Oct 23, 2009

Wave to the Writer

Give Google their due - they know how to start people talking.

Recently I received an invite to join the secret society of Google Wave testers. Once I had danced naked under the full moon and been annointed with the blood of a new lamb, I was able to delve into the online collaborative tool (okay not really, but it seems that elusive for anyone trying to get an invite). Google restricted access to Wave by only allowing people by invite, those people were in turn able to invite a select few (before you excitedly become my best friend, I'm on the B list, so I did not receive the ablilty to invite anyone).

What is Google Wave?

It's a communication and collaboration platform that is able to operate in real time. Contacts can send each other documents and messages and receivers can edit and/or add to those. Video clips, photos, website and more formats are easily exchanged. To read more about what Google Wave offers go HERE.

What does it mean for writers?

Initially it seemed that Wave was just another online chatting tool, not much different from Messenger, Facebook or Twitter (without the word count). But now I'm seeing the prospects emerge.

Certainly it is an easier application for sharing drafs of writing to allow a writers/editors community to critique. Comments can be inserted at any point by various members, all at the same time and each reflecting on the others' remarks.

And for those of us down in Oz, we can come into a conversation and still add our comments even when it is no longer 'live'.

Creating book trailers (something I haven't really got my head around yet - do people online really want to see more adds?) would be a smoother process with writers, media creators and publishers involved in an online wave during creation. This could also work for book cover designing. Authors having more input to the design - is that a good idea? I'm now picturing a pedantic author saying to the graphic artist, "A little to the left, no right, no, try lower, hmm, still no good, lets try it back where we started..."

A wave appears to be more focused than a twitter conversation, instead of having multitudes of like minded people randomly commenting, you would invite select members with skills and interest to that particular project. You can also have several projects with different members going at the same time.
The big thing that ponders around my head is how it may affect the process of writing.

There are plenty of studies revealing how online reading changes the way our brains process the information, so it would be assumed that writers would adapt their style to create for this new online-wired brain.

Will authors write their novels in wave in the future with their fans reading as they write? And probably jumping in to change the parts they don't like? That sounds like a mix of fun and scary.

Are you an author on Wave? What do you think this service offers for writers, editors or publishers? I'd love to hear your comments (or wave me at charmaineclancy). Don't have Wave yet? Are you wanting it - is Google working marketing magic by keeping it restricted at this stage?

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