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Google Wave as Personal Wiki

January 13, 2010

For a few months now I’ve been trying to incorporate Wave as a regular productivity tool. The potential uses for Wave are astonishing and I’m sure I’ll write about its use as a collaborative tool in the future, but for now I am using it more as a personal back up system than anything.

Lifehacker recently published a Wave FAQ that quite nicely explains the purpose and potential of the product. They sum up their description of Wave as “multimedia wikichat,” which they admit is cheating because ‘wikichat’ is an awkward portmanteau; but it is a nice descriptor. What intrigues me most about Wave, as it stands now, is its capabilities as a simplified wiki.

Many different sources recommend using a private wiki to store data in the cloud and Wave takes that concept and makes it easier and more efficient–as Google is want to do. With a few different projects in the air, I have begun using Wave to organize my sources, versions of documents, and online conversations with sources and collaborators. I am not currently working on any projects with others via Wave, but it is a distinct possiblity, especially where distance is a factor. Wave organizes a discussion in a unique way that engages all participants and allows for instant feedback.

When Wave finally goes fully public (it’s not yet, is it?) it may prove to be a fantastic full-class collaborative tool for teachers. It is a much more open forum than Blackboard or similar platforms that teachers could use to share documents with the class, students could work with toedit each others work, and all of it would happen in real time.

As far as thought-collection and paper writing goes, Wave combined with the fantastic Zotero makes my desktop a happier place to work.

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