Tag: googlewave

Working with Google Wave

Google Wave

Google WaveI was very excited by the demos of Google Wave last September and waited patiently for an invitation, one finally furnished by my brother. After a few hours of playing with it I set it aside and although I thought it might be useful for a couple of projects I was working on, I couldn’t really find an immediate use for it.

So at the start of the year I when I was approached by my old driving instructor to re-vitalise her website and later her brand I was finally given the opportunity to try out Google Wave in a real life situation. So I sent her an invite and began to discuss the project with her using Google Wave.

I was very surprised how quickly she adapted to using the Wave, I think it was largely the familiarity that using Facebook Chat had given her with IM clients, only this time she was most impressed with the ability to see what I was typing as I typed (even me correcting spelling mistakes).

For the first couple of weeks of the project – the most important weeks – we went back and forth across a couple of waves, one dedicated to each aspect of the project. I was able to show her screenshots of proposed designs and get immediate feedback, and post alterations we discussed.

Both of us were able to come back to the wave and check for updates and more importantly instead of our discussion being fragmented across multiple emails it was all kept in a single organised place. From a working perspective this made the design and approval process much easier.

In a matter of days we had her new website up and running. After this our use of Google Wave tailed off, probably due to the lack of effective notifications to email meaning once the project tailed off its initial pace she simply forgot to login and check and we defaulted back to emails and telephone calls.

There were a few other drawbacks: the uploading of images was not always successful and more than once I had to resort to email; the adding of comments did not always allow one to easily reply to a comment if it is the last in the list, rather than add a new comment.

Overall for very beta software it performed well for the purpose of managing the project. It is clear however that it needs significant improvement before it makes it way into usage by the general population. It could also do with being improved more quickly that it currently seems to be.

If you’d like to check out the product of our collaboration take a look here:


Oh and if you’d like an invite to the wave party I still have some so drop me a note in the comments.

Filed under: GeneralTagged with: , ,

Fragmented Google

Like most of us I’ve been the frequent and appreciative beneficiary of the wonderful talents of the Google engineers, however, all too frequently I experience the downsides that are a clear consequence of the fragmented results of a company run by engineers (and sometimes I think for engineers). Take this most recent experience:

At the beginning of last year I setup Google Standard Apps for one of my clients. It is really the perfect solution for practically any business (to be honest though I know some people who pay for the business version I can’t really see the advantage; what SME really needs more than 7gb of email storage per account?).

At the same time I moved them over to my hosting account (only £25 a year inc. setup of the Google Standard Apps) but for the moment that was all she wanted to do, although we discussed re-vamping her website, we decided to leave it for the moment.

So at the end of last year we started to discuss a revamp and over the last few days we have done exactly that. In just a couple of days, with a few adaptions to a free WordPress template (cleanr if you’re interested) and we got the new site up and running. Check it out here if you’d like to take a look.

As part of this process I had to setup Google Analytics for her site and as experience has taught me rather than adding it to my account (after all I’m probably the person most likely to use it for her) I prefer now to set it up in an account in my clients name.

Now my client uses a private msn email address rather than Google. So I had to setup a new Google account for her. It is possible to setup a Google account using another email address so I used her work one (from a Google Standard Apps account) and off I went.

It surprised me that there is no method within the Google Standard Apps account management interface that would allow me to add a Google account for an individual user (or at least an administrator) or to link an existing account in any other way. Just so everything was under one roof so to speak.

It seemed a natural leap for me to assume that if you were going to use Google Apps for your website then you would likely be going to use Google Analytics, Google AdWords, Google AdSense and maybe Google Checkout to think of just a few; all of which you need a Google account for.

In the SME arena (mostly under 25 employees) if you’re a business owner then setting up an additional account for a business is pretty straightforward, though an unnecessary extra step, but if you are hiring someone to do it and you’re not sure what is going on this can place alot of power in the hands of your consultant.

Anyway to get to the point, you have to activate each of these services, individually authenticate them. For example, if you’ve verified your Google Standard Apps account, you still need to verify your Webmasters account, your Analytics account, and so on.

This all adds additional costs, additional time, and additional hassle. It’s the perfect example IMHO of an unnecessarily fragmented service. This seems to be something Google is attempting to solve (see Analytics in AdWords) but it doesn’t seem to be taking the easy route. So come on Google cut us some slack, start integrating your services.

Oh and before I go. Why do we need a separate account for Google Wave?

Filed under: TechTagged with: , , , , , , , , ,