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 email@example.com 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” https://wave.google.com/wave/#restored:search:tag%253A%2523eventprofs 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?
Today on #smchat one of the chatters, who always has great ideas (@hacool), chimed in that she had been on a Wave that included a chat gadget. For those who are not as experienced with Wave, a gadget is just a mini app that runs inside the wave. It is similar to the way you can watch a video which is embedded within a blog.
It got me thinking (as tools like Wave have a way of doing to people)….why couldn’t I embed a Tweetchat right into a Wave? Brooks Bennett, the founder of tweetchat, was good enough to upgrade recently so that it is 100% embeddable. eg. KMers.org
I tried it and it worked!! Theoretically, what this will give you is the ability to get the best of both apps:
- Linear ie. just one spot to watch (the top of the chat), yet multi-threaded within that linear stream
- Each tweet goes out to all that person’s followers acting as an announcement mechanism for the chat
- Many different applications can be used to join the chat.
- Better threading
- Ability to group edit
- Ability to go back and edit what was previously written
It seems to me that some combination of the two could be a dynamite package. Who wants to do a trial run with me?
The fact that Twitter, Twitter Lists and Google Wave exist warms my heart. They are tools that generate their own innovation buzz eco-system and drive what this blog is all about: Future Business. Foundational tools like these, along with open source projects, are the essence of the web2.0 innovation renaissance. Think about how fast tools and processes can iterate today to match widescale and niche user needs compared to where we were 10 years ago.
At the moment it is the wild west for these innovation eco-systems. Everyone thinks they have a good idea and they are running full-speed either with a little bit of money or completely bootstrapped. Over time, we will start to settle on some valuable use cases and the real money will head in that direction.
As an innovator interested in new ways that business can operate, both tools’ potential fascinates me. While Twitter lists is pretty much what I expected it would be, Wave did not live up to my initial expectations. I’ll give both a fair shake over a period of time because, like Twitter itself, there is likely a path of use evolution. The truly valuable use cases might not show themselves until 3rd party apps have been written that run on top.
For Twitter Lists I am starting to see
- Lists that you are in can be a crowd-sourced social descriptor of what you tweet about
- Curating a popular list gives you credibility as a networker in the space that list covers
For Wave I think we are going to need tools and agreed conventions which
- Help us collectively “garden” (manage) waves. Waves have structure and are objects intended to grow over time. Because they become more complex over time, they need constant management in order that they are accessible to newcomers and previous visitors/contributors alike.
- Help us find portions of waves that are relevant to our needs and re-use those elements in our own content spaces: other waves, blogs, etc…
Long live the companies that are thinking about how to start the next innovation eco-system.