Attending conferences via Wave

I wrote about how Wave could be used for documenting conferences in this post. Unfortunately I was only able to write a little, because of a shaky Internet. And beeing offline does make it a bit more deficult to write in wave at the same time. I did write some notes from some keynotes and lectures, but there needs to be more people working on the wave at the same time, otherwise you could just as well use Evernote for the notes.


Since SAP Teched there has been two conferences for Enterprises/Wave with relevant content. The first was eComm in Amsterdam where the starting wave is this.
This starting wave is a index, contain basic information about the venue and a list of all the different session with waves. In the Waves it looks like one or two authers has written the main blip, while others have commented bellow. A wave form the event from the session “Why Should You Care About Google Wave?”, is dealing with Wave and is the most interesting.

The intro Blip is have not been touch, but a lot of people have commented on the wave. With this form of communication you get a lasting conversation, and are able to have a conversation about all the different areas covered. Presenters can also help sorting out some of the questions.

The other conference is the E2conf, which is currently taking place in San Fransisco. The main wave is this wave. The layout is almost the same. On some waves they have more tags concerning how has created the wave. The use of tags will in future make it easier to do research.

An example of a Wave from E2conf is the debate about Integrating Google Wave into the Enterprise. This has a main blip written by three authors. After the talk a Ben Kepes wrote about highlights from the talk at a blog with the same name. Using this form of communication will make it much easier for bloggers/reporters to capture everything and create their versions of the content.

I like being able to read what has been said in a presentation. That way I don’t have to see the presentation, if nothing new has happened. It will make it much easier to find the content worth looking into. Get the links showed on it.

The TEDxCopenhagen is currently running. They are writing in this wave in Danish. They are just using one wave, but the depth of the conference is probably not as big as for a 1 hour session. So each session has its own blip, where the comments are written in. It make it really easy to see what is live and who said what. But you cann’t have discussions about any items in this context.

It is interesting to see someone typing, a summery of what is going on live. With each of those waves you have someone to talk to, how is also interested in the topic and you can learn more from the sessions.You can also find pictures someone has taken, so you can illustrate your posts.

I hope there will be more waving from conferences, because it adds more content than you get from the tweets.

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Attending Conferences With Waves

When you are a participant in a conference, Wave can make sense for you. I have some ideas regarding conference attendance.

Image by Smitty on Flickr
Image by Smitty on Flickr

When you are at the keynote, it is possible for you to open and edit the summary. In this way, you can write about your ideas on what is being discussed, and reflect on what others have written. This is something which requires a lot of mental capacity and multi-tasking; you need to follow what the speakers are currently saying, writing the content down and then comment on other spectators’ ideas on the keynote. The keynote is really interesting, because it talks about the direction of the company. There are a number of analysts, bloggers and journalists at place, who can write about how they see the keynote. It could be interesting for them to get comments from other people on the topic of the day.

For less crowded events like some presentations, you may find that you can create your notes live. Wave will allow you to create your own notes for each session, so other participants in the wave can see what is being written or if it is an interesting presentation. If it is possible to create good notes from your sessions you will be able to learn more. Other persons wanting to attend the same session at a later stage can see if it is interesting.

There will be some issues regarding rights of the content. I could imagine that some presenters do not like to see their content on the web, but it will hopefully be very few. The alternative is to blog about each session, where the same information can be disclosed. With wave you don’t need to have the content as super well formatted but you can let it be more in draft state. In this way you have your content the same way as other places.

Wave can also be used for less formal events, like finding places to go for dinner/lunch or just to start a networking session with some like minded persons. With wave, this will be easier if you can catch people’s attentions to the wave where you want to attract an audience about something.

Twitter is quite popular at conferences, where you are able to follow the streams. I have found, that I can only focus on one thing, what the speaker is saying or tweeting about what they have said. When I start writing my tweet, I lose focus on the speech and cannot see what is being said. It is also difficult to follow the twitter stream, to find interesting points. I read the other day that speakers also should follow the twitter streams, so they could respond in realtime to the event. I don’t think I’m able to speak and read from the twitter stream at the same time. Maybe wave will be easier to follow for a presenter, since it is just in one place all information exists. And you can see what people are writing at the moment.

I will try waving at the upcoming SAP Teched conference, to test if it is a useful way to work. You can follow the tag: sapteched09 and see the result of the experiment. A problem with the Waving is that not all participants have a Wave account, so it will only be a small subset who will use Wave.

The last challenge is that my new Asus Eee is very slow, when I’m working in Wave. I don’t think the small atom processer can run all the JavaScript. I’m not sure on how often it is sending data. Maybe the Wave client could be tweaked so wave can only sent data in every 5 characters, if the computer was to slow.

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The process of collaborating

letterOften when you hear about how old scientist collaborated they used letters. Like Niels Bohr who drafted some of his ideas in letters to Heisenberg. Many of these letters are stored as a part of the great thinker’s collaborative process and a history of how our knowledge expanded.

I would guess that people spend a long time on writing the letters to each other’s and then hoped to get a reply back some weeks later (I’m not sure on how fast the post system was at that time). They probably also spend more time on writing what they meant, in a communicative fashion, because you just could not ask for a change. If I wite a mail and someone, does not understand my writing they can send comments back fast, and I can then clarify the parts which is difficult to understand.

The price for sending a letter across Europe must have been high compared with todays prices, since there was so much manual labor. That meant you probably had to use more time on creating the letters and treasured the result much more. I would also guess that paper and ink was more expensive than we think today.

Going from this letter collaboration to a much faster email has changed the way we feel about letters. I got a book with some letters/emails that I have written in 1996 when I was an exchange student. But other than that I don’t think I have any of my old emails, because they are not relevant anymore. If I had done some collaborative work, it would have been changed into a document.

With Google Wave this movement is speed is even greater. One of the popular activities is to blog, like this. With Wave blogging becomes an even faster, since you can collaborate with your readers like offlineblog writes. Currently working on scientific papers is a highly collaborative process, according to Wikinomics, the average paper had 100+ authors (I cannot find the detail now). Working on scientific papers might become more collaborative with Waves. In scientific papers it is very important to create the right formulation, and there the collaborations work easily. Business documents like scientific papers can also be a collaborative process, hire does it help to have

Then think that you get an instant reply on you idea generation. It just speeds up the process from many months to a single day. Okay breakthrough discoveries probably cannot be discovered in just one day.

You will of cause be able to go back and revisit all your waves, since they will all be stored on the server. The question is then if you are able to find all your nuggets between all in your daily conversations. The question is also if the Wave will be compatible with future use wave servers or the Wave protocol will be replaced by something else in 20 years time.

Image by jude_bird_86.

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An example where Google Wave is the right tool

I was talking to a friend yesterday. He is a PR person working in a political environment.

One of his tasks was to make a brochure with a description of a large venue. The venue is a collaboration between multiply political organizations in the area.

His first task was to clear his draft with his own organization. This took some time to write and find the right voice and communication. Then he had to clear the content with the other organizations. When one of the organizations got their homepage on the brochure, all the others also wanted to have their homepage on as well.

To make matters worse the brochure had to go through a graphical person, so the result of the revisions was displayed like the will be in the final brochure.

If could use Google Wave for the process. He could a have created a Wave with his proposed content. When the content was cleared in his organization, he could create a new wave with the result. The new wave could then be shared with the other organizations, and they could agree on the text. They could see what each other wanted to correct and comment on these changes.

It will not be possible to use have the graphical layout created in the Wave. But if everybody is sure about the content, then it would only be the graphical layout which needed to be discussed. If wave also was used for this, then it would be easier to agree on the changed that was required.

So if my friend and his organization were able to use Google Wave they could collaborate easier and probably also save some meetings.



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