Sunday, October 4, 2009

I guess I'm a few months behind the curve on this one, but I just watched the Google Wave demo about the new social media/collaboration tool and I'm seriously impressed. They said it should go live in 2009, so maybe by Christmas? Pretty please...

In any case, when the video first started, the guy said something that caught my ear. He mentioned that traditional email is built around the snail mail model where a message is an object that goes from a sender to a receiver. But, Google Wave discards that model in favor of a model of a "conversational" where the conversation as a whole is a single object which simply gets updated in a single place, not sent around (like a chat session).

This struck me as linguistically interesting because this is more in line with traditional conversation analysis theory which centers around "the floor" where one can "hold the floor", or "interrupt the floor", etc. This more natural model of conversations has yielded a beautiful and elegant collaboration tool that I can't wait to get my hands on. Hopefully Google's model of conversations is more coherent than the ragtag sloppiness that pervaded the linguistic analysis of conversations. It's a tough field, no doubt.

Also, near the end, the speaker made what I took to be a geek version of a linguistic relativity claim: he said the it was only the Google Web Toolkit (HTML 5 & Java) that allowed him to think of Wave's possibilities that he never would have thought of otherwise. I'm not sure this is really true, of course, but a cute thought nonetheless.

9 comments:

Mariana Soffer said...

I have my serious doubt that this project is going to work, it is taking to long to launch, and I bet that slowly adopted. Well, I guess eventually one of the mayor projects of google will have to fail and leave room to others.

Chris said...

it's true that even their demo didn't work flawlessly, so yeah, not a great sign, but this has a lot of promise. I wonder how l.ong it took them to get Google Maps functional (it's the same brothers who are developi9ng it)?

Rebecca said...

Do you want an invite to the preview version? I have a bunch.

Chris said...

Rebecca, sure. I'd love an invite. My email is available on my Blogger profile. Thanks!

Rebecca said...

It'll take a few days for you to receive it, but it's been requested.

Chris said...

Awesome, Rebecca, thanks!

Unfortunately I don't speak French so I'm unable to enjoy your blog. I'll run it through Google and see if it's comprehensible, hehe.

Rebecca said...

Always a dangerous idea, letting Google translate for you. There's not much there, but it's kind of you to stop by. In the meantime, I've bookmarked yours!

Chris said...

I got my Wave invite already. Thanks again. Now I gotta find some collaborators, hehe.

Rebecca said...

Cool! Have fun!

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