CIL 2010: Google Wave

Presenters: Rebecca Jones & Bob Keith

Jones was excited to have something that combined chat with cloud applications like Google Docs. Wave is a beginning, but still needs work. Google is not risk-averse, so they put it out and let us bang on it to shape it into something useful.

More people joined Google Wave and abandoned it than those who stuck with it (less than 10% of the room). We needed something that would push us over to incorporating it into our workflows, and we didn’t see that happen.

The presenters created a public wave, which you can find by searching “with:public tag:cil2010”. Ironically, they had to close Wave in order to have enough virtual memory to play the video about Wave.

Imagine that! Google Wave works better in Google Chrome than in other browsers (including Firefox with the Gears extension).

Gadgets add functionality to waves. [note: I’ve also seen waves that get bogged down with too many gadgets, so use them sparingly.] There are also robots that can do tasks, but it seems to be more like text-based games, which have some retro-chic, but no real workflow application.

Wave is good for managing a group to-do list or worklog, planning events, taking and sharing meeting notes, and managing projects. However, all participants need to be Wave users. And, it’s next to impossible to print or otherwise archive a Wave.

The thing to keep in mind with Wave is that it’s not a finished product and probably shouldn’t be out for public consumption yet.

The presentation (available at the CIL website and on the wave) also includes links to a pile of resources for Wave.

how popular are you?

I heard a piece this evening on Future Tense about a website where you can see how you rank against all AIM users. AIM Fight scores you based on how many buddy lists include your screen name.

The commentators noted that youth are more likely to have high scores compared to adults since youth use AIM and other instant message systems to communicate with each other. I wish more of my friends and colleagues were online and using AIM/MSN/Yahoo instant messengers. Sometimes instant message is the best way to contact someone with a quick question or comment.

My score is 647 – what’s yours?

IM reference

My response to The Shifted Librarian‘s question, “Does your library understand the growing significance of instant messaging and real-time chat? Are you prepared to provide services to these kids?”

The Shifted Librarian asks, “Does your library understand the growing significance of instant messaging and real-time chat? Are you prepared to provide services to these kids?”

My library has had to crack down on what is or is not on our public PCs, so our users are not able to download crap and fill up the machines. Instant messaging programs were not included on the desktop computers, but the laptop computers we allow users to check out do have several flavors installed (that’s mainly because ITDS owns and maintains those machines, as opposed to our in-house desktops). I regularly see students sitting in comfy chairs with the laptops, IMing to their hearts content.

We’ve toyed with the idea of doing live digital reference with IM, but since so few people have made use of our email Ask-A-Librarian service, we aren’t sure that it would be worthwhile. Maybe in the future.