Entries in 'Out of the box' ↓

No to the paradigm, yes to the market

Google Wave logoI felt a bit sad yesterday, when I heard. Google has now pulled the plug on Google Wave. Not because I used it much. In fact I didn’t. I’ve used Google Docs, where I had a lot of my work already, and where I could easily share and (as it turned out) collaboratively develop documents. Even the live typing known from Google Wave made it’s entry into Google Docs.

More than anything shutting down Google Wave seems like a strategical decision, and even one which has been a long way in the coming. Google probably could choose to invest more and develop Google Wave much further, if they chose to do so, even without as large a user base, as ‘they had hoped for’. But they choose not to. In short, in my analysis, Google Apps is where the money is, and by slowly introducing aspects and elements of functionality from Wave into Google Apps, like they’ve done with Google Docs, they get to monetize what they’ve built with wave, scrapping the rest.

But I felt sad because I love the paradigm, that the Google Wave team were spearheading. We need something other than desktop documents, this has long been obvious, ever since wikis came along. We need something other than email, because email has lots and lots of drawbacks and disadvantages despite it’s broad adoption. It is foolish to send back and forth desktop documents and revisions. Google Docs, which basically is MSWord on the web, has now sadly succumbed even further to the WYSIWYG crowd, which makes the loyal user experience slower and more painful, in order to, apparently, please people who are not willing to learn new things and load a lot of fluff, which is basically not needed to ‘just craft documents’.

I agree with all that the Google Wave team said and did. Yet I did not use it very much. Few people I knew used it. It was (too) hard finding information in it, a bit surprising given the fact that it was built by a company based on search and information filtering. I couldn’t delete waves, so I felt my space was too cluttered with half-hearted attempts and crap, which didn’t make me want to come back very often. I couldn’t decide who or precisely how many I wanted to invite to the party. I didn’t feel I had sufficient control over my data. I couldn’t export my waves to something useful I could work with outside of Wave, like a pdf or html-like file. Surprisingly, waves could not even be imported into Google Docs, despite both products being developed by the same company. Wave had awesome filesharing potential, but noone used it for this. Obvious way though to share torrents and other useful bits, but then again, one can do the same with Google Docs. All in all, I never came to use Wave as much as I would have liked.

Still loved the paradigm, though. And we still have wikis, which are still a lot better in many ways than what Wave had to offer. We still have free software. We will see the paradigm through, with or without Google Wave.

[I lost the expanded version of this post in a server-hell-knows-what-happened thing, which caused WordPress to make a freakshow and develop massive swap... The ridiculous thing is, I had refused to save the draft of the piece I had already created in Notepad, thinking it was safely saved as a draft on the server. Seems I was wrong. Never, never, never trust the web 100%. Never never trust your internet connection. Always always always keep backup.

Anyway the piece had seven points about Google Wave and it's problems with defining it's space, re: ownership, private/public sphere, control of & location of data, access to waves, ability to delete waves etc. It was all very interesting at the time of writing but I don't have the inclination to recreate it all right now. I'll rather rant about my data losses. Maybe some other time.]

flattr this!

Tags : , , , , , ,  

President Obama

What a great smile – and what a great day for the world. I’m proud to have been a witness and a very modest and distant yet participant in this momentous moment of change in our history. Because what has been changed is the order of one-way politics, the order of read-only culture, of one-way, top down communications. What’s in is read-write culture, two-ways politics and bottom-up, peer-produced communications. I’m excited to be living in these times, and I share Obama’s vision and desire to leave our children with a mark on our times and world, of which we can be proud.

Saw President Obama’s speech from Chicago earlier this morning. If one is only going to listen to one speech in one’s life, it’s a pretty good candidate. If you haven’t already seen or heard it, I post the video here for your convenience.

Here’s the full text of Obama’s speech. The brilliant photo at the top is used courtesy of Bella Rua Photography from Flickr, taken at the Rollins Park rally in Concord, NH, September 29th, 2007. The photo is shared under a Creative Commons license.

EDIT: Took me a while to actually find an embeddable video of the full speech and of better quality than the one posted to YouTube. It’s worth listening to the complete speech – not just get the soundbites. I finally found the above courtesy of Yahoo Video.

Btw, the numbers are here.

flattr this!

Tags : , , , , , , ,  

A Market’s Day in Odense

When Steve Spalding wrote about Kaplak on How To Split An Atom, he chose a small picture of some pictoresque 19th century houses to accompany the article. The picture bears the title “Denmark”, which is shown when hovering over the image with the mouse cursor. While nice, the image is a bit on the tiny side, and doesn’t quite justify what it looks like living here. I’ve thought about for a while that I would like to put in a little work to expand the online imagery of Odense, so that the next person to write something about us (or about Odense or Denmark in general), will have a greater variety of images to pick from. What better day to do this, than on a sunny saturday, which is also a market’s day in Odense?

While the pictoresque quality of Odense is not completely true – and not completely untrue either, these are the places which do attract the camera the most. I had my daughter and my dog with me, and we were even lucky enough to see a whole swan family as they were feeding.

flattr this!

Tags : , , , , ,