It really just might be the wave of the future. It is a real time communication tool. Right now it is preview mode – maybe what used to be called beta. You actually have to get an invitation from Google in order to have access to the preview.
Oh, don’t be all jealous, I didn’t get an invitation, I don’t actually have access. I can’t give you first hand screen shots or pictures (which you KNOW I love to do). All I can tell you is that I watched two of their videos and I saw it in action. (SOMEONE I know has it.) I didn’t get to play with it, and that is how I really learn, so bear with me when I try to give you a glimpse of the future wave that is about to wash over us . . . .
This is beyond e-mail and beyond chat. It is beyond whatever type of work sharing program that I have ever seen. It is cool . . . .I think . . . I still need to get my hands on it to see for myself, but the IDEA sounds cool. Well, more accurately, it seems very cool for work situations. I can see how this would have really been awesome when I had a corporate job, but I want to see how it works in the non-corporate-every-day-world.
What is it? Well, from what I understand, it is cloud computing*. The information is stored on a server that people (your contacts) have access to. So instead of e-mail that is downloaded to your computer and instead of web based e-mail which has to be sent and retrieved, it is a bit like chat. Real time. Except with this you can put videos, documents, maps, photos, and text in the “wave”. While you are typing your contact can see it. And, unlike, chat it is recorded, like a . . . .I am not sure what to call it because it can contain documents, videos, text, photos, and maps, so it is recorded like a record of the “meeting” that you had.
Because it is more than a conversation, because like I said (it warrants repeating) it can contain documents, videos, text, photos, and map it can’t really just be called a conversation or an e-mail.
So for example let’s say, you open a wave with a contact and you can start chatting. If you need to you can add a document or whatever. Then you realize that you should have included another contact so you add that person. Well, that person missed half the “conversation”, but . . . . (whoa!) he can go back and re-play it. And it will appear on his computer as it happened. He will see the first portion of the wave, all the way through to the last. If he misses something or wants to jump ahead, there is a scrub bar.
So it can be real time communication and collaboration or people can play it when they need to catch up. It is like an e-mail but organized so it actually makes sense. And to properly use it people could add their two cents into it right where they needed to, or add a document or a video or a photo right in the middle where it might actually make sense, and then there wouldn’t be that annoying forgetting to “reply to all” that we all have either done ourselves or been the non/recipient of.
Whew. It does so much and it is difficult to explain. When it was first explained to me, I was not having any of it. Then when I saw it in action I changed my mind. But I still want to try it as a “layman”, I am not corporate so I am not convinced it has its uses for those of use that don’t have jobs and “teams” to collaborate with.
I am way over my self-imposed word limit and I didn’t even get to tell you some of what I learned. Sigh . . . another blog perhaps.
*Cloud computing is the provision of dynamically scalable and often virtualised resources as a service over the Internet on a utility basis.