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An Introduction to Google Wave

A tutorial on using Google Wave.

Damien Jones

on 22 April 2010

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Transcript of An Introduction to Google Wave

Google Wave Extending Google Wave Gadgets Robots Contacts Wave is a new product by Google. It was conceived
as a replacement for email, chat, forums, etc.
Currently it is in the preview stage and there is the
chance of changes to functionality and the interface. The structure of a Wave Wavelet Blip A Wavelet is a special type of Wave, a conversation within a conversation. Access to a Wavelet is controlled the same way as with a Wave. A Blip is a discreet entry within the conversation There are currently two ways to extend Google Wave: Robots and Gadgets. Robots are the most powerful of the two methods, they are fullfledged Java applications that are added to a Wave the same way a contact is i.e. to use a robot you have to add its address to your contact list. Once added, a robot has complete access to the Wave, it can see who the participants are, add Blips, and even create new Waves. In addition it can access services outside of Google Wave to pull in data, monitor events or send email or IM messages. Gadgets are invariably UI elements, they are written in Html and javascript, and have limited access to items within the Wave in which they are hosted (essentially the list of participants). One nice thing about gadgets is that they are capable of maintaining state through infrastructure provided by Google Wave, and consequently participate fully in the playback functionality. In most respects these contacts are the same as other contacts maintained by Google except they are limited to Google Wave users and robots. Why Google Wave? The
Basics Some terminology
Starting a Wave
Replying to a Wave We have four methods of communication within the company:
a quick visit
a phone call Aren't these sufficient? So we gain...? A single cohesive narrative A standardized way of initiating conversations between departments. Transparency An environment that facilitates sharing and exploring ideas within, and between, departments. A way to report issues that can engage the widest audience and tap into available resources right away. The initial impetus was that we needed a tool to support the process changes in the development department. Currently Waves are stored as a single instance, participants see the same thing. Equal access to resources for remote teams Contacts can follow a Wave at their discretion and leisure, the more public a Wave, the more transparent the workings of the company are. Brainstorming When required, of course, privacy is available. But also... A Wave is a conversation, you invite people into your conversation by adding them to it. Wave Working with Waves Starting a new Wave Or you can create a new wave of a particular type by selecting the type of wave to create from the dropdown on the 'new wave' button These types are templates, usually they add a robot, gadget, or some standard text to the wave. You can also create a new Wave by copying a Wavelet or Blip to a new Wave The creator of the Wave can specify access for contacts by clicking on them and selecting 'Full access' or 'Read only' from the dropdown. Additional contacts can be added later, but currently there is no way to remove contacts once they have been added. Replying Basically there are three ways to reply within a Wave Continue the thread Indented reply Private reply your reply will be started at the bottom of the current thread. your reply will be inserted directly below the blip you are replying to, and will be indented to indicate the start of a new thread. Similar to the indented reply, but rather than inserting a simple Blip, a new Wavelet is inserted. Only contacts added to this Wavelet will be able to read it and its Blips. You create a new Wave by clicking on the 'new wave' button. Add participants to a Wave to allow them to see it. The first sentence of a Wave is the title. Add Gadgets from the Wave toolbar while editing a Wave, and/or a Robot from your contacts. Attachments Much like attachments in anything these days. Folders Search Tags Organizing Folders are one way to organize the Waves you are a member of. You can create your own hierarchy of folders and move waves to them as you see fit, it will not affect how other participants have organized the same wave. Context Google provides a set of special terms for searching within Wave. I've added a link to a list of them in Wave. You can build a library of searches by saving them. When saving a search you will be prompted for a title for the search and the search query. Selecting a search from your list of saved searches will run the query and display the results. Tags can be added to Waves and searched on. Because of the threaded nature of Waves, they allow for questions, follow ups, and exursions into tangential topics at a finer granularity than email. As the Wave grows, it becomes increasingly difficult for a new participant to follow the path the conversation took, which means some context is lost. To remedy this Google added a playback feature, which since the entire history of a Wave is preserved, allows a participant to replay the conversation from beginning to end and watch the various threads unfold. Caveat! At any point during the playback you can press the Restore button. Doing this will save the Wave as it is at the present moment but it will not delete the remaining history, the restore is simply tracked in the history as another event. There is simply no way to delete anything embarrasing. Notifications Updated Waves are automatically moved to your inbox, and the number of messages in that wave are highlighted. The web page title is updated to reflect the number of unread messages you have. You can specify various degrees of email notification from the inbox dropdown menu. ? If anything we have a surfeit of choice, and each has shortcomings. Visits and phone calls require conscientious documentation after the fact to ensure distribution throughout the company. Chat is usually limited to two or three participants. Email, although the best of the lot, does not support threading of a conversation well. Audience 1..n 1..n 1
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