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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Testing Google Wave - part 2

I was one of the lucky users recently getting a Google Wave account (they just opened up their system to 20,000 users). And I have spent some time playing with the system.

There is a lot of chaos on the sandbox platform, which is still somewhat unstable (it crashed on me 3 or 4 times while I was testing). And since you only get one account you have no real friend to talk to, which means most of the conversations are happening through the discuss bot, with everybody doing everything at the same time.

It is interesting to see how things are slowly getting organized, and people get organized, figuring out how to use the system. As a result content also gets better organized. And in the end, I was surprised to find myself in an environment that feels very much like what I experience with blueKiwi (disclaimer - I work with blueKiwi).

True there are bells and whitles, like the clean up bot (removing blank blips) or the rosy bot (translations), or the twetty bot to publish your blips to Twitter, or the bloggy bot to publish a wave to a blog. But really what you have underlying is a communication platform where the key element is that it is organized around conversations.

First you create a wave, then you invite people to it. Just like in bK when you first create a note (or a poll or an event or other), and then you publish to specific people or to groups. And this is the key to the user experience.

This is different from what you typically see out there with other vendors, or with regular email, where you think first about individual people or a group, and then you send them a message.

This is the difference between an efficient way to communicate and a not-so-efficient way to communicate.

If anything, this first Google Wave experience makes me feel very good that blueKiwi has had the right vision from the beginning, and the Google guys thinking about what a modern communication platform should be agree with the general concept...

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