Tag Archives: email

Google Wave hits the internet like a Tsunami

#Google #Wave #Googlewave

Google Wave is an incredible web 2.0 development that is revolutionizing the web. Google concentrates on the limitless uses of the internet as its focus for developing new applications and technology to bring information and people closer together.

Google Wave is an online tool for real-time communication and collaboration. A wave can be both a conversation and a document where people can discuss and work together using richly formatted text, photos, videos, maps, and more. Google understands that a computer is as commonplace in our homes as a TV, VCR/DVD player, and microwave. They also understand that 90% of the time spent on a computer at home, is spent surfing the web, instant messaging, playing online games, emailing, and more. Many businesses are also heavily engaged with the internet during the course of the day, video or voice conferencing, collaborating, and a host of other activities.

Google is addressing the amount of internet activity with the wave which is equal parts conversation and document, shared, and live. The wave is a tsunami of productivity that is both needed and required in a cost effective and time managed world as well as a task manager that can be utilized by anyone at home or work.

One aspect of the google wave is to replace the brokenness of email as it is today. In the beginning email was to replace “snail mail” by being cost efficient and reduce delivery time. Email developed into a huge mess of billions of copies of copies and fwd:’s of fwd: fwd:’s with copies of a message stored on your computer and then a copy stored on the recipient’s computer (or on a virtual mail server) and the process is never ending. We wont even go into the junk mail problem. What you have is dead copies of a message all over the world and in millions of computers. The wave revolutionizes and eliminates these electronic piles.

Wave’s Solution: Conversations as Live Documents

Rather than pass back and forth multiple copies of messages, Google Wave hosts a single copy of a conversation that all participants can edit and add to. Wave displays the latest version of the conversation to everyone in the group in real-time, even as it’s changing.

“The goal of Google Wave is to collaborate INSIDE email rather than using email to ARRANGE to collaborate.” —Wave user Marsh Gardiner[1]

The Email Way The Wave Way
People Send or Recipient Participant
Messages Copies Single, hosted conversation
Rich Content Attachments, Links, HTML Inline gadgets
Quoting/commenting Manual Forum-like threading
Privacy CC, BCC Inline, private threads

This is not the only functionality of the Google wave as it is limitless in is uses. The confusing initial Wave experience may thwart its adoption. Wave’s whiz-bang features are impressive, but may not be practical. Whether Wave actually gets adopted as widely as email or remains relegated to niche use like the Segway remains to be seen. But plenty of people want in on the Wave preview, prepared with plenty of ideas about how they’ll use it.

Some Examples:

Caregiver Mike said:

I am looking after an elderly lady named Liz. She is well at the moment but does suffer from spells of confusion and forgetfulness. Liz is a widow but has a large and caring family. Unfortunately they are spread all around the country (none live within a two hours’ drive) and have families and jobs of their own… At the moment I send out a weekly group email detailing what’s happened to Liz over the days of the previous week. The family then replies with any questions or suggestions, etc. Even with Gmail conversations, answering and replying to six responses and further ongoing replies back and forth becomes confusing and very time-consuming. Wave could greatly improve our communications. I would open a new wave at the beginning of each week, inviting all the family to it, and add content on an ongoing current basis. This would mean the family would be far more up to date than they are currently and their responses and queries would be spread out (and inline), far more manageable and more current. Also due to Wave playback, when someone has been away, catch up would be simple.

Bride-to-be Tiffany said:

I am coordinating my wedding with a dozen or so friends/family and various vendors, from all over the country. I live in Texas, the wedding (and my mother) is in Florida, my maid of honor lives in Massachusetts, you get the idea. Currently, we use the telephone and email to exchange ideas, sometimes Skype if we’re lucky enough to be on at the same time. I also have a notebook where I paste pictures of inspiration, jot down links, sketch ideas that I will hold up to my webcam or snap a photo of the page to show others. Seriously. Wave would improve wedding planning SO MUCH. We can all share ideas and see who has jumped in on what jobs in what order. We can use plug-ins to embed venues, caterers, dresses. I can embed a Wave in my wedding blog, which I link to on theknot.com, a wedding planning site that connects you to all sorts of local and national wedding resources. We can Wave simultaneously, which will save us from typing a long response, only for someone else to send something else faster that changes what we just spent time writing (don’t you hate it when that happens?). You know how the bride, her bridesmaids, and her mother all get when they start brainstorming and delegating. Imagine if we were all in the same room. It would get rowdy. This way, with Google Wave, it will be organized, documented, and editable. It will also be a great way for my fiancee to track our progress and see whose ideas are whose and approve or disapprove at will. It will make the perfect planning tool for the perfect wedding.

The following examples of some things Google Wave can do for you are also in the Google Wave Preview in your wave titled “When to use Google Wave” with project links beneath each idea.

Organizing events

Keep a single copy of ideas, suggested itinerary, menu and RSVPs, rather than using many different tools. Use gadgets to add weather, maps and more to the event.

Meeting notes

Prepare a meeting agenda together, share the burden of taking notes and record decisions so you all leave on the same page (we call it being on the same wave). Team members can follow the minutes in real time, or review the history using Playback. The conversation can continue in the wave long after the meeting is over.

Group reports and writing projects

Collaboratively work in real time to draft content, discuss and solicit feedback all in one place rather than sending email attachments and creating multiple copies that get out of sync.


Bring lots of people into a wave to brainstorm – live concurrent editing makes the quantity of ideas grow quickly! It is easy to add rich content like videos, images, URLs or even links to other waves. Discussion ensues. Etiquettes form. Then work together to distill down to the good ideas.

Photo sharing

Drag and drop photos from your desktop into a wave. Share with others. Use the slideshow viewer. Everyone on the wave can add their photos, too. It is easy to make a group photo album in Google Wave.

For a short preview of what Google wave can do here is a 10 minute video (for those of you that don’t have the 80 minutes for the full presentation that took place at the May 2009 I/O conference).

If you do have 80 minutes to spend, then here is the full presentation in all its glory.

Now, for those looking for quick references and guides and information on how to use the tools of the Google Wave application, I am including the links below. As the Google Wave is in preview mode, it will be undergoing changes and fixes over the course of time until it is rolled out as a complete application, free of course, as all things google are.

This only begins to scratch the surface of all the things Google Wave can do and its related info, reference material, guides, cheat sheets, etc. Check back here often to find more information in the comments of our users and links posted to help you out in getting the most from Google Wave.

Reference: 1. Marsh Gardiner, Twitter.com

Email Etiquette

Email has been a part of our lives for many years now. In the beginning of the Internet we [geeks] used email to inform the person running their server or BBS (bulletin board service) that we were looking for certain programs or files, and in turn we would also let them know what files we had to share. Email was simple and it was safe.

Email has come a long way since those days and many types of email programs have shown up since then. With the growth of the Internet and email services also came the growth of users on the Internet. Growth in numbers yes, but not the growth of responsible computer geeks using the services. Today, with the simplicity of the Graphical Interface built into our computers, anyone with zero experience using a computer can surf the web and email their friends and family. Even a 10 year old can use a computer to surf the web.

Here-in lies the problem of today’s discussion. Persons of ill repute conduct “data mining” by preying on the inexperienced users of the Internet to mine their data from and use that data to spread viruses and spam advertise. Security holes are exploited very easily but most importantly, the number of people freely and innocently disclosing private email addresses due to basic computer inexperience, is out of control in epidemic proportions.

Here is an example of how it happens:

Sally Smith has had a computer for about 6 months and though she hasn’t had it very long has managed to make use of it to accommodate her need of being in touch with her friends and family. Sally uses a messenger like MSN Messenger and Yahoo Messenger and she emails all her friends and family quite frequently. When Sally first got her computer, her emails resembled an actual letter to a friend or family member depicting how her day went and how frustrating the organization of the PTA meetings have become and so on. It is now 6 months later and Sally has hundreds of email addresses of friends and family, and her emails have declined to a majority of forwarding chain letters, spreading urban legends (unintentionally of course because she doesn’t know how to verify the validity of urban legend emails she receives before forwarding them on), forwarding cool web sites she has visited, and sending photos of the family pet and the new quilt she just made. Sally’s emails look like this:

From: Sally Smith <salsmith@bignet.com>

To: Joe Public <joepublic@123isp.com>, Jane Doe <jdoe@myisp.com>, (insert 74 more friends and family members)

Subject: <fwd><fwd><fwd>Mickey and Minnie Mouse are brother and sister, not boyfriend and girlfriend.

Message: (insert urban legend)

The problem with Sally’s email is that emails are typically passed along to hundreds of more friends that Sally doesn’t know, and that hundred or so friends each pass it along to hundreds of their friends, and so on. Now literally thousands of people Sally will never know, have her email address, AND all the email addresses of her friends AND family. Why? Because Sally is not experienced in the basic use of the Internet and not educated on maintaining privacy and securing the privacy of her friends and family members over the Internet.

The very first order of business is to obtain a free “virtual email” address such as hotmail, or yahoo, or any one of a large list of other virtual email providers. A virtual email address is your security door on the Internet. Sally provided her ISP assigned email address giving data miners her general physical location. Using the virtual email address protects the privacy of your ISP assigned email address. From the Virtual email you can view your mail on the web, keep it stored on the web or download it into your favorite email program on your computer (commonly called POP mail forwarding).

The second and most important order of business, is protecting your friends and family’s privacy by using BCC (blind carbon copy) to send or forward email to. Sally publicly sent all those email addresses over the web which will get sent all over the world. When sending an e-mail to multiple recipients, you can hide their e-mail addresses from each other. This is a sensible anti-spam precaution because it avoids making a long list of e-mail addresses available to all the recipients.

Here is how you use BCC:

To set up Blind Carbon Copy in Outlook 2000, select “Bcc Field” from the “View” menu, as shown below. This will cause the “Bcc:” field to be displayed from this moment on.

To use Blind Carbon Copy in Outlook Express, choose “All headers” from the “View” menu. This will cause the “Bcc:” field to be displayed from this moment on.

Now for actually using BCC in your emails. I have found the most effective way to send email and protect your privacy, your friend’s privacy and that of your family, is to use a dummy virtual email. I created a free email account called e(dot)dump@**********(dot)com. [For this post I used the word (dot) instead of the actual punctuation mark to prevent email harvesting.] Every single email I send anywhere is addressed to this virtual email address. Every single email that goes to this email address gets deleted/trashed without question. Then the actual people I want the email to go to besides the e.dump address gets put in the BCC: field, and the message is filled in accordingly.

If you are forwarding a message, do not use “forward” or “forward message.” Take the extra time to copy the portion of the email you want to forward, then create a new message to yourself (or a dummy email address like I created), paste the message into the message field, then add the addresses of the people you want to receive the email, into the BCC: field.

Your email should look like this (click image for full size view):email1

When your email is received, it should look something like this:


You will notice that all the important information is left out of the email, such as ALL email addresses, yours, your friend’s, and your family’s.

Now you can go to your dummy email account at the end of the day or week and delete everything in it, unless you want to save it all as your sent emails.

The most important thing you want to remember is, an email is like a phone number. If you are in the habit of keeping your phone number and other phone numbers private, so should you be in the habit of doing the same with email addresses.

If this information was helpful, please leave a comment saying so, and if you have any suggestions or care to add something, please do that as well.