What can Google Wave do for you?

Now that I have received my Google Wave invitation, I’m finally exploring all of its possibilities — and so far I’m excited.

After playing around with my account and exploring on the Web, it looks like a great tool to use when communicating¬† and collaborating with others — whether that means planning an event, working on a project or sharing notes. Each message, or Wave, is considered part conversation and part document, which allows users to chat in real time, drag and drop documents, “playback” a message to see what was said when and more. (See more features below!) The creators designed Wave after asking themselves “What would e-mail look like if it was created today (instead of 40 years ago)?”

Unfortunately, because of everything Wave offers, there does seem to be a learning curve. However, I’m excited to see how Wave can increase productivity.

If you’re interested in all that Wave offers, check out the 80-minute developer presentation from May. Yes, it is a bit long, but they really do explain how everything works quite well:

If you’re looking for a shorter video to give you the gist, try this:

Want to know more? Here are some highlights:

  • Wave combines “plain vanilla e-mails” with instant messaging. This means that you can see what your friends are typing in real time, which cuts out all of the time you waste waiting to hear back.
  • Wave automatically corrects spelling errors by taking into account a word’s context. Another option automatically translates your message (as you type!) into your choice of 40 languages.
  • There’s a playback option, which allows a user to see when conversations, comments and edits were made.
  • You can drag and drop files (images, etc.) into a Wave.
  • Multiple users can edit a Wave at once; edits will appear to all users in real time.
  • You can insert gadgets into a Wave, including a “Yes, No, Maybe” gadget, a map gadget and more.
  • Third-party developers are creating “robots,” or applications that increase what you can do in a Wave (translators, URL shorteners, etc.)
  • Thanks to the Google Wave API, there’s the option to embed Waves on Web pages and blogs. Any changes you make to the Wave will be automatically updated on the Web, and any comments made on the Web will show up on the original Wave.

Have you received a Google Wave invite? If so, what do you think?

For more reading, check out:

Google Wave: A complete guide

How to: Get started with Google Wave

Google Wave: 5 ways it could change the Web

Amanda Maurer is a digital news editor at the Chicago Tribune, who specializes in social media. She blogs at acmaurer.com; you can also follow her on Twitter at @acmaurer.

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  • If you have a Google Wave Invitation you could send me I would appreciate it very much – zerokarma@gmail.com

    • Hi Andrew – I’m sorry to say I don’t have any Wave invites to give out. If I hear of someone who has a few, I’ll let you know!

  • Sid

    Hi. Could I have an invite? sid.zidane@gmail.com

    • Hi Sid – Thanks for commenting, unfortunately I didn’t receive any invites to give out. If I hear of someone who has an extra one, I’ll send it your way!

  • I am currently using Googlewave with all of my English classes. I have found it to be a wonderful visual component to the class. It is an all in one package. Social media,discursive environment, adaptable and most importantly a tool that students are open to using. Students use wave to publish,comment, collaborate and even have fun! We’ve analyzed texts as a class-with other teachers from other schools able to participate or lurk. We’ve also published poems to the wave which can then be commented on or shared with others. Nifty.


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