel or 5, A website, Possibly a google group, a forum, a bug tracker, a gitorious site, a wiki, email, IM, and i'm sure other things.

If this Google Wave thing gets good robots and cuts the crap in half it will be incredibly useful to small OSS projects. Not only will it be less of a pain but it will make the project more efficient and better in general. I've seen plenty of situations where half of the info sources are out of date.

Some good tools would be importing data in a nice manner from a variety of sites. If it can just import a wiki then we will see people change much faster. Other things would be tools for programmers generally, ability to post code in a nice way, with the dif highlighted. Or perhaps something to make a todo list.

That said it is all in the implementation. If they make it easy to add toys I can see it being used quick. It also needs to be open, private wikis spread since people can make their own. It doesn't matter if it still goes through google so long as users have a way to implement it in their OWN way on their own site, so it has to be customizable. Making an OSS client for this would help, they are replacing types of communication that can be accessed from lots of places. I also think integrating feeds of different types would help, maybe be able to email into the wave or read through email. Access through a phone ap. Basically for it to go well they need to integrate and eat all the forms of communication they are competing with. They'll be hard pressed to make this work unless the are competitive individually with each type of communication.

There are a lot of little things that need to go right and I doubt it will happen first try. But I believe this type of integrated, combined interaction is the future of small group communication. And I haven't tried it myself.
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