Waving bei der LeWeb

leweb logoKleine Sünden werden direkt bestraft – nachdem ich gestern nicht nur ein Google-T-Shirt bekommen, sondern auch kritische Fragen beim Google Wave Workshop gestellt habe fehlt die Hälfte meiner Eingaben in die Dokumentationswave von Tag 1 der LeWeb

Klar, wir sind noch in der Alpha-Phase aber das kann es doch wirklich nicht sein. OK, vielleicht schafft es der Wave-Server ja doch noch die Änderungen wieder hervorzuzaubern – wenn nein sind das wohl die Nachteile wenn man sich “on the cutting edge” bewegt.

What Works: The Web Way vs. The Wave Way

Anil Dash writes about his doubts on Google Wave – will the complexity deter developers, will it invite them to add fancy bells and whistles or will it inspire them to add “incremental enhancements” to their sites?

I think that everything worthwhile doing in this (Enterprise 2.0) collaboration space is going to have both an immense level of “complicatedness” inane and also needs to invite people to add and tweak stuff (yes, this can be done because Wave is complex not complicated alone, if it were complicated like **** nobody would care to experiment with Wave).

So I am pondering understanding Google Wave as a CAS – complex adaptive system? Right, I think it is, like the Internets it’s a platform built upon a range of easy protocols that allows for the emergence of unforeseen new patterns (bells, whistles, “incremental enhancements”, …).

Sounds great to me and as an Enterprise Collaboration Consultant I really do hope that Google Wave will succeed – in all it’s platformy-ness and complexity – with both developers and business (process) people.

But then another task needs to be dealt with – protecting users from the complexities of the platform and helping them find ways of use, here usability of apps and sites built upon Wave must be better than what we’ve seen so far … this messy UX above reminds me of some platforms best forgotten.

Posted via web from frogpond’s posterous

Why is Google Wave a tsunami?

wavelogoWhy is Google Wave important? Well, the toys of today are the tools of tomorrow, a compelling keynote for a developer conference is cool and all, but there’s more on the upside:

  • Google Wave is poised to reshape (rewires I say) the nature of communication (yes, more face-to-face real-timelineness communication), improving the web experience. We probably need to experience and use it a while to understand its potentials completely …

A wave is equal parts conversation and document. People can communicate and work together with richly formatted text, photos, videos, maps, and more.
A wave is shared. Any participant can reply anywhere in the message, edit the content and add participants at any point in the process. Then playback lets anyone rewind the wave to see who said what and when.
A wave is live. With live transmission as you type, participants on a wave can have faster conversations, see edits and interact with extensions in real-time.

And as we’re moving onto more real-timeness and collaboration already (think Friendfeed lifestreams, real social bookmarking and annotation, social news and more), this is much more than another Google service:

  • Yes, it’s a promising product, framework and protocol.
  • Yes, it’s got an API which is devised to allow “developers to embed waves in other web services and to build extensions that work inside waves”.  With HMTL 5 and a supportive browser we get an app that is part wiki, part chat, part forum, part collaborative office and document (nah, content) sharing tool and part email. We get multi-user real time editing – be it in uploaded photos, videos or other stuff (alas, you can’t edit the photo or the video but you can collaboratively tag the uploaded files). It’s possible to play-back the history of the document to see how it evolved (think wiki page history on a ton of steroids).
  • Yes, the platform will be open-sourced, it will be able to run on any server, so it won’t belong to Google. It’s a standard thing so whoever is hosting waves can build no walled garden (you listen Facebook, do you?) but must ensure interoperability (yes, like with plain old mail). One step closer to living in the cloud of distributed apps and data. And it’s playing along the lines of integration and adaptivity … so I can’t wait to put this on my own servers

At last, one more thing, something that explains why Google is such a remarkable company – it’s the story behind Wave. Starting from the question “Could a single communications model span all or most of the systems in use on the web today, in one smooth continuum? How simple could we make it?” they have achieved a lot. And Google’s introductory blog post has the innovation story, ie. why it must have been Google to say yes to this idea and on the early days of Wave (more on Google innovation culture, ie. a company whose unique culture shows through in small ways):

When Lars Rasmussen first floated the idea, Google co-founder Sergey Brin wasn’t impressed. “He came to me and he said ‘This may sound kinda crazy, but we’re going to reinvent communication and we just need a bunch of engineers to go of to Australia for a while and we’ll get back to you after a couple of years,'” Brin remembers. “It was not a very compelling proposal.”

More wave information at the usual places, like Techcrunch, Tim O’Reilly (Open Source, Open Protocol, and Federated Wave Clouds), Forrester, Mashable

And yes, you can sign up for Google Wave updates

Google Wave tsunami

Hmmm, preview of the real next Google, leaving email as we know it in the dust of time. Rather long presentation of Google Wave. This is ambitious, and technically impressive. And to explain what it may turn out to be – when my friend Daniel Hartmann alerted me to Google Wave and the other outcoming of Google-I/O-Conference, we were discussing the implications in a longish Skype Chat – in the future we’ll dig into a wave, collaborating with others, adding links and snippets to the conversation, overall collaborating seamlessly with an hybrid that integrates E-Mail, Chat, Instant Messaging, File-Sharing, Task- and Project-Management and whoknowswhat (collaborative editing functionality will be everywhere of course, “wiki as a verb” wins big time).

Zusammenfassungen …

… meiner Recherchen und Analysen u.a. zu Themen wie Cloud Computing, SaaS, Enterprise Microsharing, ECM, MOSS 2007 und Sharepoint sind normale (und tägliche) (Beratungs-)Arbeit. Nicht alles wird hier (oder als Bookmark bei delicious) öffentlich geteilt. Anderes durchaus, ein paar Notizen und Anmerkungen zu Fundstücken der letzten Zeit

Mit dem Google Search Wiki (gefunden via TQU und netzwertig) können angemeldete Benutzer die Reihenfolge ihrer Suchergebnisse für eine bestimmte Suchanfrage verschieben, löschen, hinzufügen und Ergebnisseiten mit Notizen versehen können (ähnlich wie es Wikia und Mahalo mit Social Search anstreben). Interessant – kollaborative Entdeckung und Empfehlung (digg-like) als erweiterte Suche? Ja, analog wird auch für RSS mehr Personalisierung gefordert:

As Web content becomes more granular, compositional, and personalizable (not to mention more perishable), subscribability becomes a design consideration. Users want to be able to opt into dynamic content. […] it’s no longer enough just to let users save queries; they now need to be able to subscribe to their queries (or the content generated by them).

Via Stewart Mader habe ich den neuesten Forrester Report zu Enterprise 2.0 (Enterprise Web 2.0) gefunden. Die vollständige Analyse ist umfangreich und kostenpflichtig (ja, wie oben gesagt) – aber einen wichtigen Punkt fasst Stewart schon ganz gut zusammen: “wikis are transforming collaboration“:

[…] One of the more promising of the Web 2.0 technologies for the enterprise, wikis show good evidence of helping transform collaboration in the enterprise. Users report success with many wiki endeavors when they’re sponsored by business leaders and connected to business processes.

Und um wieder mit Forrester zu argumentieren: Verteilte Teams profitieren besonders von (Real-Time) Collaboration Tools – auch wenn sicher nicht alle Kommunikation in real-time geschehen muss. Aber die Unterstützung reichhaltiger, kontextgerechter Interaktionen (Ted Schadler spricht von pervasiveness, aus meiner Sicht bestehen zudem weitere Anknüpfungspunkte wie “reach” und “ambient intimacy”) ergänzt die Zusammenarbeit in Wikis ideal. Es ist also schlüssig dass Micro-Sharing und -Blogging, sowie “federated, cloud-based collaboration platforms” wie Forrester schreibt an Interesse gewinnen.

Google Sites – wiki without the wiki?

Google Sites ist da, ein “group collaboration service” der sich in die Google Apps Palette einreiht.

Im Mittelpunkt stehen Seiten, die von den Nutzern verändert und erweitert werden können. Die Sites sind dabei wiki-ähnlich und erinnern in vielem an den ehemaligen JotSpot Look-and-feel, verzichten aber u.a. auf Wiki-Markup.

Ob dieser Verzicht auf Wiki-Funktionalität eine breite Akzeptanz fördern kann ist aus meiner Sicht durchaus fraglich. Die manchmal (ob zu Recht oder zu Unrecht) konstatierte Wikiphobie hängt ja letztlich weniger am Naming – die Transparenz und Nachvollziehbarkeit von Änderungen ist meist der eigentliche Grund des Widerstands gegen Wikis, der wiederum häufig intransparent bleibt …

Weitere Informationen zu Google Sites u.a. bei Web Worker Daily, Techcrunch, Business Week, Dan Farber, Dennis Howlett, Shel Holtz und Zoli Erdos, der auch untersucht ob das ganze noch ausreichend “Wikiähnlichkeit” aufweist und zusammenfasst:

Google now has a pretty good and easy web-page creator with some wiki features made user-friendly, and a half-hearted attempt at integrating the rest of the Apps empire using Sites.