Tag Archives: Google Wave

Ten ways journalists can use Google+

Since Google+ (plus) was launched a week ago those who have managed to get invites to the latest social network have been testing out circles, streams and trying to work out how it fits alongside Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Here are 10 ways Google+ can be used for building contacts, news gathering and sharing:

1. As “a Facebook for your tweeps”

This is how Allan Donald has described Google+ in an update. And it is pretty good way of understanding it. A week on from its launch and it seems you are more likely to add and be added by Twitter contacts, many of whom you have never met, than Facebook friends or even LinkedIn contacts.

2. As a Delicious for your Twitter contacts

As the Google+1 button takes off and your contacts recommend articles (Google +1 is like Facebook’s like button), you can keep track of what they like by taking a look at what they are +1ing and use it like a bookmarking service to flag up articles to read later.

Reading what others are +1ing relies on users changing their settings as the standard set-up does not allow +1s to be viewed by others.

3. To check Twitter updates via Buzz

If you signed up to Google Buzz, you will find tweets are included in your profile. It is another way you can read the most recent tweets from your contacts.

4. To create and share in circles

One of the foundations of Google+ and how it differs from Facebook is the circles function. There are suggested circles such as ‘family’, ‘friends’ and ‘acquaintances’ but you can add your own. For example, you could have a ‘journalists’ circle, a ‘contacts’ circle and categorise others by a specialist topic or a geographic area you report on. You can then choose to share updates, photos, videos and documents with particular circles.

5. To crowdsource circles

You can ask a question to those within one or more of your circles. For example, I might want to ask those in my ‘journalists’ circle a question without my ‘family’ circle being included.

6. For searching and sharing content using sparks

Search for any word or phrase in sparks and you will find news items. Google+ uses Google+1 recommendations and Google Search to influence the items that appear in your sparks list. After searching you can then share content with the people in your circles and therefore read and share news without leaving the Google+ site.

7. For promoting content and discussing it

“Automated spewing of headlines likely won’t be effective, but conversing will,” journalism professor and media commentator Jeff Jarvis has predicted in a post. Content is shared and users comment like they would on a Facebook post.

8. For carrying out and recording interviews

Google+ includes the option of instant messaging, video calling and voice chatting with your contacts, similar to Skype. It may well be found to be quite a handy tool when you can see your contacts online and call them. Contacts do not need to be members of Google+ as you can chat with your Gmail contacts.

One option is recording the chat for your notes or for audio and video content for a news site or podcast. One way to record audio is download Audio Hijack Pro (Mac), select the Google Talk plugin (you may find you need your Gmail open to find this as an option) and record. A quick test has proved this provides podcast-quality audio that can be easily edited.

There are various recording options for Windows.

9. For collaborating on Google Docs by circle

This nifty feature which marries Google Docs and Google+ is really handy for those working on a big story or organising spreadsheets with work colleagues. For example, you can create a circle of your work colleagues, go to Google Docs, check the tick box to select the relevant document, go to share in the black Google bar along the top of your window, and share the document with your relevant circle.

10. For wider collaborative projects

Okay, so you cannot yet but it is included as it is likely that Google+ will adopt some of the functions of Google Wave which would allow you to comment and collaborate on articles and projects.

 

Lost Remote: Google Wave in the newsroom

Steve Safran from Lost Remote adds a reflective take on Google Wave to the comment mounting up about it’s demise. According to Safran, the platform’s processes could be mirrored in the newsroom.

Back in September 2009, I wrote in the AR&D Newsletter: “Imagine starting a wave in your office about a news topic. People can constantly add to it, putting in the latest pictures, video and information. The assignment desk can contribute its findings and the reporters and producers have instant access, as well as the ability to add more. We don’t yet know how newsrooms can fully take advantage of this tool (and isn’t that wonderful?) but we do believe it will be a powerful way to have the entire staff work together.”

I was wrong.

Despite the product failing, says Safran, the experimentation should be admired.

See his full post here…

Google Wave: Then and now

After less than a year of being available to the public, Google Wave is being phased out as the web giant admits that it hasn’t attracted enough users.

It was unveiled to great fanfare in May 2009, and was heralded by some online tech sites as the future of e-mail and online collaboration, but what are those sites saying now that it’s bitten the dust?

TechCrunch

TechCrunch then (May 2009): “Wave offers a very sleek and easy way to navigate and participate in communication on the web that makes both email and instant messaging look stale”

“It’s ambitious as hell — which we love — but that also leaves it open to the possibility of it falling on its face. But that’s how great products are born. And the potential reward is huge if Google has its way as the ringleader of the complete transition to our digital lives on the web.”

TechCrunch now: “Maybe it was just ahead of its time. Or maybe there were just too many features to ever allow it to be defined properly.”

ReadWriteWeb

ReadWriteWeb then (June 2009): “Once you get into the flow of things, regular email suddenly feels stale and slow. ”

“Like any great tool, Wave gives its users a lot of flexibility and never gets in your way.”

ReadWriteWeb now: “Why did Wave fail? Maybe because if you don’t call it an ’email-killer’ (and you shouldn’t) then you’d have to call it a ‘product, platform and protocol for distributed, real time, app-augmented collaboration.’ That’s daunting and proved accessible to too few people.”

“Maybe this failure should be chalked up as another example of how Google ‘doesn’t get social’ in terms of user experience or successful evangelism. After an immediate explosion of hype, it never felt like Google was really trying very hard with Wave.”

Mashable

Mashable then (May 2009): “Our initial impression of Google Wave is a very positive one. Despite being an early build, communication is intuitive and not cluttered at all. User control is even more robust than we first expected (…) [I]t’s not as complicated as it seems at first look. It’s only slightly more complicated than your standard email client.”

Mashable now: “The product might’ve been more successful had it been integrated into Gmail (basic e-mail notifications weren’t even part of the launch), though Google hasn’t had much success with Buzz in that department either.

“In any event, Wave represents another disappointment in Google’s long line of attempts at social, an area in which the company is now reportedly eyeing a completely new approach. Shutting down Wave, it would seem, is a logical step in moving on.”

Pocket-lint

Pocket-lint then (October 2009): “Google Wave in its current state is an impotent, stunted, stub of a web service, which is functional at best, and buggy at worst. But it’s also the future. Consider the state of Twitter in 2007 – it was just a website with little messages that people pushed out via SMS. No one was terribly impressed.”

Pocket-lint now: “Although the web at large hasn’t embraced Wave in the way in which Google would have hoped, it is a sad day for its users. But it is a platform that would have only really worked if it reached out to a mass audience, and disappointingly, it never did.”

Techie Buzz

Techie Buzz then (September 2009): “Wave is an awesome real-time service for sharing docs, sending emails and much more. In-fact it is the most anticipated product of the year and people are already desperate to get their hands on a invite.”

Techie Buzz now: “I still believe that Wave deserved all the attention it received. It truly was a revolutionary service. Unfortunately, Wave might have been too different for its own good. Many failed to grasp the concept of Wave and struggled to get started, while several others grew frustrated with the chaotic nature of an open ended communication platform like Wave.”

Finally, from Lifehacker’s Gina Trapani, who wrote a book on Google Wave with Adam Pash, an elegy for the beleagured platform:

Wave is a tool I love and use daily, and this announcement makes Adam’s and my user guide essentially a history book, an homage to a product that I believe was simply ahead of its time.

I respect any product that shoots as high as Wave did, even if it misses in the market.

Revolution: Welt Kompakt launches Google Wave to reach readers

Welt Kompakt, sister title of German national newspaper Die Welt, has created a ‘wave’ on Google’s new service in a move to attract younger readers.

I don’t have an invite so if you can access the wave at this link, tell us what Welt is doing and if it works for you.

Full post at this link…

LA Times: Eight ways Google wave could ‘transform journalism’

Following the launch of browser sidebar Sidewiki, Google released 100,000 invitations for its new product Google Wave this week.

Here’s how the Official Google Blog previously explained GW:

“In Google Wave you create a wave and add people to it. Everyone on your wave can use richly formatted text, photos, gadgets, and even feeds from other sources on the web. They can insert a reply or edit the wave directly. It’s concurrent rich-text editing, where you see on your screen nearly instantly what your fellow collaborators are typing in your wave. That means Google Wave is just as well suited for quick messages as for persistent content – it allows for both collaboration and communication.”

The LA Times has looked at the applications of GW for journalists, suggesting the tool could enable more collaborative reporting; more discussion around an article (not elsewhere on a site’s messageboards, for example) and a better way to track editing changes.

Full story at this link…

Meanwhile for those that haven’t got an invitation (or are wondering what all the fuss is about) Tech Digest has come up with five websites/apps to explore while you wait.

The site is also reporting that Wave invitations are being sold on eBay – real or fake, the asking price is pretty low if you’re desperate for one…

Buzzmachine: Could Google’s Wave be new reporting tool?

Jeff Jarvis ponders the potential of Wave – Google’s next generation email product announced last week (see video below) – as a tool for journalists:

“In Wave, I see more than a new generation of email cum wikis cum Twitter cum groupware. Because it can feed blog and web pages and Twitter, I see a new way to create content, collaborative and live. I see a new way to make news,” he writes.

“Imagine a team of reporters – together with witnesses on the scene – able to contribute photos and news to the same Wave (formerly known as a story or a page). One can write up what is known; a witness can add facts from the scene and photos; an editor or reader can ask questions. And it is all contained under a single address – a permalink for the story – that is constantly updated from a collaborative team.”

Full post at this link…