After Bell invented the telephone, whom did he call (aside from the hapless Watson)? I was reminded of this old joke after an acquaintance was kind enough to invite me to Wave , Google’s new communications platform. Right now Wave is available only by invitation and the supply of invitations have just about run out. Yet wave is a closed system — you can only use it to communicate with others, who also have wave.
Hmmm, “communications platform” sounds at once too techie and too general, like a lot of what passes for marketing, especially in technology. If Wave is a solution, what’s the problem and what’s it got to do with me as a marketer?
A challenge most marketers or teams of any sort face is how to be more effective in communicating and synchronizing with colleagues, clients, or partners. Email is certainly not the best solution; often it is part of the problem. Wave promises to be a better way. The short video below shows an example.
So Wave, like blogs, discussion forums, wikis and other collaborative means, provides a workbench where you can effectively coordinate with other team members. With Wave, everyone is literally on the same page.
Wave is not the only way to collaborate, but I find it appealing. It’s free. It’s hosted, so there’s nothing to install or maintain. All you need is a browser and an Internet connection. Like its cousin Gmail, it seems fast, reliable and secure, especially compared with standard email.
Wave is simple and relatively easy to figure out. It’s a lightweight utility with enough but not too many features. This makes it easy to use and to learn and it should not require formal training. For informal training, Wave’s YouTube Channel offers a variety of short how-to videos.
If you need an enterprise tool with numerous features, Wave isn’t it. On the other hand, if all you’ve got is email, twitter lists, and a blog, or even a “traditional” wiki, Wave could be a big step up and a way to get projects clicking instead of dragging.
Getting back to Alexander Graham Bell. Wave has started out like most Google products – in “preview mode.” This means you can’t get it right now except by invitation. You might be able to wrangle an invitation from a current user. But that back door comes with the limitation that you won’t be able to invite other users until Google expands Wave’s membership. Google is mum on when that will happen.
So, if you do get a Wave account, you can wave members of your email contact list, who are already on Wave. If none of them are, you could only wave yourself; not even Watson. To get on a list for new Wave accounts click wait. By the way, has anyone seen Watson?