Tumblelog by Soup.io
Newer posts are loading.
You are at the newest post.
Click here to check if anything new just came in.

September 04 2011

Happy Birthday Google: Making Sense of the Web for 13 Years


What were you up to 13 years ago? Maybe you were perfecting the ideal AIM screen name. Or you might have been surfing the “WestHollywood” neighborhood of GeoCities. Chances are, you had been using Yahoo! or AOL as your primary search engines. But Google’s debut on this day in 1998 would change the World Wide Web forever.

On September 4, 1998, Larry Page and Sergey Brin filed for incorporation as Google Inc. — they had received a $100,000 check from an investor made out to Google, Inc., and needed to incorporate that name so they could legally deposit the check.

Prior to the launch, Page and Brin met at Stanford in 1995, and soon decided to launch a search service called BackRub in January 1996. They soon reevaluated the name (and the creepy logo) in favor of Google, a play on the mathematical figure, “googol,” which represents the number 1 followed by 100 zeroes. The name embodied their mission to create an infinite amount of web resources. And that they did.

Since then, Google has become a household name to billions of people worldwide. You’ll overhear senior citizens command their grandchildren to “google” the price of foot cream. You’ll witness toddlers punching the screen of the latest Android phone. And chances are, you’ve navigated the circles of Google+ (if not, let’s get you an invite already).

SEE ALSO: 10 Fun Facts You Didn’t Know About Google

We’d like to guide you on a trip down Google lane, presenting the key products and acquisitions that were born in the first Google garage office, and innovated in the Googleplex. In the comments below, please share how Google has had an impact on your life, and join us in wishing Google a happy birthday!


1996-1997: BackRub




Google was first launched under the BackRub nomer. Soon after, founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin registered the Google.com domain name in September 1997. The two arrived at the name as a play on the mathematical figure, "googol," which represents the number 1 followed by 100 zeroes. The name embodied their mission to create an infinite amount of web resources.


1998: Google's First Homepage




The original Google homepage prototype debuted in November 1998. Earlier that year Google received a $100,000 check made out to as-yet-unestablished Google Inc. from first investor Andy Bechtolsheim.

In September 2008, the two founders set up shop in Susan Wojcicki‘s garage in Menlo Park, CA, deposited their check and hired their first employee, Craig Silverstein.


1999: The Uncle Sam Homepage




Apart from adding Uncle Sam to its homepage, in 1999 Google outgrew its next office and moved to its first Mountain View, California location. The team announced $25 million in equity funding from Sequoia Capital and Kleiner Perkins in its first press release.


2000: Google Becomes Yahoo's Default Search Provider




Apart from its partnership with Yahoo, in 2000 Google announced that its index reached the 1 billion-URL mark, making it the largest search engine in the world. Google also launched AdWord, a self-service ad program that allowed people to purchase keyword advertising that would appear alongside search results.


2001: Google Image Search




Image search launched in July 2001 with an index of 250 million images. That same year Google acquired Deja Usenet and archived its index into categories that ultimately made up Google Groups.


2002: Google Search Appliance




Early in 2002 Google marketed its first hardware, the Google Search Appliance, a device that plugged into a computer and provided advanced search capabilities for internal documents. In May Google announced Labs, a resource for people interested in trying out beta programs emerging from Google's R&D team. Later Google launched its News tool that provided links from 4,000 sources.


2003: AdSense




Google announced the world's largest content-targeted ad program, later dubbed AdSense after Google acquired Applied Semantics. Earlier in the year Google acquired Pyra Labs, the creator of Blogger.


2004: Gmail




Google launched Gmail on April Fool's Day 2004, but the beta version required an invitation to join. In January Orkut launched as Google's foray into social networking. In August, Google's initial public offering contained 19,605,052 shares of Class A common stock at $85 per share.


2005: Google Maps




Google Maps launched in February 2005, to go live on the first iPhone in 2007. Additionally, code.google.com went live to provide resources for developers, and included all of Google's APIs. The company also acquired Urchin, whose content optimization service helped create Google Analytics, launched later that year. In June Google released Google Earth, a satellite-powered mapping service. In October Reader was unveiled to help organize and consolidate content into a single feed.


2006: YouTube




In a $1.65 billion stock transaction, Google acquired YouTube in October 2006. Google also unveiled Trends, a tool that allows a user to evaluate popular searches over a specific timeframe. Earlier that year Google released Gchat, a Gmail-based instant message service derived from Google Talk. Google Checkout emerged later as a way to pay for online purchases.


2007: Android




In November 2007 Google announced its first mobile venture, Android, which the company called "the first open platform for mobile devices."


2008: Google Chrome




In September 2008 Google introduced Chrome, its open source browser. The surprise was spoiled when the comic book that was meant to help debut Chrome leaked a day ahead of schedule. Later that month T-mobile announced the G1, Google's first Android-powered mobile device. That year Google also added Google Suggest capabilities and site search.


2009: Google Wave




To much anticipation, Google announced its venture into real-time communication via the Wave platform. Little more than a year later, however, Wave was no more. That same year Google launched Mac-based photo application Picasa.


2010: Google Apps Marketplace




In 2010 Google launched its Apps Marketplace, an app store that allows third-party developers to sell their creations. That same year Google unveiled Google Buzz, its latest attempt at social sharing that originated in Gmail. The company also released Google TV after teaming up with Intel, Sony and Logitech.


2011: Google+




Google's most talked-about and participatory social platform thus far, Google+ launched in June 2011 with invite-only access. The tech giant also announced its most expensive acquisition to-date when it bought Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion.

More About: Google, media, Tech

For more Business & Marketing coverage:


February 24 2011

Now Anyone Can Sync Google Docs & Microsoft Office


Google just made it easier for people to collaborate with each other using Microsoft Office, by officially launching Google Cloud Connect Thursday.

Although it’s been in beta since last November, the synchronization service is now available to all, using Google’s vast cloud to store and synchronize any Microsoft Word, PowerPoint or Excel document.

If you have Microsoft Office, using Google Cloud Connect is as easy as downloading a plug-in, installing it and then seeing a toolbar at the top of your Office application. After your authorization, Cloud Connect saves a copy of your document online, and lets you share it with anyone you choose via an e-mail address.

Those on the receiving end click on the share link they’ve received via e-mail, and the file opens in Google Docs. At that point, they can download the document and work on it in Microsoft Word. When they make changes, the edits show up on the original document, too.

Documents can be edited in either Google Docs or Microsoft Office, and whoever is collaborating with you does not need to own Microsoft Office to edit those documents and synchronize the files with each other. It would seem that Google is using this free and convenient plug-in as a lure for those who might be tempted to use Google Docs instead of Microsoft Office.

Although the service was synching slowly when we tested it this morning (probably due to all those who wanted to try out the new service), it worked well and kept a Word document up to date on both PCs. Its file synchronization isn’t as immediate as the live typing of the now-defunct Google Wave, but it’s still able to sync documents efficiently.

Here’s a video showing how the system works, and be sure to see the additional demo videos Google released on its blog today:

More About: cloud, Excel, Google Cloud Connect, microsoft office, powerpoint, synchronization, word

For more Tech & Gadgets coverage:


December 19 2010

Google Rolls Out Shared Spaces Using Wave Technology [BREAKING]


Google Labs has quietly debuted Shared Spaces, using Google Wave technology to let users quickly create a space with collaborative gadgets and a chat box inside.

As soon as it’s open to the general public, it will be simple and quick to create a space, grab a gadget from the gallery of 50 that already exist, and then paste the Space’s URL into a chat window, e-mail message, Tweet, or onto any other content-sharing platform.

If users know JavaScript, they can create their own gadgets and then rapidly build a Space around it, inviting all to participate.

Google didn’t say when this semi-closed Shared Spaces beta will be available for everyone, but it’s nice to know that there is yet another form in which Google Wave will still continue to exist.

More About: breaking, gadgets, Google Spaces, javascript, wave

For more Dev & Design coverage:


December 07 2010

Google Wave Is Now an Apache Project


It’s official: Google Wave is now Apache Wave.

A couple weeks ago, Google made a proposal to the Apache Software Foundation to take the reins on Wave. Wave, which only launched to the public in 2009, saw lackluster adoption; Google officially halted development in August and open-sourced the code in September.

In Google’s proposal to Apache, the former company stated its goals were to migrate Wave’s codebase from Google to ASF’s infrastructure, to get Wave back to a state of active development and to bring new committers into the project. The proposal also noted that Wave still had some big-name users, including the U.S. Navy.

Apache has now accepted that proposal, and Google is preparing for a few changes.

Googler Alex North wrote on the company blog, “We’re spinning up the project infrastructure so that the community can continue to grow in the Apache way.”

North also mentioned that several new, non-Google committers are coming to the Wave project; other contributors are welcome to the project, as well.

We look forward to seeing how Wave evolves as an Apache project; becoming an open-source, community-driven project is probably the best thing that could have happened to Wave as a large-scale, ambitious web app — much better than the deadpool.

More About: apache, apache wave, Google, Google Wave, open source

For more Dev & Design coverage:


November 25 2010

The 3 Biggest Stories in Tech and Mobile This Thursday

Social Media News

Welcome to this morning’s edition of “First To Know,” a series in which we keep you in the know on what’s happening in the digital world. We’re keeping our eyes on three particular stories of interest this Thanksgiving.

Apple’s Black Friday Sale Starts in Australia

Apple’s Black Friday sale has begun in Australia, discounting many major items, including iPads, iPod touches and nanos, iMacs, MacBook Pros and dozens of accessories, by roughly 10%. It’s reasonable to expect similar discounts will come to other Apple stores around the world on Friday.

Google Wave Comes Back From the Dead in an Apache Proposal

Google Wave, which was though to be all but extinct after Google ended development on the project, has resurfaced in a new proposal to the Apache Software Foundation so that development can be continued.

Android Market Matures With Mandatory Application Ratings

In response to user demand, Google’s Android Market will soon begin displaying one of four possible content ratings — All, Pre-teen, Teen and Mature — for each application available on the market.

Further News

  • Apple has purchased 98 acres of land in Cupertino from Hewlett-Packard, which is moving out of the city to consolidate its operations in its headquarters in Palo Alto.
  • Virgin Group Chairman Richard Branson is set to unveil a new magazine built specifically as an app for the iPad at a press event on Tuesday in New York City.
  • Following a release of initial source code back in September, the first group of private alpha invitesprivate alpha invites for Facebook alternative Diaspora were released to users on Tuesday. Check out our hands-on review here.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, DNY59

More About: android, Android Market, apple, first to know series, Google Wave

For more Tech coverage:


Google Wave Comes Back From the Dead in an Apache Proposal


Google Wave, which was though to be all but extinct after Google ended development on the project, has been given new life, thanks to Apache.

Once considered the e-mail killer, Google Wave was one of the most-hyped launches of 2009. I’ll be the first to admit that I got swept up by the excitement.

At the time of launch though, I said that Google Wave would either succeed spectacularly or completely bomb. Unfortunately, my latter prediction came true: Google’s realtime communication tool was a failure. Thus, Google shut the project down, open-sourced the code and released Wave as Wave in a Box.

That was supposed to be the end of the story, but now Google Wave has resurfaced in a new proposal to the Apache Software Foundation. Best known for the Apache server, the ASF is host to over 100 open source projects. Several people from Google, Novell, SAP and even the U.S. Navy hope to add “Apache Wave” to that list.

The proposal’s three goals are to migrate Wave’s codebase from Google to the ASF’s infrastructure, to get Wave back to a state where development can be continued and to add new committers to the project. While the proposal notes that there is a risk to adopting Wave as an ASF project (it notes that Wave didn’t gain sufficient traction at Google), it also claims that its use by the U.S. Navy and other adopters makes it a worth project.

Apache Wave is still a proposal though; the ASF still has to accept the project. With a well-developed codebase and some big committers, we expect that this project will see the light of day. If it does, Wave will have been given a second life.


Reviews: Google, Google Wave

More About: apache, Apache Software Foundation, Google, Google Wave, open source

For more Dev & Design coverage:


August 08 2010

Why Google Wave’s Demise is Good News for Facebook

cnnopinion

Google this week abandoned “Wave,” its much-hyped social collaboration tool. Wave was perhaps the prototypical Google product: Technically advanced, incredibly ambitious and near-impossible to use.

Its demise is the canary in the coal mine for Google’s social networking plans: Facebook is destined to build the Web’s next wave, as Google continues to tread water.

That’s the topic of my CNN column this week.


>> Read the full column on CNN.com


Reviews: Facebook, Google

More About: cashmore, cnn, facebook, Google, Google Wave, social, social media, social networking, tech


August 06 2010

Lessons Google Can Learn From Wave’s Failure


Google Wave officially fizzled yesterday, following just over a year of exaggerated hype and underwhelming performance.

From a practical standpoint, ending Wave development makes a lot of sense; why invest work hours and resources into an end product that isn’t being adopted and hasn’t met expectations? However, as we noted yesterday, speed in which Wave (and we promise, this is our last pun) wiped out is worth reflecting upon.

Why did Wave fail and how can Google learn from this experience?

Wave started its life amidst a ton of hype, which, we’ll admit, Mashable played a role in encouraging. Buoyed by a brilliant demonstration at Google I/O in May 2009, the anticipation for end users was already in full effect by early summer.

I recall last June, six or seven weeks before I started work at Mashable, having dinner with some friends who had just attended a local user group meeting that included overview of Google Wave from some of the attendees of Google I/O. The invite-only public beta hadn’t even started, yet it was already worthy of local group discussion.

The hype reached a crescendo when invites were first released on September 30 with everyone and their brother clamoring to get access to the new service. Then we got access, and the problems started.


Lesson 1: Keep Expectations in Check


The first lesson that Google or any web application developer can learn from Google Wave is the importance of managing expectations. Because the hype window started four months before Wave actually launched, the idea of what Wave was easily exceeded the reality.

Phrases like “radically different approach to communication” and “e-mail 2.0″ were bandied around, along with buzz-word laden phrases like “paradigm-shifting game-changer.” But in reality, Wave turned out to be a collaborative real-time editor with an IRC menu attached and an in-browser macro creator.

That isn’t to take away from the technical achievements of getting those components to work in the web browser, but it seems that Wave was really more of a convergence of longstanding ideas rather than some huge realignment of real-time group communication.

Yes, the tech press is partially responsible for over-selling Wave, but ultimately, Google set the tone by playing coy and teasing Wave as the next big thing. “The next Gmail” was a common phrase. That set major expectations, and it was clear as soon as Wave launched in public beta that those expectations were not going to be met.


Lesson 2: Make Your Product Clear


Clearly defining what your product is goes hand-in-hand with managing expectations. From the very beginning, Google seemed unsure of what Wave was and clueless about how to present it to the public.

For instance, it took a third party to create a video explaining Google Wave for many people to actually understand the central points and aims of the service.

Google is usually very good about making its products easy to understand. Gmail, for example, was instantly recognizable as web email. Google Docs was quickly seen as an online tool for creating and sharing documents, AdWords as paid search keywords, etc. However, with Wave, the concept was never drilled down to a simple metaphor. And no, “a wave of information” is not a clear metaphor.


Lesson 3: Launch When Ready


Still, even with unchecked expectations and an unclear overall product, initial interest and demand for Wave was extremely high at the beginning. The invite-only frenzy was reminiscent of the early Gmail era (the first few rounds of invites in the spring and summer of 2004) and people were really eager to see what the fuss was about.

The problem was, invites were very, very slow to roll out. In fact, the service only lost the invite-only method two months ago. To add insult to injury, the group that could have most benefited from Wave, Google Apps users, never got access.

Staggered invite releases can make sense for certain product launches. It made sense for Gmail, considering the amount of storage each user was getting (relative to the other webmail services at the time) and consideration for scaling and spam issues. The same can be said for Google Voice. However, for a tool like Wave, which is by definition a collaborative tool, it really needed to be launched to a large audience.

It may not have been feasible for Google to push Wave out to the entire world on the first shot, but there is absolutely no good reason it took nine months to go from initial invites to open access. Not when you add four months of hype in front of the initial launch. Had Google waited to make sure it had the resources to scale and support Wave or to bring it to Google Apps users before launching the product, the company might have better capitalized on the early hype.

Web applications are moving so fast it’s just not reasonable to expect people to still care about your product after the initial frenzy of publicity and attention. The only time this kind of strategy can succeed is if the end product is totally worth waiting for. Hulu, for instance, got away with launching softly in late October of 2007 and then going live to everyone in February 2008. Why? Because in the end, having free online access to new and old television shows from the major networks was worth it.


Lesson 4: Have Real Value


Above and beyond the issues with strategy and marketing, our biggest problem with Google Wave was that it just didn’t offer any real value.

First, it required creating a separate account that wasn’t linked to your other Google or Google Apps accounts, which made adding in contacts and sharing Google Docs files more difficult that necessary.

Then was the problem with noise and managing groups and access control lists. Then there was the initial kludginess of the collaborative real-time editing set-up.

Simply put, Wave just wasn’t a very good product in its final form. Even after the API and plugins were released, the features were never really structured in a way that made it overly useful.

In fact, we would argue that the best thing to come from Google Wave was the acquisition of the EtherPad team. EtherPad is an example of how to build a useful and value-adding web application. The fact that EtherPad clones sprouted up after Google acquired Appjet is proof of just how useful the app continues to be.

But as for Wave, even after all the hype, it ended up being hard to understand, annoying to use, and ultimately not very functional.


Learn From the Past


Hopefully Google will take a long, hard look at the decisions made in during Wave’s development and deployment. Ultimately, the decision to take the best elements of the service and push them into already existing services makes a lot more sense than trying to create something new.

As Google has also seen with Buzz, finding success isn’t as easy as just slapping a Google logo on a product, especially when the primary audience is regular users (as opposed to early adopters).

However, success is a lot more likely if expectations are managed, product definitions are clear, launches are well timed and the end product is ultimately providing value.

Why do you think Google Wave flopped? Let us know what you think in the comments.


Reviews: EtherPad, Gmail, Google, Google Docs, Google Voice, Google Wave, Hulu, Mashable

More About: analysis, Google, Google Wave, wave

For more Tech coverage:


August 04 2010

May 19 2010

Google Wave Now Open to All

Last year at the Google I/O conference, the search giant created a tsunami of interest when it revealed Google Wave. This year the company is making the invite-only, real-time communication tool available to everyone — including Google Apps users — at wave.google.com.

As you may recall, when invites first started rolling out last September, online users were clamoring to get in to Google Wave. Since then, Google has made a number of important tweaks to the preview stage product, including e-mail notifications, read-only wave access and undo/redo options.

Still, interest in Wave faded pretty fast, and the product remains used by early adopters for experimental purposes.

There’s no doubt that Google Wave has matured as a product, so now that Google Wave is open to all it should be interesting to see if the product can regain its original launch luster.

[img credit: prgibbs]



For more social media coverage, follow Mashable Social Media on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook




Reviews: Facebook, Google, Google Wave, Twitter

Tags: Google, Google Wave


April 21 2010

Mashable’s Google Wave API Contest Winners

After poring over the multitude of submissions we received to the Mashable’s Google Wave API Challenge, we’re proud to announce the results.

The three winners in our people’s choice categories are Texas Holdem Poker for “Most Fun,” Wave Transformer for “Most Useful” and Resourcy for “Best Use of the Embed API.” The overall Judge’s Choice winning developer/development team (who will receive two unlocked Nexus Ones AND free passes to the Google I/O conference) is: Mr-Ray and the Wave.to team!


Mr-Ray for “Winner! Judge’s Choice” by wave.to

Installer URLSample Wave



Full Description from Developer: “Ever been in a scenario when you need to include an e-mail participant? Don’t want to copy stuff out of Wave? Don’t want to take the conversation out of Wave? Use Mr-Ray! He seamlessly integrates e-mail participants into Google Wave!”


Wave Transformer for “Most Useful” by Codeminders

Installer URLSample Wave



Full Description from Developer: “The robot transforms URLs and text into clickable, listenable and viewable objects. The robot could operate in two different modes. It either performs the transformation for whole text when blip is submitted or does it only for selected text when user clicks on the button in editor toolbar. Here you can find list of available transformations.”

Texas Holdem Poker for “Most Fun” by NextGenApp (Aaron Tong, Sung Wu)

Texas Holdem Poker Installer URLTexas Holdem Poker Sample Wave



Full Description from Developer: “Play Texas Holdem Poker in Public Waves! Go to a poker room, challenge other players and see how good you really are in Poker! Game is built with Gadget – Robot communication. (Need two people to play) ”

Resourcy for “Best Use of the Embed API” by Joel Dietz

Installer URLSample Wave



Full Description from Developer: “Resource manager that allows the creation, approval, liking and commenting on blog articles, videos and other resources on the Internet through integration with Salesforce Chatter. Please go here for an overview and here for a technical overview”


The Top Google Wave Extension Submissions (Wave Embed)




For more social media coverage, follow Mashable Social Media on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook




Reviews: Facebook, Google, Google Wave, Twitter, robot, texas holdem poker

Tags: contest, Google, Google Wave, google wave api challenge, google wave extensions


April 13 2010

Mashable’s Google Wave API Contest: Vote Now!

In March, we launched Mashable’s Google Wave API Challenge, a month-long competition to create exciting new Google Wave extensions. Now it’s time to vote on the best ones!

To explore, vote, rate and discuss the submissions, visit the Mashable Google Wave API Contest Submissions Wave – there are 24 approved submissions to choose from.

There are 3 voting categories: Most Fun, Most Useful and Best Use of the Embed API. We’ll then pick a Judge’s Choice as the overall winner. The winning developer/development team will receive 2 unlocked Nexus Ones, see their extension featured on Mashable AND receive free passes to the Google I/O conference.

Public voting is open from April 12th to April 19th, 2010, with the winner being announced on April 21st, 2010.


24 Google Wave Extension Submissions


For those of you not using Google Wave currently, please feel free to explore the submissions and descriptions below:

Pushy

Push notifications (including github and googlecode commits) to Wave.

WaveTube

WaveTube is a YouTube player for Wave that displays the list of viewers in real time.

Archivey

Trim waves automatically to a manageable level.

Live-Note

Save notes as waves via IM, email and lightweight web app.

yourBrainStormer

This gadget allows users to collaboratively brainstorm together.

Ferry

Lets you export waves into Google Docs and from there to many other formats.

AmazonBot

AmazonBot offers Wave participants access to millions of products on Amazon for shopping en masse.

eBayBot

eBayBot provides access to auctions from within Wave for real-time shopping and bidding wars.

Deciwave

Bring music to your waves with Deciwave, the first multi-site music embedding robot, built upon Robot API v2.

Wave Transformer

The robot transforms URLs and text into clickable, listenable and viewable objects.

Mr-Ray

Seamlessly bring e-mail users into Wave.

MovableTodo

Todo can move.

Deadline Gadget

A simple gadget that calculates how much time left or has passed to/since a certain date/time.

Goo-gly

Lets you select a URL in your wave and click the Goo-gly icon to insert a shortened URL into the wave.

docXwave

import/export Microsoft Word and OpenOffice documents.

Let’s Barter

This extension adds a gadget, which will allow people to exchange their Old Items like Books, DVDs etc. We only create a connect between the users, other stuff like exchange, shipping etc is left to them. Also there is no monetary transaction from our gadget, if users do that outside the gadget, it does not involve us.

Scheme Robot

This is a robot that evaluates the Scheme source code.

robot-robot

A robot to create and run wave robots in real time from inside Google Wave.

Maze Editor

Maze Editor collaborate with others.

as-a-robot

Build your wave robot on Google Wave.

PDF Wave Exporter

Exports the first Blip of a Wave to a PDF.

Movie Planner

Select a movie name & click the MoviePlanner icon to get movie info and tickets in your area.

Wave-summarizer

Can summarize the wave having lots of discussions.

Texas Holdem Poker

Texas Holdem Poker Game.

Anzutone Gadget

Simple music sequencer. You can compose a song with other participants.


Reviews: BLIP, Google, Google Docs, Google Wave, YouTube, texas holdem poker

Tags: contest, Google, Google Wave, google wave api challenge, google wave extensions


April 07 2010

Mashable’s Google Wave API Challenge Ends April 9th

In March, we launched Mashable’s Google Wave API Challenge, a month-long competition to create exciting new Google Wave extensions.

Today we’re highlighting the best submissions. Below is an embedded wave (it can be seen here too) with 15+ of our approved submissions. We encourage you to explore, rate and discuss extensions within the Waves directly!

Calling All Developers: you can submit a Wave extension until the deadline on April 9th. Winners receive 2 unlocked Nexus Ones, free passes to the Google I/O conference and get their extensions featured on Mashable (details below!).


Check Out the Latest Google Wave Extension Submissions



Contest Details


There will be 3 voting categories: Most Fun, Most Useful and Best Use of the Embed API. We’ll then pick a Judge’s Choice as the overall winner.

The winning developer/development team will receive 2 unlocked Nexus Ones, see their extension featured on Mashable AND receive free passes to the Google I/O conference.

4 Step Submission Process
Step 1: Developers install the “Mashable submitty extension” from the public read-only wave
Step 2: After installing this, you’ll get a “New Mashable Submission” in your new wave menu
Step 3: Just use our “Mashable Submitty” Google Extension and fill out the form.
Step 4: After approving valid entries, we’ll create a public discussion wave with entries including a voting gadget.

Timeline:
Submissions Open: March 8th, 2010
Submissions Close: April 9th, 2010 11:59 PM EST
Public Voting on Top 20 submissions: April 12th, 2010 – April 19th, 2010
Winner Announced: April 21st, 2010

Rules:
• Developer or Developer Team (Preferred max of 4 names submitted)
• Existing Extensions are eligible only if they use the new API (ports to the new API are fine)
• Full Credit for any work due must be entered in April 9th, 2010
• Over 18 to receive prize
• Final winning submission will be judged exclusively by Mashable and Google Wave team

Tags: contest, Google, Google Wave, google wave api challenge, google wave extensions


April 03 2010

Mashable’s Google Wave API Challenge: 3 New Extensions to Try

In March, we launched Mashable’s Google Wave API Challenge, a month-long competition to create exciting new Google Wave extensions.

So far we’ve received some great submissions, and below we highlight 3 more of our favorites (see also Mashable’s Google Wave API Challenge: 3 of the Best New Extensions).

Remember: you can submit a Wave extension until the deadline on April 9th. Winners receive 2 unlocked Nexus Ones, free passes to the Google I/O conference and get their extensions featured on Mashable (details below!).


Wave Transformer by “Codeminders”

Sample WaveWave Transformer Installer


“The robot transforms URLs and text into clickable, listenable and viewable objects.”

Full Description from Developer: “The robot could operate in two different modes. It either performs the transformation for whole text when blip is submitted or does it only for selected text when user clicks on the button in editor toolbar. Here you can find list of available transformations: http://www.codeminders.com/wavetransformer/

Screenshot:


AmazonBot by “WithWaves”

AmazonBot Installer URLAmazonBot Sample Wave


“AmazonBot offers Wave participants access to millions of products on Amazon for shopping en masse.”

Full Description from Developer: “The AmazonBot can detect product keywords within your Wave conversations and return matching inline product links or a full product(s) browser. Conduct searches from within Wave as participants offer feedback or suggestions. Because Amazon offers different products based on your location / market, AmazonBot supports multiple languages and various Amazon Stores. Search by department, read product descriptions, view reviews or add items to your Amazon cart for checkout. ”

Screenshot:

Video:

AmazonBot by WithWaves from Derek Punsalan on Vimeo.


yourBrainStormer by “Spinning Bullet”

yourBrainStormer Installer URLyourBrainStormer Sample Wave


“This gadget allows users to brainstorm ideas collaboratively.”

Full Description from Developer: “This gadget organizes the data in tree structure format. Complex data can be stored in infinite hierarchical level where each nodes is presented consistently. The Gadget’s UI is intuitive and easy to use. Users will be able to perform multiple actions on each nodes by several simple mouse clicking patterns. Users can choose to print the data using the built in print function. This gadget can also record changes made such as previous editor, etc. Any state changes in the gadget will be accompanied with a simple pleasant animation. Users are able to cast vote in each child nodes and view the result in the tool tips and print page.”

Screenshot:


Contest Details


There will be 3 voting categories: Most Fun, Most Useful and Best Use of the Embed API. We’ll then pick a Judge’s Choice as the overall winner.

The winning developer/development team will receive 2 unlocked Nexus Ones, see their extension featured on Mashable AND receive free passes to the Google I/O conference.

4 Step Submission Process
Step 1: Developers install the “Mashable submitty extension” from the public read-only wave
Step 2: After installing this, you’ll get a “New Mashable Submission” in your new wave menu
Step 3: Just use our “Mashable Submitty” Google Extension and fill out the form.
Step 4: After approving valid entries, we’ll create a public discussion wave with entries including a voting gadget.

Timeline:
Submissions Open: March 8th, 2010
Submissions Close: April 9th, 2010 11:59 PM EST
Public Voting on Top 20 submissions: April 12th, 2010 – April 19th, 2010
Winner Announced: April 21st, 2010

Rules:
• Developer or Developer Team (Preferred max of 4 names submitted)
• Existing Extensions are eligible only if they use the new API (ports to the new API are fine)
• Full Credit for any work due must be entered in April 9th, 2010
• Over 18 to receive prize
• Final winning submission will be judged exclusively by Mashable and Google Wave team

Tags: contest, Google, Google Wave, google wave api challenge, google wave extensions


March 31 2010

Facebook vs. Google: The Billion Dollar Battle to Be Your Default Social Profile

Facebook Google ImageJim Tobin is president of Ignite Social Media, where he works work with clients including Microsoft, Intel, Nature Made, The Body Shop, Disney and more implementing social media marketing strategies. He is also author of the book “Social Media is a Cocktail Party: Why You Already Know the Rules of Social Media Marketing.”

“What’s next in social media?” It’s among the most popular questions out there. But while most folks currently answer with “location-based services” (i.e. Foursquare, Gowalla) or “group purchasing” (i.e. Groupon, Twongo, Living Social), the real battle may be between Facebook and Google.

The fight between these two Internet giants to become your default social profile has been brewing for a long time, and the prize is an enormous potential revenue stream. Let’s take a closer look.


Connect It. Buzz It.

Google Friend Connect ImageMany sites allow you to become a member using Google Friend Connect. While the benefit of doing so wasn’t always clear, it was one of the first efforts to encourage the use of Google profiles across the web. Google Buzz and its thus-far poorly executed Gmail integration, is another. Google Wave, if widely adopted and used at its full capability (which hasn’t happened yet), would be yet another a compelling reason to use your Google profile as a way to engage with most sites.

At the same time, on many sites, including Mashable, you can use Facebook Connect to leave a comment. If you do, it will grab your profile picture and leave a link to your Facebook profile.

All these features are pretty basic so far, but these are just the recon teams prepping for the coming war. Right now, each company is trying various tactics to condition you to use their service as your default social profile.


Social Commerce is Coming

Payvment Image

In April 2009, Forrester released its “Future of the Social Web,” a report that outlines five major eras of social media. The final one, set to begin in 2011, is “social commerce,” in which social networks start to become intermediaries in the buying process.

With programs like Alvenda, where you can buy flowers from within the Facebook Fan Page of 1-800-Flowers, and Payvment, where you can buy from multiple businesses on Facebook using one shopping cart, we’re seeing the early efforts of outsiders to make buying within social networks easy and natural. I believe this will continue. If the process is easy and secure, why wouldn’t users feel comfortable making purchases directly through their social interactions with companies and friends? Because of this trend, I expect Facebook and Google to start generating their own revenue streams from these transactions.


Virtual Goods Worth Billions

Add to this a genuine interest in the purchase of virtual goods (from little Facebook gifts at birthdays to just about everything in the online game Second Life), and you’ve suddenly got a $1 billion market in the U.S. alone.

In China, the market for virtual goods last year was $5 billion, and the larger social networks in China are profitable — something Facebook is reportedly still reaching toward.

Facebook, therefore, now has a genuine interest in having a very secure, very simple e-commerce platform, where you can buy whatever you want with one-click, similar to Amazon’s Kindle Store, and Apple’s App Store.


Make Checkout Portable

Facebook Shopping CartSo Facebook has Facebook Credits. Google has Google Checkout.

While Google Checkout has always been designed to be used on other sites, in Q2 this year Facebook will roll out its Open Graph API, which will “allow any page on the web to have all the features of a Facebook Page.” If “all the features” includes the ability to make purchases (large or tiny) using Facebook credits, we’ve got something there. Plus, Facebook just announced that they might automatically connect you with certain pre-approved sites without you even clicking a button — a strong move if their goal is to become that default social profile.

Google can counter this by integrating Checkout data (your credit card, basically) with your Google Profile, allowing sites that choose Google to also have the potential for one-click buying. And both Google and Facebook are good at making these programs easy to implement, so the friction for site owners to add that functionality is very low.

Certainly Amazon has also had a long interest in people using its cart functionality on sites, but I’m not considering it here because it doesn’t aim to use your social profile as the hook for connecting – it is a more traditional e-commerce play.


Team Facebook? Team Google?

Suddenly, whether Facebook or Google becomes the default social profile around the web has billion-dollar ramifications. Just ask credit card companies how much can be made by taking just a small percentage of all of those transactions. And with billions at stake, it’s likely to be a real battle ahead.

The winners may be all of us, because to compel us to connect using their services, both companies will have to think about providing a lot of genuine utility. When they get creative, we get better web experiences.

Get it right, make it secure, and I’m there.

Which social network do you think will ultimately triumph and why? Share your thoughts in the comments below.



For more social media coverage, follow Mashable Social Media on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook




More social media resources from Mashable:

- How Facebook Can Become a Money Making Machine
- 6 Easy Ways to Score the Best Deals with Social Media
- 5 Big Twitter Trends to Follow Right Now
- 5 Ways Non-Profits Can Increase Engagement With YouTube
- 4 Tips for Reducing Social Media Stress

Tags: business, e-commerce, facebook, Google, google buzz, google checkout, Google Wave, social media


March 22 2010

Mashable’s Google Wave API Challenge: 3 of the Best New Extensions

Earlier this month, we launched Mashable’s Google Wave API Challenge, a month-long competition to create exciting new Google Wave extensions.

We’ve received dozens of great submissions, and below we highlight three of our favorites.

Remember: you can submit a Wave extension until the deadline on April 9th. Winners receive 2 unlocked Nexus Ones, free passes to the Google I/O conference and get their extensions featured on Mashable (details below!).


Deciwave by “I’m Dario”

Sample Wave


“Bring music to your waves with Deciwave, the first multi-site music embedding robot, built upon Robot API v2 ”

Full Description from Developer: “Deciwave allows to embed music players from: Goear, Jamendo (songs and albums), SoundCloud (tracks and sets), The Sixty One, mix.dj, Deezer (playlists and radios), Hosted MP3/OGG files, Vimeo, Youtube (videos and playlists). Using the Robot API v2 it brings a full music experience into Google Wave, using your favorite sites.”

Video Demo:


WaveTube by Eyal Zach

WaveTube Installer URLWaveTube Sample Wave


“WaveTube is a YouTube player for Wave that displays the list of viewers in real time. ”

Full Description from Developer: “The WaveTube gadget for Wave is a YouTube player that displays the list of viewers in real time. For each participant watching the video, there is a progress bar (that is, how far into the video they have watched) that everyone else in the same wave can see. WaveTube also makes it possible to drag someone else’s progress bar or to change their playback status (play or pause). Participants can also add notes, which will pop on top of their progress bar, at the time they were set in respect to the progression of the video.”

Screenshot:


Pushy by Chris Parsons

Pushy Installer URLPushy Sample Wave


“Push notifications (including github and googlecode commits) to Wave”

Full Description from Developer: “Pushy is a robot which accepts any form of HTTP post and adds the content as a new message on the wave. It has special handling for github post-receive hooks and googlecode PostCommitWebHooks: it formats them nicely using a gadget.”

Screenshot:


Contest Details


There will be 3 voting categories: Most Fun, Most Useful and Best Use of the Embed API. We’ll then pick a Judge’s Choice as the overall winner.

The winning developer/development team will receive 2 unlocked Nexus Ones, see their extension featured on Mashable AND receive free passes to the Google I/O conference.

4 Step Submission Process
Step 1: Developers install the “Mashable submitty extension” from the public read-only wave
Step 2: After installing this, you’ll get a “New Mashable Submission” in your new wave menu
Step 3: Just use our “Mashable Submitty” Google Extension and fill out the form.
Step 4: After approving valid entries, we’ll create a public discussion wave with entries including a voting gadget.

Timeline:
Submissions Open: March 8th, 2010
Submissions Close: April 9th, 2010 11:59 PM EST
Public Voting on Top 20 submissions: April 12th, 2010 – April 19th, 2010
Winner Announced: April 21st, 2010

Rules:
• Developer or Developer Team (Preferred max of 4 names submitted)
• Existing Extensions are eligible only if they use the new API (ports to the new API are fine)
• Full Credit for any work due must be entered in April 9th, 2010
• Over 18 to receive prize
• Final winning submission will be judged exclusively by Mashable and Google Wave team

Tags: contest, Google, Google Wave, google wave api challenge, google wave extensions


March 12 2010

Google Wave Keeps Rolling with New Extensions Gallery

Google has just rolled out the first version of the Google Wave extensions gallery, making it easier for users to take advantage of some of the cool add-ons developers are building into the service.

After making a big slash at Google I/O last year, Google Wave (the real-time communication platform that is still in preview) has re-gained some momentum, thanks to an improved API and the addition of e-mail notifications. The addition of an extensions gallery speaks to even more growth on the service’s part.

If you have a Google Wave account, you’ll see an “Extensions” item in your navigation panel. Click on it and you can see what extensions are available to install and then use.

Here’s a rundown of some of the extensions you can install and use now:

Wave Sudoku – Play Sudoku with a friend in real-time using Wave

Developers Extension Installer — Developers can use this to create an embeddable installer for extensions they create

Yellow Highlighter — Adds a yellow highlighter tool to your toolbar

Trippy — Useful for planning trips with friends

Video Chat Experience — Video chat in Wave

Pollo Gadget — Conduct polls and surveys across Wave

AccuWeather — See the weather of people in the Wave or from places you are planning on visiting

Once you install an extension, in most cases it is added to your toolbar and can then be accessed within a wave.

There are more extensions in the gallery and developers can submit their own to be included by going to this submission page for Google to review.

What Google Wave extensions are you using? Let us know!

Disclosure: Mashable has teamed with Google for the Google Wave API Challenge.

Tags: Google Wave, google wave extensions


March 09 2010

Announcing Mashable’s Google Wave API Challenge

Mashable and the Google Wave team are proud to announce the Google Wave API Challenge, a month-long competition to create exciting new Google Wave extensions.

Google Wave’s latest updated clean API and new extension abilities allow for faster development, more opportunities for integrations and lots of exciting potential for many new Google Wave use cases. We invite developers from around the world to showcase their latest extensions.

Over the next several weeks, Mashable and the Google Wave team will be showcasing and discussing the most interesting submissions.

There will be 3 voting categories: Most Fun, Most Useful and Best Use of the Embed API. We’ll then pick a Judge’s Choice as the overall winner.

The winning developer/development team will receive 2 unlocked Nexus Ones, see their extension featured on Mashable AND receive free passes to the Google I/O conference.

4 Step Submission Process
Step 1: Developers install the “Mashable submitty extension” from the public read-only wave
Step 2: After installing this, you’ll get a “New Mashable Submission” in your new wave menu
Step 3: Just use our “Mashable Submitty” Google Extension and fill out the form.
Step 4: After approving valid entries, we’ll create a public discussion wave with entries including a voting gadget.

Timeline:
Submissions Open: March 8th, 2010
Submissions Close: April 9th, 2010 11:59 PM EST
Public Voting on Top 20 submissions: April 12th, 2010 – April 19th, 2010
Winner Announced: April 21st, 2010

Rules:
• Developer or Developer Team (Preferred max of 4 names submitted)
• Existing Extensions are eligible only if they use the new API (ports to the new API are fine)
• Full Credit for any work due must be entered in April 9th, 2010
• Over 18 to receive prize
• Final winning submission will be judged exclusively by Mashable and Google Wave team


Reviews: Google, Google Wave, Mashable

Tags: contest, Google, Google Wave, google wave api challenge


March 08 2010

Google vs. Yahoo: Who Has the Right Social Strategy?

The Social Analyst is a weekly column by Mashable Co-Editor Ben Parr, where he digs into social media trends and how they are affecting companies in the space.

Facebook; Twitter; LinkedIn; YouTube; Wordpress: these companies, built from the ground-up, are mainstays in social media. None of them were created by a large tech company, and all but one remains independent.

It’s an interesting phenomenon, when you think about it. Large tech companies have had limited to no success creating their own social media home runs. In an era where communication is increasingly taking place on these channels, the inability of these digital giants to build social networks is rather striking.

Two titans in particular are making social media headlines for different reasons: Yahoo has decided not to create it own social network, but is instead striking partnership deals with Facebook and Twitter. Google on the other hand, not only bought YouTube, but it is attempting to carve out its own piece of the social media pie with Google Buzz.

Partnership vs. in-house development; content vs. technology; Yahoo vs. Google: which company has the right social media strategy? What are the goals of both companies in the social realm? Do either have a chance against new and nimble startups like Facebook and Twitter?

Let’s take a look, shall we?


The Yahoo Strategy: Partner in Order to Drive Traffic


In 2006, Yahoo made a $1+ billion bid for Facebook. As we all know, Yahoo failed to close that deal and the story ever since has been the rise of Facebook and the slow decline of Yahoo, who was nearly acquired by Microsoft for over $40 billion in 2008.

Now with new leadership (led by CEO Carol Bartz), Yahoo is trying to make a turnaround and bring back some of the authority it once commanded. The Internet portal is turning to social media as a cornerstone of its growth strategy, but it isn’t focused on acquiring a Twitter or building its own social network, but on creating partnerships that integrate every facet of Yahoo into social networks, primarily Facebook and Twitter.

In September 2009, Yahoo announced that it would integrate Facebook Connect in its most popular web properties. The goal was to truly make Yahoo your portal to the web by not only delivering news, email, and finances, but also your social graph and the status updates of your friends. On the flip side, Yahoo would also benefit from the traffic bump that comes with sharing articles and content on Facebook’s news feed.

Yahoo has continued to push this partnership strategy in recent months. Two weeks ago, Yahoo partnered with Twitter to give users access to their Twitter feed from within Yahoo, update their status, and integrate Twitter content into the company’s search and media properties. A few days ago, Yahoo Mail hooked up with Facebook, the first integration between Facebook Connect and Yahoo.

Yahoo seems content in partnering with the major social services, rather than compete with them. Social media efforts like Yahoo Buzz, the tech giant’s answer to Digg, which hasn’t made a dent in the social voting powerhouse, have likely left a bitter taste in the mouths of its executives. Yahoo is now focused on using social media to generate traffic, eyeballs, and engagement times.


The Google Strategy: Dominate


Google’s strategy goes in a completely different direction to Yahoo’s approach; its strategy is also all over the map.

Like Yahoo, Google doesn’t have a good record in social media. Google Friend Connect isn’t even close to Facebook Connect in terms of adoption, Orkut never made inroads in the U.S., Blogger has nowhere near the traction of WordPress, and other acquisitions such as Jaiku and Dodgeball haven’t panned out.

You’d have a very good argument if you said that Google’s only social media hit has been YouTube, and that “only” cost the company $1.65 billion. Google has a lot more social properties than many people realize, but it’s a hodgepodge of acquisitions (Blogger, YouTube, Picasa) and internally-created services (Orkut, Google Knol, Friend Connect). The company’s batting average, though, has been pretty poor, especially by Google’s standards.


That was before Google Buzz, though. With the launch of its most advanced social product yet, Google’s strategy has finally begun to emerge, and it is a good one. If Google can stir up adoption for Buzz (which it has via Gmail), keep that engagement (this remains to be seen), and launch a standalone version of its social media tool, it can carve out a piece of the (very large) social media pie. Linking or integrating it to YouTube, Picasa, Orkut, Friend Connect, and its other social tools could provide a boost to those services as well.

There’s no reason to believe Google will succeed with Buzz, given Google’s social media track record. However, Buzz is the most complete product Google has put out yet and has some strong engagement numbers. It’s riskier than Yahoo’s strategy, but the payoff could be be titanic.


Google and Yahoo Are Very Different Companies


Yahoo’s strategy is focused around integrations with already-popular social services, while Google is focused around building and acquiring its own social media powerhouses. While Yahoo does acquire social media companies (e.g. Flickr) and Google has some strong partnerships (e.g. Twitter in Google Real-time search), that’s not the focus of their respective social strategies.

The reason their approaches to social media are so different has little to do with their leadership teams or the quality of their decision-making. No, it boils down to one simple truth: Google and Yahoo are very different companies.

I argue that Yahoo is, for the most part, a content company, while Google is focused on technology. There was a point where Yahoo was known for its tech innovations, but that mantle has long since passed to Google, Facebook, Twitter, and others.

I explored this phenomenon in my first Social Analyst column, Content vs. Technology: What MySpace and AOL Have in Common. MySpace and AOL were also tech giants, but at some point lost their technology edge (MySpace lost to Facebook, AOL lost to DSL and Cable Internet) and thus began to focus on ramping up content creation and driving traffic to their web properties. Yahoo falls into the same camp.

Because of this key difference between Yahoo and Google, it’s no surprise that they are implementing different approaches. Google’s is focused on building technology that will drive adoption, revenue, and information through its doors. Yahoo’s focus is on bringing more eyeballs to this content and keeping them on Yahoo for longer periods of time.


Who Has the Right Social Media Strategy?


Now for the big question: is Google or Yahoo doing better at social media? Which one has the right social media strategy?

If you’ve read this column carefully, you can probably guess that I’m not going to outright declare that one company is “right” or that one is “wrong.” What I want you to take away from this week’s column is simple: your long-term plan and company composition should determine your social strategy.

Yahoo is simply better at content than Google. Yahoo Finance is, in my opinion, simply a better product than Google’s version. Its array of hosted news content is bigger, and it owns properties such as OMG, which is doing well as a celebrity news hub.

Google doesn’t write its own news or acquire a newspaper for a simple reason: it’s just not their focus, and they wouldn’t be very good at it. Would it make any sense for Google to focus on using social media to drive traffic to its content? The answer is no.

On the flip side, Google’s technology prowess trumps Yahoo by large margins. Google can build better technical products (e.g., Search, Gmail, Buzz, Android, Chrome) in a shorter amount of time than Yahoo can, and it can iterate faster than almost any large-scale public Internet company (its rapid privacy changes to Buzz is one good example).

These things are no longer Yahoo’s strength. So does it make sense for Yahoo to try to build a social network to rival Buzz, Facebook, or Twitter? Could it really keep up with any of them over the long haul? I severely doubt it.

So here is my conclusion: neither company’s direction is “wrong” because each one requires a different social strategy to succeed. Based on their strengths, Yahoo and Google are implementing the right strategies.

Now it’s just about executing them.

Tags: facebook, Google, google buzz, social media, The Social Analyst, twitter, Yahoo


5 Ways to Use Google Wave for Business

google wave logoSharlyn Lauby is the president of Internal Talent Management (ITM) which specializes in employee training and human resources consulting. She authors a blog at hrbartender.com.

Remember Google Wave? Clearly, Google Buzz has recently overshadowed Google’s other hotly anticipated social communication platform, but before you ditch your Wave account, give it a second try. There are many useful business applications for Wave, especially in situations that call for collaboration with a group or managing a project. Wave can easily allow users to dispense with the formalities (and expenses) of meetings, phone calls, travel, etc. and instead make it easy to collaborate across time and space.

Here are five examples of common workplace activities that Google Wave can support.


1. Conferences and Professional Development

Google Wave Conference

This one probably seems obvious. Departments can set up Google Waves to discuss what’s happening at a particular event. A company with limited funds could send one person to a conference and use Google Wave as a reporting mechanism. Or if several people attend, they can divide/conquer the event and post their ideas and comments in one place.

For example Chris Hoyt, author of the blog The Recruiter Guy, set up a Wave for the human resources and recruiting community during last year’s Social Recruiting Summit. Both attendees and those of us who were interested but couldn’t make it in person were able to join the Wave. It was an opportunity to gain exposure to the content and learn more about the event so people could budget to attend the following year.

One thing I could see emerging from conference Waves are “back channel” discussions. Conference organizers in particular will want to pay particular attention to this and not necessarily view it as a bad thing. If managed properly, it could bring some opportunities for improvement to light during the event.


2. Decision Making and Problem Solving

Using Google Wave to discuss a company challenge could be very beneficial — especially when all of the players aren’t located in the same place. That’s exactly why Troy Peterson, CEO of Nibi Software, used Wave to get the company’s development plan finalized.  He brought everyone together in a Wave and let the conversation flow. “The real-time document functionality allowed us to have ‘arguments’ and solve problems together that might otherwise have resulted in ‘back and forth’ threads that went on forever.”

Peterson did mention that adoption was an initial challenge. “Although several of my contacts immediately had Wave accounts, they weren’t necessarily the people I was collaborating with on projects.  It required some arm wrestling to get people on board.” But the results were worth it. “In the end, we have a succinct document that we have all agreed on and that we can compare short-term objectives against.”


3. Project Management

The same decision making philosophy applies when you have a project and need to collaborate not only with internal stakeholders, but an external supplier. Google Wave provides an opportunity for collaboration. Hopefully, consultants and/or contractors are able to tap into that dialogue by sharing their Wave account info with client companies.

Rachel Levy, Founder/CEO of the startup website WebinarListings, is using Google Wave with her developer. “We have the list of open items in the Wave, so we can discuss each one. I add an open item, and he can ask me a question about it, or mark it as done.” The main advantage to using this application was being able to track conversations.

This could also be a valuable way to manage the dreaded “scope creep.” You can lay out the entire project in a single Wave once the parameters are agreed upon. Then, you can work through each facet with each side tracking progress and those pesky project deviations. And everything gets documented along the way. New project requirements can even be moved to a new Wave for later consideration.


4. Brainstorming and Idea Cultivation

Google Wave Brainstorming

Brendan Gill, with the firm Staircase3, said he and his partners use Google Wave as a medium to organize and facilitate conversations and feedback. “We are a team of entrepreneurs who like to have an idea and make it happen quickly. We use Google Wave to brainstorm our ideas for new business projects.  It’s a great tool for collecting a series of conversations, and we use a different Wave for each different idea.”

Gill explained they would have traditionally used group e-mails for this purpose, but found Wave has numerous advantages, including serving as a centralized repository, and the ability to use add-on features for enhanced productivity. This was especially useful since their management team is located around the globe. “The Ribbit conferencing feature is great for staging an ad hoc conference call. Furthermore, the simple voting widget is a useful way to end each of our Waves where we can stage a vote for a given idea — whether or not we want to put the idea in motion, or just cut it loose.”


5. Virtual Meetings and Reduced Travel

Let’s face it. Bringing groups of people together can be expensive. Depending on the project, Google Wave could help foster dialogue without a lot of travel, phone calls, etc. Gill mentioned using Wave to make edits and adjustments on business proposals without having people travel to a central location. “Using Wave definitely reduces the need for thousand-dollar transatlantic flights and many tons of carbon emissions. Obviously without Wave, we would still use e-mails and teleconferencing, but using a better communications platform has definitely cut a number of flights out of our schedule,” he said.

Gill added that, “Collaboration can be done in real-time, if required, which is useful if you’re trying to rush out a project that has to happen quickly or not at all. Or for longer-term projects, you can take your time to think about an idea and come back to the plan at any time you like.”


Conclusion

If you’re looking for a way to streamline communications on your next project, Peterson suggests that you “Sign up and use the tool. It may not revolutionize your company’s communications, but it is useful and worth the effort involved in figuring out how it works for your organization.”

Remember the success of a Wave is contingent upon the active participation of the individuals involved. Waves need engagement, attention and clarity. You can’t just ask a question and walk away for a couple days. According to Levy, “The bigger the Wave gets, the slower it gets.” Managing activity and open items becomes essential for productivity.

How are you using Google Wave to improve your work life? Share your stories in the comments.


More Google Wave resources from Mashable:

- Google Wave: A Complete Guide
- Google Wave’s Massive Potential for Business Users
- 4 Surprising Google Wave Uses
- How Google Wave is Changing the News
- 5 Impressive Real-Life Google Wave Use Cases

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, YanC


Reviews: Google, Google Buzz, Google Wave, iStockphoto

Tags: business, collaboration, Google, Google Wave, List, Lists, small business


Older posts are this way If this message doesn't go away, click anywhere on the page to continue loading posts.
Could not load more posts
Maybe Soup is currently being updated? I'll try again automatically in a few seconds...
Just a second, loading more posts...
You've reached the end.

Don't be the product, buy the product!

Schweinderl