Tuesday, April 20, 2010

overlap of things 17 & 18

Since the first go-round of the 23 (now 28) Things, I've become more familiar with wikis. I've also been using Google Docs, a cloud-based word processing app, for several months, using it not just as an exercise but writing real documents together with real people for real-world purposes. Yes, together. Unlike word processors that reside on a hard drive, documents in the cloud can be shared; anyone with permission can log on from any computer and make additions and other changes, sort of like a wiki. A lot like a wiki. A wiki by any other name ...

Then there's Google Wave, released in beta last year, which was supposed to be even more wiki-ish, but which has faded into the background. Maybe people were embarrassed by the idea that their typing, and therefore typos, could be seen in real time. Maybe the problem was just that the limited, by-invitation-only release didn't provide enough of a quorum for such a specifically social medium. In my corner of the Wave world, we just sent a few messages back and forth saying things along the lines of, "Hey, cool." -- "Uh, yeah. So what do we do with it?" -- "Write something." -- "O.k. What?" -- until we got bored and returned to texting, Facebook, and e-mail. The person with whom I was already collaborating on a document didn't see the need to subscribe to yet another service with another login and password just to do what we were already.

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