Google Wave--will it be a game changer?

Subject: Google Wave--will it be a game changer?
From: Geoff Hart <ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca>
To: TECHWR-L Writing <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>, David Neeley <dbneeley -at- gmail -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 01 Jun 2009 08:16:15 -0400

David Neeley wondered: <<I have been fascinated this week to see the
video of the Google Wave developer's presentation. From what I can
tell, it appears it may become something of a game changer in tech
writing--especially if someone creates hooks in a tool that will allow
complex formatting, using the Wave service as a collaboration medium.>>

If you don't want to sit through the full (1 hour+ video), more
details at <>.

<<For example, tech writers could be working on a file
collaboratively, then add product engineers to the conversation for
verification as it progresses or after a draft is done.>>

In such discussions, it's always important to consider three things:

1. At its core, the nature of what we do does not change:
communication is a skill, and one that takes advantage of tools rather
than depending on them. Pace McLuhan, the _message_ is the message.
The "game" does not change.

2. That being said, the nature of the medium (or combination of media)
certainly shapes how we communicate, and provides new communication
opportunities. Everything Google Wave is claiming to do has already
been done; in fact, each individual component may have been done
better than Google's initial release. The key difference seems to be
that Wave is likely to integrate everything. Much like Information
Mapping, it will make things easier for people who don't have the
skills to stitch everything together by themselves. Whether this
offers us new tools will depend on how user-friendly the "developer
tools" become: if they're designed by and for rocket scientists, it
won't be much use to most of us.

3. The really interesting opportunities will arise as we combine
points 1 and 2 by applying our existing skills to take advantage of
the integration provided by Wave, and learn new skills (e.g., active
listening) if necessary to take advantage of the new medium.

Geoff Hart (
ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca / geoffhart -at- mac -dot- com
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Google Wave--will it be a game changer?: From: David Neeley

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