The business and culture of our digital lives,
from the L.A. Times

Category: Wave

Google will wipe out Wave as early as next year

Ha-ha-ha, wipeout!

Google has halted development on its much-hyped  Wave platform, which promised to revolutionize document collaboration and potentially replace e-mail.

The Mountain View, Calif., company said it will keep the service online until at least the end of the year.

Google Wave rode a cyclone of publicity when it launched in May last year. The service lets users send digital correspondences, called "waves," and edit the text as the conversation progresses, creating their own personal Wikipedia-like entries. Technology's early adopters were tickled by the idea of seeing friends' messages show up instantly after each keystroke.

All of that technical magic took a toll on Google's servers, which hosted each wave and every edit that happened within those documents.

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Top 10 moments in social media in 2009

Jack dorsey

This year was certainly significant in the world of online social media. Facebook surpassed 350 million users -- more than the U.S. population -- and Twitter's short blogging service skyrocketed in popularity, led by celebs, tech lovers and top companies.

Here's a look back at 2009's biggest events in which social media played a major role.

10. "Word of Web." As people spent more time chatting online and in public spaces like Twitter, buzz surrounding product and entertainment releases became instantly quantifiable. The elusive word-of-mouth promotion could now be measured, and "word of Web" became that new currency. (Marketers love to use the word "viral.")

The movie "District 9" played the game rather well. The low-budget sci-fi flick started the buzz train early with cryptic alien decals around major cities before its release. Despite relatively low advertising spending, the movie did extremely well. The fact that it was actually a good film certainly didn't hurt.

9. Whopper Sacrifice. Facebook was quick to kill this marketing ploy, but Burger King had a picnic with this one. The Whopper Sacrifice game asked Facebook users to delete 10 friends in exchange for a free burger. In just a couple of weeks, 233,906 friends were dropped like a bad habit.

It proved to be a hilariously successful way to promote a brand that seemed to get only more controversial and creepy over the course of the year.

8. Google Wave. In Gmail-like fashion, the exclusive nature of Google's newest product (people vied for a limited number of invitations from friends) made it the must-have free service of 2009. Of course, once people finally got hold of Wave, their lust died down.

The interface is still pretty confusing, and the team continues to struggle with growing pains in its mission to create a stable collaboration platform. However, it packs some intriguing technologies that could very well transform journalism in addition to a number of industries. But right now, e-mail replacement it is not.

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How Google Wave could transform journalism


Google Wave lets users collaborate live on documents.

The tech world is awash with excitement for today's scheduled release of 100,000 invitations to preview Google Wave.

Seems like everyone is buzzing about how the collaborative Web tool will revolutionize how we do business, organize parties, manage projects with friends, cheat on homework and market brands (trust us, we've seen the news releases, plural). The term "Google Wave" has been on Twitter's top-trending list all day.

For the last two months, while we've been testing the Google Wave developer preview, we have been talking amongst ourselves about how this thing could change (or add to) what we do. So, here's a list of a few wild ideas we had for using Wave.

Collaborative reporting: You may notice that double bylines aren't very common. That's because trying to co-author a news story stinks.

The process usually involves one reporter talking to and researching a few things and another following a different set of sources and finally combining their findings toward the end. This can result in a mess of incompatible and unrelated research that gets either thrown out or somewhat-awkwardly wiggled in.

We're not going to e-mail our co-writers with every new lead and minute detail we dig up. But if we're sharing a virtual notebook, we can scan through ...

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Will Google Wave be ready for prime time in two months?


Google Wave inbox.

Google presented a private demonstration of its much-anticipated collaboration tool, Google Wave, this morning. Even after watching all of the videos and talking to the developers, the first thing that struck us is how rough it is around the edges.

To be fair, Google calls it a developer preview, meaning it's not meant for the prying eyes of the average user or critical journalist. Yet, the Times got an invitation anyway.

First, the good news: Wave has a lot going for it. Its function for letting users watch as you type each letter is punchy, just like it was in the demo, and works surprisingly well. At first, it feels sort of strange exposing your own typing habits and witnessing others'. But it really speeds conversations along.

Brothers Lars and Jens Rasmussen, the engineers behind Wave (and Google Maps) who walked us through the demo over the phone, say you'll eventually be able to turn off live editing. But that function probably won't be ready for the September release, Lars said.

We fumbled through the software for an hour while the Google lead engineers figuratively held our hands, and afterward spent many hours adapting to its many nuances. While some of the aspects are ...

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Google Wave is a hodgepodge of e-mail, photo sharing, chat


Google Wave combines e-mail, documents, photo sharing and chat in one Web app. Credit: Google

Ever feel like you have information overload?

You start Gmail to find a few dozen new messages, thousands of spams and a bunch of friends shouting at you via instant message the moment you sign-in.

Then, you hop over to Picasa, Google's photo-sharing software, to find your family and friends have just uploaded hundreds of snapshots of their trip to Aruba or of your baby cousin.

Finally, you make a pit stop in Google Docs to see that your co-worker has added a few new documents that need your approval.

Could Google Wave, the new product that the company announced today at the Google I/O conference in San Francisco, help us cut through the noise?

Probably not. The app just dumps everything onto one page.

The interface should be familiar to Gmail users -- just with a lot more stuff. If you've checked out the iGoogle custom home page, that should give you a better idea of the hyper-integration that Google is going for.

Wave displays your e-mail in one column and your incoming photos in another. Folders sit on the left side-bar followed by contacts, which you can access to start new communications, called "waves." And with ...

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