Archives for November 2009

Get an invite if you’re willing (and able) to write a blog post

I’ve got a bunch of invites to give away today, and I’ll be doing that shortly.  First, though, I’m making a special offer.  In an effort to get more posts up here on the blog, I’d like to find a few people to write guest posts.  If you’d be willing to do that, I’ll give you an invite to Wave!

Here’s how it’ll work:

  • I’ll give you the invite.
  • You spend a couple days playing around with it.
  • You write a blog entry on here about your favorite feature, favorite use for Wave, or something like that.  Include screenshots or screencasts as appropriate.

Seems like a fair way to do it.  If you don’t have the technical skills to create screenshots/screencasts, or don’t have the writing skills to write a decent blog entry, then please sit this one out; I’ll be giving away a bunch of no-strings-attached invites later this afternoon via our Twitter account.

If this interests you, then leave a comment on this blog entry (not a Tweet) explaining:

  • What you think you’d write about. This obviously may change once you get your hands on Wave, but I at least want to see that you’re thinking about it.
  • Convince me why you think you can write a quality post (“been blogging for years”, “take screenshots all the time”, etc)

The first five responses that I think are worthy will get the invites. Any random “PLEASE PLEASE I NEED AN INVITE” comments will be removed.

Shortly after this is done and I have the five winners, I’ll open up the remaining invites first-come, first-served on Twitter.

Good luck!

UPDATE: Wow, that was quick!  A lot of neat ideas came in.  The five winners are the five comments that I’ve enabled below.  Congrats to those that won!   Free-for-all invite giveaway coming on Twitter in a few minutes…

Keep your inbox clean with the new follow/unfollow feature

Google has added a nice little feature to Wave today — following and unfollowing.  They’re removed the old “mute” command and made it a bit more sophisticated.

The main problem was with that people would read public waves, get automatically added to them, and their inbox would quickly become overwhelmed.  This new feature should help eliminate that problem.


Here’s how following works: When someone adds you directly to a wave, or if you contribute to a wave, you will automatically be following that wave. When you see a public wave that you would like to get updates on, you can chose to follow it by hitting the follow button in the wave panel toolbar. You can remove these waves from your inbox by hitting the “archive” button, but when there is an update they will pop back in. You can switch between following and unfollowing a wave as much and as often as you like.

While it’s not overly different from the old “mute” feature, the extra control and the more familiar language should make it very useful for a lot of people.  Google has plans to add more features to help you control your inbox, and may eventually allow you to follow people, groups and/or searches.

More coverage of this feature can be found at TechCrunch and Lifehacker.

Google Wave Cheat Sheet

A great list of commands to use in Google Wave, found via Church Tech Matters.

Search Cheat Sheet
This is a quick guide to the operators and restricts supported by wave search.
about:[keyword] — finds waves which have [keyword] occurring anywhere. Same as [keyword].
title:[keyword] — finds waves which have [keyword] in the title.
caption:[keyword] — finds waves which have an attachment where [keyword] occurs in the caption.
is:read — finds all read waves.
is:unread — finds all unread waves.
Note: you cannot currently do a search like “-is:read” by itself and get reliable results due to an outstanding restriction on megastore queries
is:mute — finds all muted waves.
is:unmute — finds all waves not muted
is:active — currently the same as is:unread.
is:note — finds all waves which have you as the only participant and contributor
from:[address] — finds waves from the participant identified by the address. Special case of from:me identifying waves from yourself.
by:[address] — same as from:[address].
to:[address] — find waves which are a dialogue between you and the participant identified by the address.
with:[address] — find waves that have the participant identified by the given address explicitly listed.
owner:[address] — find waves by person, that they created.
only:[address] — finds waves to which only the participant specified by the given address contributed.
Date Search
Currently, there are a few restricts:
past:[date term] — finds all waves in the last period.
previous:[date term] — finds all waves in the period before the last period.
before:[date term] — finds all waves before a certain period.
after:[date term] — finds all waves after a certain period.
which can be combined with date terms:
So you can have past:week, past:year. There is also support for
past:N[date term] where N > 0. So you can have past:3days (today, yesterday, the day before yesterday).
Also you can have
Finally, you can abbreviate days, weeks, months and years to a single letter (d, w, m, y). Thus you can write
in:[folder name] — find waves in the folder with the given name. For example, in:inbox.
in:[search name] — find waves in the saved search with the given name.
is:unfiled — find waves which have not been moved to a user folder.
is:filed — find waves which belong to some user folder.
has:attachment — finds waves with an attachment. This changed from “is:image”.
has:document — finds waves with an attachment which is a document. (coming soon)
has:image — finds waves with an attachments which is an image. (coming soon)
caption:[keyword] — finds waves with an attachment with caption containing [keyword].
filename:[keyword] — finds waves with an attachment with filename containing [keyword]. (coming soon)
mimetype:[keyword] — finds waves with an attachment with mimetype containing [keyword]. (coming soon)
tag:[tag name] — finds waves with the tag [tag name].
has:gadget — finds waves which contain a gadget.
gadget:[keyword] — finds waves which contain a gadget with name containing keywords. e.g. chess, fridge, map, risk, sokoban.
gadgeturl:[keyword] — finds waves which contain a gadget with urls containing keyword.
gadgettitle:[keyword] — finds waves which contain a gadget with a title containing keywords.
foo & bar — match waves with foo and bar.
You can use AND, or skip the operator altogether, as the logical and is the default.
foo | bar — match waves with foo or bar (or both).
foo OR bar — match waves with foo or bar (or both).
-foo — match waves that do not contain foo. (There is an outstanding bug that causes searches with only negative terms to fail. To get around it, use to:me -foo)
“foo … bar” — matches waves that contain the exact phrase “foo … bar” (There is an outstanding bug for live search not working with phrases)
foo & (bar | -baz) — matches waves that contain foo and either bar or do not contain baz.
“[multiple terms]” — match waves with one or more terms in sequence:
“hot dog” catches waves with the terms hot and dog in sequence. This is also required for other operators such as in:”new inbox” where say “new inbox” is a saved search.
XML Search
tags:subtag — find all waves which have this combination.
tag:[tag] — find all waves which have this .
attribute:[value keyword] — finds all waves which have < …. attribute=value …> where keyword is a token in value.
Wave ID
id:”” — find a wave with a specific wave id.
Zero Inbox
If you want to zero inbox, you can hack this temporarily by saving a search “my inbox” with the query:
in:inbox is:unread this:week. You can then use the menu option “Mark as read” in the wave panel.
Alternative zero inbox: in:inbox is:unread past:7days -is:mail
Saved Searches
A search can be saved using one of two methods:
Create a search in the search box and then press the Save search button at the bottom of the Digest panel.
Add a search using the searches Add button on the Navigation panel. Then add the search query and name of the search in the Saved Search popup panel.
Saved searches can be edited and managed using the pop-up menu which shows when hovering over the saved search in the searches section of the Navigation panel.
Filters are saved searches which also have an action to apply to all waves which match the saved search. The actions supported are
skip inbox – removes the wave from inbox. Whilst this wave continues to match the search, it will continue to stay out of the inbox. Skip inbox will shortly be renamed archive.
mark as read – Whilst the wave continues to match the search, it will be marked as read.
You can add a folder by using the Add button on the folders section of the Navigation panel. A folder is added by typing the folder name in the text box given and hitting enter.
Folders can be managed using the pop-up menu that shows when hovering over the folder on the Navigation panel.
Add folder – A subfolder can be added under the current folder.
Rename – rename the current folder.
Delete – delete the current folder.
Language Filter
Much thanks to Geoffrey Spear for the help and insight:
The problem is that these tags aren’t exclusive; if a Wave has any English in it at all it will show up under “lang:en” even if it’s mostly in another language. This is particularly a problem since the search terms themselves are all English so a Wave in, say, Portuguese about using Wave will tell people they need to use “with:whatever” and the system will see “with”, an English word and suddenly the Wave is in both lang:en and lang:pt.
“ lang:en -lang:es -lang:fi -lang:hu -lang:pt -lang:nl -lang:ja -lang:he -lang:fr -lang:ru -lang:sv -lang:zh -lang:de -lang:no -lang:da”
… is fairly effective, although you basically need to keep adding more as you find Waves not in one of these languages. Not a really good solution

Google Wave now open for federation

As you may know, Google’s goal with Wave is to eventually replace e-mail.  While that seems unlikely to happen, federation is certainly a key to even discuss it.

As TheNextWeb says:

Google Wave has been designed from the ground up to allow federated distribution models, meaning you can build and host your own Wave servers, e.g. for your corporate users, and make them talk to other Wave servers. It’s very much like the distributed nature of SMTP based email transmission, but technically way more complex due to the real-time nature of the service.

While federation won’t affect most users for now, it could be essential in the future.  For example, your business could host it’s own Wave server.  Google doesn’t think it will ultimately succeed if they control every bit of it, so opening up the federation protocol could help drive its long-term growth.