So you may be wondering why have I chosen now to write a blog post about Google. The company is already well established so my post will not be particularly groundbreaking. But recently I have begun obsessing over Google, so much so that I’m currently reading ‘The Google Story’. So what has got my mind buzzing? Two words, Google Wave.
Now I have always been a huge Google fan right back from my first year at high school. At the tender age of 11 I was becoming increasingly frustrated trying to search using older search engines like the MSN search and AltaVista, until my IT teacher recommended trying Google. From then on, I was hooked.
I was already unusually keen on computers due to my dad working in the IT industry. Due to all dad’s being overly keen on passing their knowledge to their children, I already knew how to use most of Windows and Microsoft Office features, as well as how to set up my PC and point to most of the things inside a computer and tell you what they did. Hell, I think I even remember watching my Dad installing Windows 95. Retro.
I remember downloading MSN Messenger 1.0 and having no one to talk to except some randomers I’d spoken to on chat rooms (again how very retro, and kind of creepy). Of course most people have cast MSN aside now that Facebook has a chat service and the cooler web addicts have already moved on to Twitter anyway, but I’ve always kept my interest in IT and tried to stay ahead when it comes to web apps.
Which brings me back to Google. I love Google products. I have 3 Gmail accounts (and a Googlemail app on my phone), have GoogleSearch on my desktop, use GoogleDocs, GoogleEarth, GoogleBooks, GoogleScholar and GoogleCalender regularly, as well as being a certified YouTube addict. I have a blog on Blogger (though admittedly I prefer WordPress) and the only reason I don’t use is Chrome is… well… have you tried Firefox?!
So, understandably, I was very excited when I caught wind of the GoogleWave application and watched the hour or so long video demonstration of it. I was also amazed at how the audience reacts at Google seminars. The presenters were treated like rock stars. After every Google Wave feature they demonstrated, the audience clapped and cheered and even I found myself smiling along with the atmosphere at home.
Google Wave will totally revolutionize how I work at university. On the PR course, we are constantly assigned to groups to work on presentations and assignments – part of the push to improve our people skills and create skilled and confident presenters. However, this does raise the issue of ‘Group Meetings’ and finding a set date and time that five or so busy students can find to meet up with their group members and create the presentation.
Which is where I think Google Wave will come in. We could just drop the presentation into and all edit it live, adding our own research and ideas and create a more well thought out and better collaborated final result. And it doesn’t end there, we could even arrange the meetings easily by simply adding contacts into the conversation and organizing the time there and then. If we’re all free we could get to work straight away.
The impact for PR is even more exciting. Imagine planning events where instead of emailing the information to-and-fro until a final decision is agreed, the planning could be done live, with participants posting dates and times, adding pictures of the venues and adding other people at anytime to view the rest of the conversation and give their input. You could drop press releases in to a conversation with coworkers to get their input and editing live, rather then emailing and waiting for a response.
I think Google Wave has an exciting future ahead, and I hope that by the time i enter the world of PR full time, the industry is already making full sense of the application. From what I’ve read on Twitter , many of the PR practitioners I know are already trialing the program, so it seems that it will catch on.
I managed to get hold of a Beta account last week, and though I’m still waiting to get my invites to send out (I have no one to Wave at!) I love the way it looks and can’t wait to try it out.
So will the Google Wave live up to its expectations? Here’s to watching this space.