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June 16, 2009


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Luis Suarez

(Bill, here I am cross-posting my comments from this link:, as mentioned yesterday in Twitter... Thanks for the heads up!)

Hi Bill! Very interesting and insightful overview of where you think Google Wave may be heading. I surely agree with most of your comments and concerns that Wave would need to address in order to make things working all right and in the right direction. So we will have to wait and see what happens.

Earlier on you asked me in Twitter what I thought about Wave itself and although I am still working my way through putting together a blog post sharing my thoughts about it, I thought I would drop a quick comment over here talking about what I like about it and what I think needs to be improved ...

Let's start with the things I like about Wave:

1. The ability to replay back Wave conversations is a screencasting capability finally coming true! Really enjoy such capability to catch up with already existing flows and finding out straight up front how the conversation evolved. Although perhaps it would be more compelling if I could have the option to add audio as well.

2. Federation: I agree with you that the exciting thing about Wave is what folks would be able to do with it by extending the capabilities beyond everyone's imagination. In a way, pretty much the same kind of extensibility Twitter went through at the beginning with the open APIs. But I think Wave will have to face a much more interesting challenge: how to penetrate the Enterprise 2.0 scene providing something that's not already available elsewhere. So I am looking forward to seeing how developers extend its capability.

Now, on to the things that I think would be more interesting for folks who keep asking me whether Wave is the next kind of social software tool for the Enterprise. My two cents is that it is not. And it will not. Wave is not a social software tool, because to me it misses two key capabilities that social software and social computing provide nowadays:

1. Ability to discover new content and bump into serendipitous knowledge discoveries by nurturing personal business relationships that will keep boosting plenty of collaborative and knowledge sharing activities. With Wave you can only "collaborate", if you would want to say that, with those folks who you already know. So that serendipity is out of the equation. And it becomes much more of an issue with item #2...

2. Wave only focuses on the people you know rather directly; they know your email address, therefore they invite you to be part of the Wave conversation. That's fine. It's a good thing you can do already with email and IM; but what happens tapping into the outside world? That one of the weak ties, of those folks who you do not know enough about just yet, but who can provide and generate plenty of business value by getting exposed to them and their generated content in the social network space.

That's something that Google Wave doesn't provide and as such, to me, it won't be a collaborative and social software tool, because it fails to meet the fundamental needs of how social networks operate, relying on those weak ties.

Like I said, I will be blogging some more about this pretty soon, but for now these are my two (long) cents... Thanks for the wonderful blog post!

bill  Ives

Luis Great points. I too really like playback. You also exposed several current flaws for Wave as an enterise collaboration tool. I think that not only the ability to discover new content is an issue but also the ability to even go back and discover your own content after a period of time will have to be addressed. This is an issue with Twitter for the long term as I mentioend above. This limits its ability to provide the knoweldge management that so many other enterprise 2.0 collaboration platforms offer as a by product of useing them. Point two is also well taken. Twitter is great for this even more than blogs but blogs beat the current version of Wave. As I summed up the success for Wave will come from what people build on top of it. They will need to address the issues you raised.

Luis Suarez

Hi Bill! Great follow up! Thanks for adding further up! I agree with you on the issues of re-finding content over a period of time, specially for power users of these social tools. It'll become a larger issue more and more and why most of these social tools would need to address and fix them. Including Twitter.

Twitter, even worse, perhaps. The fact you can't have a history of tweets from more than 3 months is not something that most knowledge workers would be willing to go through; the reality is that Twitter wipes out that history entirely. So folks would need to apply "local" strategies. In my case, for instance, I mark as favourites all of the tweets I am interesting in keeping up with, those including golden nuggets or interesting URL links and I syndicate that feed, which means I still have got access to all of those from my offline feed reader and can refind and reuse them easily once again.

But, like you said, there needs to be better ways of managing such vast amounts of content generated by knowledge workers over time and somehow GWave will have to prove its worth in this area, too!

Thanks again for the feedback!

bill  Ives

Luis Thanks for the twitter archive tip. I still go back to stuff I put on my blog in 2004. See you next week. Bill

Luis Suarez

Hi Bill! You are most welcome! Yes, I know what you mean, which is why I still have got some issues when they say that tools like Twitter can be flagged as microblogging tools. Well, not really, I cannot go back to my tweets over 2 years ago, when I can do that very well with every single blog post I have put together regardless of the blogging platform. Wish folks would realise about it and use the correct terms ;-)

Look forward to seeing you next week as well! heh

bill  Ives

Luis - Yes, this conference seems ot be a good reunion for many people. I am sure the tweets will be flying. Bill

Luis Suarez

Yes, indeed, I surely hope so, too, Bill! I shall be looking forward to your panel session on how Twitter changes everything. Can't wait for that session & learn plenty more from a great gathering of brilliant panelists! See you there!

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