Catching the Wave: Shall We Play a Game?

Let’s work through an example, which should give you the idea of how Wave is used.

Say I want to work together with my friends on something — say, figuring out some new poker variations for our monthly poker game, which is going to be Halloween-themed this month. (A shout-out to my friend Charley for providing the fine real-world example, and who was the real “I” in this story.)

I create a wave, and start off with some text describing the idea, and one or two sample ideas for games that I’ve thought of. I include the members of the poker group in the wave. (This isn’t quite email, so I don’t really “send” it to them. I can add new people to the wave at any time.)

At this point, Chad decides to jump in with another idea or two, and some critique of my initial ones. We’re both online at the same time, so the conversation goes quickly, with messages zinging back and forth inside the Wave. Both of us are editing the original article — the list of games — as we go, and in the course of a few minutes, we’ve beaten out a bunch of bugs in the games.

A couple of hours later, Mark logs onto Wave, and sees that there is a new conversation in his Inbox. He’s got some questions about several of the variations, though. He replies to several of the messages (creating subthreads by doing so); he also goes directly into the main document and replies right next to a couple of the game descriptions, starting threads in the middle of the document.

Chad has Wave open, and notices that his Inbox shows activity in the poker conversation. He opens it up, and starts a real-time conversation with Mark. Right there in the middle of the document, they chat back and forth a bit, and figure out where Mark is confused. They edit the document a little to make it clearer, then delete the conversation they just had (which is now just in the way).

Hopefully, that example gives you at least a hint of how the tool is used. Most useful waves seem to follow this general model: a bunch of people working together to refine the stuff that is contained in the initial blip. This is a somewhat controversial assertion, and certainly open to debate, but it is what I’ve observed in practice. In its current state, Wave has issues with more open-ended and less-focused conversation — I’ll talk about those more later in the series.

(For the record, the end result was one pretty good game, and one insane but amusing one.)

Next time: “Multi-Tempo and Heavyweight Threading”, as Google tries to square the circle of conversation models…


One Response to “Catching the Wave: Shall We Play a Game?”

  1. Catching the Wave: Prologue « The Art of Conversation Says:

    […] Shall We Play a Game? — an example of Wave in action […]

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