Public Waves

A few posts ago I talked about “Wave Chats“.  Today I experienced my first wave used as a substitute for a real time Twitter chat.

It came about because the Twitter Search API was being finicky.  This happens way too often and when it does, it takes out all the Twitter applications that rely on it: TweetDeck, TweetGrid, TweetChat, etc….  The only thing that will work in that situation is Twitter’s own search page.  For some reason, they don’t use their own Search API for their searches.   Hmmmm, I wonder why.  Maybe because it is not stable.  🙂

Back to our story…… I was on a chat earlier in the day that was also having trouble so I thought about Wave as a backup plan.  In order to make that work, I needed:

Step 1: a wave that anyone could get to.  The way you accomplish that is by inviting to your Wave.  I created it as a contact in my Google Contacts and then invited to the Wave.

Step 2: A way to tell people how to find my wave.  If you tag your wave with something relatively unique, you can have people search for “tag:<your tag>” or you can give them a URL. This one is for “tag:#eventprofs” Note: tagging can be done at the bottom of the Wave interface.

Once we were in the wave, we very quickly found that some of the Google features are not necessarily strengths for real time chats.  Allowing for threads to pop-up anywhere makes it impossible to follow the multi-threads that naturally occur in a real time Chat without scrolling all over the place to find what you are missing.  So, we created a guideline that we would only comment at the bottom of the wave thereby making it a single one dimensional stream of information (just like Twitter).

It took some getting used to the fact that you could see all the simultaneous typing.  If one was able to avoid distraction, the speed was actually much faster than Twitter Chatting due to no delay between post and appearance and also getting the gist of a post even before it was finished.

At the end of the wave period, several of us felt that it was an interesting experiment and there were definitely some nice elements to Wave chating, but that Twitter Chats’ ability to inherently promote the chat outside of the participants and to cross-post to other community hashtags was superior to Wave.

Anybody else experienced Wave in real time and want to compare it to a Twitter Chat?


2 responses to “Public Waves

  1. Wow, Robert, that was a quick Wave-to-blog-post turnaround!

    Thanks for the explanation – I’ve bookmarked it and will have to try it myself to see if I can make it work!

  2. Hi

    Came here via your 2 – 5 – 1 post – very useful. And then noticed you’ve been playing around with Wave.

    Me too, with mixed success. I don’t know if it’s interesting or not but I experimented with putting a Wave into a blog post. It’s pretty easy and there’s a how-to in the link above.

    I hate it when people don’t comment on posts but just bomb the comments with their own links – so feel free to delete if it’s not interesing or useful.

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