Making the most of Google Wave

Google Wave is a new web-based collaborative application that allows groups of people to work on the same document, known as “waves”. It’s free, it’s simple to use and can really open up your business communications in ways you hadn’t imagined.

Google Wave, the collaborative, web-enabled word processor

Back in November last year, I wrote an article for Marketing Donut about Google Wave, outlining various ways to improve business communication:

“We’ve all played email tennis, either with friends, family or business colleagues. That’s fine, if you have the time. If you’re working on a proposal document and you’re using Word, you can bounce revisions around forever and a day. That’s also fine, if you’ve got the time. Problem is, time is a premium asset these days and if you want to get the most out of your time, you need to save as much of it as possible. And what time you do use, you do so as efficiently as possible — that’s where Google’s new collaborative communication tool comes in.”

But I thought I’d offer another perspective; outlining how I Octane uses Google Wave to collaborate with Emily Cagle, my communications partner.

I saw the potential in Wave very early on and could see that it would be ideal for Emily (who handles my PR) and myself to use, and here’s how we use it:

  1. I write articles for my blog as well as business publications; I “ping” Emily when I’m into the first draft stage;
  2. then she goes through the wave and makes sure the theme and style are aligned with the house style of the publication in question;
  3. I revise, if required (expanding upon / trimming etc);
  4. finally, she checks for typos, grammar etc, sends the article to the publication and then we go live.

3 example scenarios for using Google Wave

In addition to using Wave for writing articles, you could use it use it for:

  • team brainstorming sessions, sharing visuals, photos etc;
  • project management, where you could conference call via Skype and divvy up task to team members;
  • internal communications, for listing key client / customers telephone numbers, email addresses etc, that everyone can update.

There are some things we’d like to see in Wave (such as more list type options, better undo support, for example), but we’re getting a lot of milage out of it already. So any new features would most likely just make things even better for us.

Google Wave is invite-only, and I have several to give away. If you’d like an invite, please leave a comment below, using your preferred email address (added into the email field, which only I will see) and I’ll send you an invite!

5 Responses to “Making the most of Google Wave”

  1. Chris (cyberdoyle)

    I agree, I think Google Wave has massive potential for collaboration. What I have found though is that large waves with many participants (like the Digital Britain wave) became very sluggish. I don’t know why, but as the wave gets bigger it goes slower, and people get fed up with waiting for it to load. It could be a problem with the servers? Or maybe it is a symbol of the contended copper infrastructure in the UK? I feel that until this problem is addressed Wave will not get the support to make it a killer app.

    Although after saying that I and many more are making good use of it! We love it.


    • Wayne Smallman

      Hi Chris, thanks for the comment!

      In a way, I’m not surprised that there are speed issues. After all, Wave is still (technically) a beta product, so it’s still in development. Now, I know most people will think: “How the hell can Google have speed issues?!” It’s most likely that because Wave is still so new that it isn’t fully optimized, so it’s not making the most of Google’s infrastructure.

      That’s an educated guess, but I could be wrong. I don’t see it being a country-wide broadband contention issue — as deliciously ironic as that would be.

  2. I can see how Google Wave would be highly beneficial for collaborative projects, especially in a distributed team. In theory, it could bring everything together nicely in the one app, doing away with the need for conference calls, IM, etc.

    The copywriting/proofreading example you give is a good one. Another example would be Fagan inspections/quality reviews.

    If you still have invites going spare, I wouldn’t mind one. ;-P

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