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Waving Around Identities

October 21st, 2009 by Graham Attwell

Invites to Google wave seem to be fast rippling out so time for some first thoughts. Like most people I guess, my first reaction was what is it and what can it do?

The first problem is trying to find someone to play with. Wave is decidedly a collaborative environment and it is not easy to find open waves to join. I found an educators directory and added my name along with the 300 or so others there. But that didn’t seem particularly useful – why create a list of people just because they are in education and in possession of a precious wave invite.

So I reverted to some old technology and twittered out. Pat Parslow invited me to join a ‘sandbox wave’ he had set up for people to introduce themselves and play. And play we did – to such a degree that it was decided to copy what was useful and sensible to yet another introductions wave.

More importantly, the next day Shirley Williams suggested we try out a serious project. Given that Pat and Shirley are working on the This Is Me project and I am working on the Rhizome project , both funded by Eduserve and both focusing on Digital Identities, we chose that as a subject. Pat posted a short text to launch the Wave, and then we all waded in commenting and annotating the text. And much to my surprise it seems to work. It is the first truly usable collective authoring tool that I have used. A bit like Google docs on steroids. And it is particularly interesting to see how we are fast evolving social conventions for using this new tool

Don’t get me wrong, Google Wave is by no means finished. The interfaces can be clunky, it is not always easy to find where text has been added or edited or commented on, the replay doesn’t work – at least on my computer, and the people aspect of social networking seems a little rudimentary.

Now onto the next experiment, suggested by Pat and Shirley – to create a Workbook to help educators, mentors and guidance staff (e.g. careers guidance and the like) learn about their Digital Identity (process…) and how to enhance it, tame it, and use it.”

The idea is to write the workbook together in one week and to publish it under a Creative Commons BY SA license on www.lulu.com with co-authorship to anyone who contributes. Shout (or should I say wave) if you are interested.

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3 Responses to “Waving Around Identities”

  1. Owen says:

    I have been trying to get a wave invite for awhile now. Their harder than rhodium to get. On the flip side, this ability to annotate text and things makes the whole thing sound like a shinny version of multiplayer notepad… If only this thing could be used to write mathematical formulae in… Then i could get a physics wave to do my work for me 🙂 . Is there any signs of merging Google Wave with any video games? I mean, the best social networking system of all time is STEAM by valve. But it would be good to see if google can give it a run for its money.

  2. Eleonora says:

    I am interested and I would like to join your wave .. my address is eleonora [dot] panto [at] googlewave [dot] com
    thank you
    Eleonora

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