Sunday, August 09, 2009

Google Wave Social Networking for Business

After the Google Wave Hackathon in Canberra on Friday I have more if an idea of what this is about. I will explore some of the implications in my "Social Networking for Business" talk in the Entrepreneurship stream of the International Young ICT Professionals Conference in Sydney on 3 September 2009:

Social Networking for Business: The Year It All Changes - 2010

Running your company, or the country, using social networking software and a mobile phone

Social networking web sites, such as Facebook are popular for keeping in touch with friends. But the same technology can be applied to promoting a young ICT professional's career and in the workplace to help run a business. Business orientated social networking systems will be demonstrated, along with the software used for this by the ACS in its education courses. The application of the this technology on a smartphone will also be demonstrated.

See how to:

  1. Use social networking to promote your career
  2. Implement social networking software in your workplace
  3. Run a business, or a nation, from your phone
  4. Benefit from free open source software ...
From: "Social Networking for Business: The Year It All Changes - 2010"

Labels: , , , ,

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Google Wave interface to Email

There are a few technical issues with interfacing Google Wave to email and some more fundamental logistical ones. It would be quite simple to send the wave via email as a HTML. However, responding to this would be very much more difficult. The problem is that they delay when using email is likely to be much longer than with a web based online interface. As a result what you are inserting your response into may have changed significantly by the time the reply arrives. It might be useful to introduce some delays into the system to account for this. This is the opposite of what would normally be assumed, where the faster updates happen the better.

Labels: ,

Google Wave and Advertising

An interesting topic is how advertising will fit into Google Wave. It would appear that Google Adsense type advertisements would be a good fit for Wave. A Wave robot would be able to carry out an analysis of what was being discussed in the wave and insert appropriate advertisements. This could be done more interactively and at a much finer level of granularity than with an email message, web page or a blog. If well done the advertising should be helpful, rather than obtrusive, rather like the robot being another participant in the conversation.

Labels: , ,

Google Wave Implications for Government and Security

One interesting question at the Google Wave hackerthon is the implications for corporate users (and government) with security and accountability. Because the waves are dynamic, many security measures designed for email (and adapted from paper documents) are not applicable. In terms of accountability the dynamic and group nature may cause problems. However, it occurs to me that the way the components of the wave (Wavelets) are separately maintained and labeled could improve security and accountability. This might create problems of its own, particularly in a political environment. Not only would it be possible to see who wrote what (avoiding the problem which occupied Parliament for several days recently). What might make corporate user less comfortable is that it would be possible to reconstruct exactly who changed what text when, allowing for a forensic analysis when a disaster occurs, such as the in the case of the 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission.

Labels: , , ,

Google Wave Interface

Google Wave's default user interface looks much like email, with three panels: a list of menus on the left, list of messages in the middle and contents from selected items on the right. One problem I am having is that Google Wave is a bit slow. I thought this might be because I am using a slow wireless Internet connection, but the team suggests it might be due to problems with Firefox 3.0 (later versions work better). However, I suspect my Virgin 3G wireless the interface, which is working at about 64kbps, is too slow to be usable.

However, another is is that Wave is very dynamic. Unlike email, blogs and even twitter, the Waves change dynamically as participants (and robots) enter change and change content. As a result there is data being transmitted continually to the client (this may cause problems on slow and expensive links).

Also as a result there is continual movement on the screen. As a result I am having difficulty in following what is happening. While looking at something it can suddenly move. Even while typing this in Blogger, I can see the title of the Wave tab in the browser flickering, which is very annoying.

The Wave team need to provide a way to smooth the interface so it does not change to abruptly and even a way to have it happen in steps on request. An interface which shows gradual movement, so the user can see it happening, rather than making sudden jumps could be useful. This might also avoid make slow links more acceptable and also avoid photosensitive epilepsy seizures.

There could also be some interesting issues with the accessibility of the interface for people with a disability. The interface is respecting the minimum font size set by the web browser, allowing me to make the text large enough to read. However, there are so many images and columns used that the text is too narrow to be read.

Exactly how to interface to accessibility devices with Wave would be an interesting issue. This area of work might be usefully combined with interfaces for netbooks and smart phones, with small screens.

Labels: ,

What is Google Wave?

It is an unusual and slightly refreshing feeling to sit in a technical computer presentation have no idea of what the presenter is talking about. The experts from Google Sydney who have developed the technology are giving an introduction for developers on how to use it. While the details of Java and Python APIs and the use of various techniques is familiar and by the end of the day I could probably code a Google Wave application, I am still having difficulty understanding what it is for. There are some glimmerings of understanding happening. One is that Google Wave robots (applications running out in the cloud) can manipulate the Wave data in XHTML format. Also there is an OpenSocial interface coming to allow for interaction with social networking services (or for building social networking services). These are of interest for my intended application in e-learning. This could be used to build web based services for students to interact with each other and the tutors. Even if it does not turn out Google Wave is not the technology for this (or more likely is more technology than needed) it might make a good prototype.

ps: On a less serious note, the first Google Wave presentation was illustrated with images of not very friendly or pretty looking robots. Ruth Ellison, head of WSG Canberra, gave a presentation The Uncanny Valley at BarCamp Canberra with more interesting robots.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Google Wave in Canberra

Greetings from the Google Wave Hackathon at the the Australian National University in Canberra. This free technical event about Google Wave platform. It started at 9am, but there is still room for more people and it runs until 5pm. There also some people following on Twitter: #cbrwave. I am here to see how it might be used for collaborative education with a learning management system: think social networking for a tutorial group (I talked about teaching Green ICT with a smartphone at Google Sydney on Friday).
Canberra Google Wave Hackathon Day
Saturday 8th August

9:30am Registration
10:00am Talks

A presenter from Google (details available soon) will give an introduction to the Wave API.

If you have already been developing for Wave, please consider giving a short presentation about what you have done (doesn't have to be a formal presentation).

12:00 pm Brainstorming Lunch (BYO or we will take orders & payment for pizza at registration)
1:00 pm Hacking
5:00 pm Demos
7:00 pm Head out for dinner at restaurant (at your own cost).

You must register if you wish to attend so that a Google Wave Developer sandbox account can be created for you. Registrations will close on Tuesday, 4th August so that the accounts can be created.

Numbers are limited, so please register as soon as possible at:

This day is being organised by volunteers who are interested in Google Wave development and thought it would be useful to have a Google Wave developers day in Canberra. Please indicate if you are willing to assist with organising and running the day. Contact for more information.

We will be providing WiFi internet access, but you will need to bring your own computer. Please have a look at the developer information on the Google Wave site ( as an introduction.

Labels: , , , ,