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Crap, the Future

I'm in the web business so I pretend to understand Google Wave, Twitter and the whole web two point Oh! concept. I'm surrounded with people who are barely getting the hang of email and the future of the internet is a little too much to cope for them. It seems understanding "the point" of Twitter is quite a challenge. Hell, even I didn't see the reason to hop onto that train until recently.

So, what's Twitter then?

Twitter is like Facebook's status updates with pretty much nothing else. Hearing that turns a lot of people off it right there and then, but keeping it limited like that (even the character limit) has good uses. Here at RalphvandenBerg.com for example, I sometimes go for a couple of days or even weeks in between a post, because I can't think of anything "post-worthy". With twitter it's a lot easier because you're only doing a one or two-liner. Now you can easily do 5 to 10 posts per day without overwhelming anybody or putting too much time into writing on your part.

What I've just described above is using Twitter as a micro-blogging service. Another use which I'll advocate often is using it as an updating tool for your own website. Twitter is so flexible you can easily import feeds onto web-pages as news updates or specials or whatever you like. Makes your website a little more 2.0!

Two point "oh!"

Web 2.0 is one of the vaguest things in web designer circles. It was and still might be the future of the way you interact with web pages, as opposed to simply witnessing web pages. In my opinion, web 2.0 is best summarized into a little loading GIF that you see around. Try posting a comment on this article- incredibly 2.0 dude!

No actually it's much more than that. Basically it revolves around the web or internet or pages and sites being evolved and created by everybody, not only web designers. I'm going to stop trying to explain it- the more I try, the less convincing I sound.

Then Google's Wave?

This morning I read (in Twitter) that a guy downloaded Google Wave and didn't really think it was that special and switched back to Firefox. He didn't try Google Wave, he tried Google Chrome: Google's web browser. Google's doing a lot of stuff (Chrome, Chrome OS, Wave, Earth, Maps, Android, Search etc.) and if you're getting confused you're normal.

The Wave is in preview mode and currently it's invitation only. There's nothing to download, it's all web based. If I had to sum it up in one sentence, I'd call it a OneNote page that's online that you and your friends can edit live like in chat or something. Google's trying to revolutionize email and changing the concept to a centralized message that's edited by all "recipients" instead of copies of the email being sent to everyone and basically going drastically out of sync. Like email and chat, it's absolutely boring if you're the only one using it- which will stay that way for a long time. Email is comfortable and it works because everyone is using it. If you wanted to get Google Wave to work, everybody would need to make the switch.

It's interesting to see what the future holds, and you'll never know which innovations kick off and which ones are lost in the webs of sites. How do you cope with new technologies? Hate 'em or love 'em? Please comment below.



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Comment by Jeric Goodsman

Posted on 10 December, 2009
Google is taking over the world! Where can I enlist? oh - has anyone else tried using the Konami Code on Facebook? try it sometime - up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, b, a, enter

Comment by Ralph van den Berg

Posted on 10 December, 2009
That's the one with the lens flares, yes? Usually I don't buy into these kind of things, especially when they end in something like "ALT F4" or "CTRL W" but this one actually makes really annoying rings block whatever you're trying to do when you're scrolling or interacting. Some Easter Egg!

Comment by Antonius L. Zubeck

Posted on 11 December, 2009
Here's a video that does a pretty good job of explaining what Google Wave is supposed to be: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDu2A3WzQpo&fmt=22

Comment by rburns

Posted on 11 December, 2009
about conversations and wave. I think thats not where it shines really (though it clearly still works for that). It's real advantage is in collaborative document creation, it does better than something like etherpad (incidentally, bought and killed by google. The etherpad folks were merged into the wave team), or google docs, as it has an arbitrarily extensible document model, by way of robots and gadgets. And the ability to seamlessly integrate communication within the document creation process. So, whereas etherpad offered collaborative editing of plain text, and google docs expands that to rich text, spreadsheets, and slide presentations. The underlying wave architecture can (in theory) support just about anything, and bring to bear the advantages of a common shared collaboration architecture. The wave application that google has developed, on top of that architecture focuses on rich text, images, and embedded web content (ie YouTube, and Google maps) To put it another way, the barrier to email taking off as a communication medium was getting enough people connected with something to say to each other (or something to forward to each other, as the case may be). But wave has a slightly higher barrier I think. The need to get enough people connected that have something to say to each other, but also a common task between one or more of them to work on. a document, project, plan, etc.

Comment by Ralph van den Berg

Posted on 4 June, 2010
Two things: according to the fellas at Google it's pronounced '2 dot Oh' and Google Wave has finally gone public, which means anyone can join... still doesn't mean anyone actually understands it.

Comment by Ralph van den Berg

Posted on 16 August, 2010
There are a couple of groups who are desperately trying to "save the wave" after Google announced that it would wave goodbye to that project. All puns intended...

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