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Waving With Google

Google took a large calculated risk in releasing Google Wave  into the market about a year ago.  The early adopters were invited to use it, and many did, but abandoned it when they discovered when the only features were basic.  Nevertheless, Google continued developing it, and now those users are returning.  Click here to learn the basics of Google Wave.

Bob Keith

Bob Keith, Technologist at the New Jersey State Library has been using Google Wave from its early days.  Wave is a real-time communication platform and permits the addition of applications, file sharing, “gadgets” (similar to Firefox add-ons), robots (automated participants in a wave).

Wave is an excellent tool for project management, event planning, document revision, etc. when real-time communication is necessary between a group of participants in different locations, but it is still in development.  Google is continually enhancing it, and has recently added access permissions and an extensions menu.  A large complaint from users was that Wave is yet another inbox to check; Google has now added an e-mail notification capability to it.  Wave was originally by invitation only, so adoption rates have been low.  It can be slow at times and one cannot remove participants from a Wave.  Nevertheless, Wave has potential for use in libraries, and is worth following.

Don  Hawkins
Columnist, Information Today, and CIL 2010 Blog Coordinator

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