Archives for November 2009

Using Google Wave for a Manhunt

seattle-waveThe Seattle Times is trying a to use Google Wave for a pretty serious task — catching a killer.

They’ve created a public wave with information about the chase for the man suspected of killing four Seattle police officers a few days ago.  There are over 100 people in the Wave that are adding video footage, suspect descriptions, police scanner audio, automobile details, etc.  It’s neat to watch.

TechCrunch has a nice review of how well (or not) it is working.  Some people love to see the flow of information, while others think it’s simply too chaotic.  Spam will also be an issue for things like this, though this wave seems to be mostly on-task as of now.

This certainly adds a new item to the great ways to use Google Wave, and I expect we’ll see many other creative uses for it in the coming months.

A Day of a Student with Google Wave

(note: this is a guest post from Simon, one of the winners in a contest we recently held)

07:00 – Wake up

It’s seven in the morning, time to prepare for a brand new day at school. Let’s check last night’s updates, right from the bed thanks to the iPhone interface. Wow, yesterday’s party pics has been published on the class wave ! I can watch them in fullscreen through the slideshow mode, and even download them all later to keep them on my pc.

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14:00 – Free Time

Hey, a friend has just started a yes/no question for a bowling ! Of course I’m in ! I can even add a little message, for example to tell everyone I come with my brother.

I also discovered some great stuff with Rssybot. I can share them in just a couple of clicks.

If I’m bored, I can always have fun in Wave with several cool extensions like Wave Sudoku.

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17:00 – Back home

With Wave, everybody keeps connected after school. It like a mix between a big chat and a shoutbox. Everyone discuss with everyone, but we are always together. Even if you’re not online, you can still follow what happened with the Playback feature. It make communications way easier between us than before. No more grouped mails and single answers, no more multi-chats with half of people missing… But if you still want to talk with your Live Messenger buddies, you can right inside a wave through a dedicated bot.

Google Wave can serve as an enhanced dropbox, where you can both chat, share informations, but also files ! An simple drag-n-drop automatically uploads the files you want to share.

Many People seem to come to the bowling tonight. As several people are unfamiliar with the neighborhood, I add a map inside the wave.

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22:00 – Party time !

During the night, I can at every moment post my feelings on Twitter and keep those you couldn’t come up to date, right inside Wave web app in my phone !


OK, all that was maybe a little utopian for now, and yes I’m still the only in my class to have my Google Wave access… But I may be the daily basis for many people in a few years ! Wave clearly have an amazing potential, and could be able to replace current instant messaging softwares, protocols and habits. It could open a new way for sharing and opening to the world.

So who got the invites so far?

We’ve been giving out invites for about four hours today, and we’ve still got a few left!  A ton of you have donated them to us, and we’re handing them out as fast as we can.

As of this writing, everyone that has requested an invite (either via Twitter or by leaving a comment) has had one sent their way.  Remember that it can often take a few days for your invite to arrive.

If you still are looking to get an invite, keep an eye on this post.  We’ll update it when they’re all gone.

If you get an invite, all we ask in return is that you mention us on your blog, or tweet about us or something; just spread the love.

Finally, again, thank you to all of you that have donated your extra invites.  You’ve made a lot of people very happy today!

The list of who we’ve sent them to today so far (we’ll update this periodically).  231 in all..

Via Twitter:
@AF9210 (multiple)

Via Comment:
Matt Ferand
Celia Ybarra
Alicyn Hargroves
Kevin Ly
Gordon Crowe
Celia Ybarra
Ibrahim Sarraj
Rosalina So
Dena Shelley
Debbie Jenckes
Mohammed Rizk
tim schwerdtfeger
emma parkerson
jennifer carter
Carlos Amaya
Ilmars Mednis
adam Nash
Debbie Jenckes
Djaouad-Mahdi BELLAMDANI
Benjamin Morris
Brandon Z.
Frank Z
Daniela Friedrich
Mary Egglezo
Joe Z
Ezra Vonnegut
Ray young
Julie Filiatrault
Brecht Nollet
Nick Warrington
Kiff Newby
Johan krafft
Miriam Loeber
Shaun Collins
John mathern
Kevin L
Tetsuya Hara
Voro Gomez
Marwa Yusuf
John Badalamenti
Tobias Mayer
Jennifer Campos
john ojewole
Alice Mckay
Florian Reinert
Janis Bernats
Kevin Duffy
Atiim Wiley
Marwa Yusuf
tybalt knight
Fabian Gutierrez
Marcos del Campo

UPDATE: 13 more sent, added at 9:35pm EST

Devendra Kishroe
Yehoshua Solomon
Babette Hayward
Tanawat P.
Alireza Samadi

UPDATE: 57 more, and they’re all gone for now
@THE_MAD_HATTA (a few)

cagri topcu
eddie summerfield
Laaban Chok
Allin Winter
Hannes Rydström
Richard Johansson
Michaela Holmdahl
gonçalo martins
Carina Seger
Hanne B. B.
Michole Mattix
Pauline Del Mundo
James Trimble
Pat Han
Evalyn Gossett
Pedro Roldan
Petter Söderström
Mitch Bus
Manuel Funk
Simon Nebesnuick
A. Burak Tahiroglu

Want an invite? Get one NOW!

We’ve been giving away invites on Twitter today, and they’ve been going pretty fast.  However, we still have a TON left (thanks to people like you) so we thought we’d open them up here.

If you want an invite, just leave a comment to this post with your email address.  I’ll delete comments after I’ve given an invite to that address.  If you comment disappears, you’ve got one coming.  I’ll post a full list of who got them later on.

Good luck!

UPDATE: The invites are gone.  Please check back again later.

Download the Complete Guide to Google Wave

ThecompleteguidetogooglewaveGina Trapani and Adam Pash of Lifehacker have put together a book titled “The Complete Guide to Google Wave“.  It’s a 102-page, DRM-free ebook that you can get right now for only $6.

If you don’t feel like shelling out $6 for an ebook, you can read the entire book right on their site!  It covers every aspect of Wave, broken into logical chapters: getting started, contacts, shortcuts, gadgets, robots, it’s all there.

It seems like a solid book.  If you you’ve read it, leave a note in the comments here and let us know what you think of it.

Google Wave for Teachers: A Concept

(note: this is a guest post from Mike Kirk, one of the winners in a contest we recently held)

Google Wave EDLast month, Google announced beta for an upcoming product called Wave which the tech giant refers to as “what e-mail would look like if it were invented today”. By that they mean a communications system with all of the acquired knowledge of the 21st century without the hang-ups of the 20th. For detailed info you should really check out the official Google Wave site, but I’ll try to keep the pre-required knowledge to a minimum here.

So what on earth does this have to do with education? Google is inventing this to revolutionize communication and productivity, which has essentially been stagnant for decades if not longer. E-mail, as one example, is sent back and forth between one or more people just as the letter or the memorandum was before it. Wave basically breaks that wide open, offering contextual live editing of a single communiqué. Now, while this can certainly help in productivity in a classroom just like it could help any general office task, the overall Wave concepts could be applied on a grander scale for educators.

The Way Things are for Teachers

The teaching process has remained largely unchanged in over hundreds of years. While technology may have advanced the way we do things, it hasn’t really affected what we are doing. Let’s take a look at the chart below. This is the basic process of teaching as it is today the way it has been for decades.

Instruction ProcessWhether you teach kindergarten or AP classes, these steps are all required. The teacher is responsible for teaching a subject to a learner. A teacher may have a curriculum or a textbook, but I feel that these tools are passive when it comes to twenty-first century instruction. An effective teacher will bring in outside ideas from co-teachers, mentors, administrators, parents and finally students. From each unique perspective a lesson plan should be enriched as a final outcome.

In general, these perspectives all happen in different places and are given by different people. Co- teachers and administrators can be in different buildings offering different viewpoints. Parents can be concerned at work or at home about getting their voice heard. Mentors can be giving great advice online nationwide or even worldwide. A technology minded teacher would need a tool to bring all of these voices together.
I believe we can look to Google Wave for some of the answers.

The Way Things Could Be for Teachers

Google is trying to get users to wrap their heads around this idea of a wave, which is basically the digital equivalent of a blank white board. In the wave, you can write correspondence, view documents or pictures, incorporate data from other web sources do all kinds of other things that would be available to a group of people sitting around a conference table. Let’s take that idea of a blank space or a wave in which a teacher can do productive work with others.

Teacher Wave Concept

This potential for communication and collaboration would be a game changer for teacher. So many branches, you probably don’t even know where to start. It’s simple, every idea and step passes through the wave. Everyone has a voice that can be heard and responded to equally.

Google Wave is currently built to aid all kinds of text editing, namely e-mail and chat. If you look at that wave with the idea of lesson plans as an ongoing project, you should be able to gather input and feedback over a wave. Teachers can share their expertise in their subjects to include in other classes, such as research paper writing in English class to a lab report in Science class. In Google’s tech demo, once one user dragged files into the wave, a preview of the files appeared in another user’s wave. This same idea could work for sharing educational video and classroom photos.

Why go to all of this trouble?

Effective teaching and learning are collaborative processes. A teacher can elicit help from others to construct effective lesson plans. As I said earlier, so many people are working in so many different places with one common goal in mind. Why not move the tools needed to achieve that common goal into the same space? Google is specifically asking people to come up with innovative ways to take advantage of the technology they have on offer. In time, I believe that the education community will benefit directly from this web application.

A bunch of new tips

Google posts new tips from time to time.  Here are a few recent ones:

Search for public waves in your language — Search for “with:public + terms” and you’ll get a ton of results in your language (35 available).

Color code your inbox with saved searches — This is a neat way to mark things in your inbox.  The result is similar to the “labels” found in gmail.  Create a search, save it, and then apply a color to it.  Any items in your inbox that are there because of the search will be marked with that search and colored.  See this short video below for details:

Link your waves: Find the wave you want to link in your search panel, then drag and drop that wave into your compose window.  That’s it!  Remember that people will need to be participants of both waves to be able to see the content in both.

Open multiple waves at once: Hold down ‘Ctrl” (PC) or ‘Cmd’ (Mac) and then click on another wave.

Quickly read unread blips: Use the spacebar to jump from one unread blip to the next.  This can be very useful in large waves that have many changes in them.

Any other tips? What are some of your favorite shortcuts?  Leave a comment and let us know!

Google Wave 101

I’ve had a few people tell me they’ve gotten their Wave invite and then jumped in to check it out, but they didn’t really know what to do with it.  I’ve just put together a quick 4-1/2 minute screencast that shows some of the basics.  In this video, I’ll show you how to:

  • Add contacts so you can connect with your friends
  • Invite other users
  • Create a Wave and add a friend to it
  • Play with some of the basic extensions

It’s very simple stuff, but hopefully it’ll help you get your feet wet and start playing around.

You can watch the video here. (4:25)

If you’re still looking for an invite, keep following us on Twitter and we’ll post on there when we have more.

If you have other questions, please feel free to leave a comment on this post.

A big day for invites! Here’s who got them.

As we often do, we gave away a ton of Wave invites via our Twitter account.  We had hoped to give away about 40, but ended up giving away more than 70 of them!  If you didn’t get one this time, keep watching us on Twitter as we hope to give more away pretty soon.

Even better, I’m getting reports that the invites are going out almost instantly!  It used to take upwards of a week to get an invite once a friend “nominated” you.  Last I knew, it was taking a day or so to go out.  Now we have people that said they got theirs within minutes.  That’s great!

If you find yourself with extra invites to give away, here’s how you can let us help find some good homes for them.

If you were one of the lucky ones to get a new invite, be sure to read back through our older entries to get some ideas for what’s going on.  If you have a blog, a “thank you” link over to us wouldn’t hurt either. 🙂

Here’s the list of who got them:


Do you have extra invites? Share them! Here’s how.

If you’re one of the lucky ones that are already using Google Wave, consider helping some other folks to finally get an invitation.  It’s easy to do, and you can make some people really happy.

Poke around in your Google Wave inbox (or maybe your “All” section) and you’ll possibly have a wave titled “Invite others to Google Wave”.  Inside of there is a counter that shows how many invites you have left to give.  It looks something like this:

2009-11-13_1908If you have that, then those extra invitations could be put to good use.  We’ve already helped hundreds of people get their invites thanks to generous users like you, and we’re looking for more.

If you have this and you’re willing to give up some of the invitations, do the following:

  • Add me as a contact.  In the very lower left corner of Wave is your contacts box.  At the bottom of that is a small (+).  Click that and add “”.  You should see my icon appear.
  • Next, open up your official “Invite others to Google Wave” wave.
  • Click the (+) at the top of the Wave and add me.  This will give me access to your invitations.
  • If you’d like me to leave a few invitations in there in case you need them for friends, that’s fine — most people do.  To do that, click the tiny drop-down arrow in the very top-right corner of the wave and choose “Private Reply”.  Type a message in there and let me know how many to leave for you (“Mickey, leave 3 for my friends please”).  When you’re done typing, it’ll prompt you to add people to that Private Reply.  Add me.

That’s it!

Most people get around 20 invites from Google to give out and ask to keep 3-5 for themselves.  Once a few people do that, then we suddenly have 30-40 invites to give away (like we did today).  If you have some extras, please consider sharing them with other folks online that are still wanting to get on.

If you have any questions, please leave a comment and let us know.