Posts Tagged ‘google wave’

The death of email

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , ,

I hate email. I think it’s one of the most inefficient things out there. I mean, just look at how hard it is to maintain your inbox and keep everything organized. Sure, you can leave messages for all sorts of people, from those you actually know to those you want to. But the way that technology has evolved, there should be a better way. If we could only throw off the shackles of our habits and start anew, our interactions on the internet would be nothing like email as we know it.

Here’s how I envision it: we have what you can still consider an inbox. People can send messages to it and you can reply, but there is no need for including their original message. Everything is threaded in a flow like instant messaging. You can scroll through the entire conversation and collapse it for easy navigation. When you want to create a different string of conversation, you just click new and choose who to message and what to say. When you want to attach a file, it’s loaded for easy previewing and downloading right in a sidebar. No need to search through which email actually contained the attachment. If you want to loop someone in, you just add them to the conversation. They can scroll back to see what had already happened in the conversation. If you don’t want them to see that part, start a new conversation by copying the current one and choosing what to exclude.

For organization purposes, as you view these, you can choose to file them into folders of your choosing, give them tags for keywords that weren’t explicitly mentioned in the conversation, or archive them (like in Gmail). Of course you can also create filters to put certain messages into the baskets you like. You can search for anything within a conversation, file name, or person’s name. If you’re on a group email (such as “”) and multiple recipients get the message but only one needs to reply, you can easily choose ownership of one to indicate to others that you’ve got it. No need to reply all just to let them know NOT to reply as well. Ownership can be changed at any time and your copy gets archived away. Replies can also be public, if someone else may need to reply to the thread to help out the person next time (much like those support tickets work).

I think if you combine the best of email, messaging, and support ticket management services, you could have an awesome tool. Each on its own is rather lacking in a variety of departments and it makes me not want to use any of them. Where’s the consolidated place I can manage all the digital correspondence in my life? Why do I need to mash together texts and emails and what have you to try to have a conversation? I was really hopeful back when Google Wave was launched. I thought it could be a much better replacement for email, but it just didn’t take off. I’m still searching for that awesome new thing that will upturn our interactions on the web. Until then, I’ll keep on racking up thousands of unread emails in my personal inbox, just because it’s so cumbersome to use emails. The world may be willing to work in such an inefficient manner, but I’m not going to waste my time with that.


laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Today my dear friend Philosopher arrived from a looong trip over, from across the pond, as they would say.  I encountered far more traffic than I anticipated going down and then spent 40 minutes driving in circles trying to see if he was out yet.  I had neglected to tell him to wait outside for me and the poor fellow had to wait for me for an hour while I was stuck in traffic and driving around outside wondering if he had gotten his luggage!  Thankfully, I finally figured it out and parked my car to go get him and that little round trip was expedient enough to render no parking fee!  Brilliant.

I made a pit stop to Boston Market on the way back because I love their cornbread and chicken pot pie, but alas, they no longer have pot pies!  Philo had wanted a salad that they were out of, so I got some cornbread and we headed back closer to Panda’s and ended up getting some CPK salads.  I learned (too late) that the half size was not quite big enough for my appetite, so I had some of the wooonderful cornbread to supplement my meal.  I think Boston Market’s cornbread is amazing – it’s soft with crunchy little bits of meal (or whatever grainy thing that is) and has a bit of sweetness to it.

When we got back, I was surprised with a box of Quality Street candies (between that and Celebrations, I could be dancing in heaven) and a bar of luscious chocolate, straight from England!  Philo then went off to shower off the grime from the trip and refresh a bit before eating.  We then had a lovely chat, with me sharing a lot of the things that have been interesting me in my life lately – like Google Wave, which I finally received my invitation for!  After a few hours, it was getting late and he was getting tired, so we set up his little bed for the night.

I played around with Google Wave for a bit and now it’s time for me to retire as well – I’ve still got a busy day at Opportunity Green tomorrow!


laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,
photo credit:

photo credit:

At moments, my mind is clouded by a foggy haze.  Thoughts no longer come in lucidly and I can just imagine the transmissions in my brain slowing down.  It’s hard to focus when an invisible weight sets foot on your cranium and won’t dissolve, no matter how you try.  In fact, it’s almost like corn starch in water or a Chinese finger trap, where the harder you try, the more resistant it gets.  So I’ve given up fighting against the current and decided that it’s time to let my weary mind rest for the night.  I have no clue what has brought on this mental murkiness, but along with it I feel a sense of increased agitation and restlessness.

Snippets of thoughts run through my head – things to remember, things to do, things to… wait, what was I thinking again? A train of thought is lost just as easily as another takes its place and my mind jumps around lethargically in a way completely unlike the normal stream of thoughts that has me working at a quick pace.  I remember websites I meant to visit and read, but I’ve no patience to go through the words.  My left eye feels more strained than my right and that irks me.  I remember moments that I was harsh or irresponsible towards Panda and I get a pang of guilt.

Too many choices lay in my path and I can’t seem to rationalize my decisions.  Everything is a good path, so how do I choose just one?  I want to go to all these events, but I don’t have the time and shouldn’t use the resources to.  I’ve been craving ice cream all night long and never got around to getting some.  I’ve wasted way too much  time agonizing over when I’ll gain access to Google Wave, then researching Google Voice and MetroPCS instead.  Why?  Because I’m curious and wanted to learn about them.  But I feel at a standstill, unable to get what I want though I know what it is that I’d love so much.  A lot of that has to do with my job search.

I wouldn’t say I’ve found a dream job, but I’ve found one that fits my main specifications and sounds wonderful:

1. with UCLA

2. environment-related

3. decent pay with benefits

4. small work environment

But I haven’t heard back and it’s frustrating because I hate the whole job hunting process and I’d like to just get a job and settle a bit.  Much as I enjoy what I’m doing now, there’s huge pressure from my parents to find a job.  I don’t think they want anything else from me now, even if I win an award or get to do something prestigious.

I'd like some tranquility and a sense of accomplishment right about now.  photo credit:

I'd like some tranquility and a sense of accomplishment right about now. photo credit:

My body feels out of sync and I’m getting more conscious of my unevenness.  I haven’t had a proper workout for ages because I’ve been telling myself that I’ll start up a routine once I get a job.  See, even I’m placing these restrictions on myself.  I just want to land that job, get an apartment, get that new car, and begin a routine.  Strange.  I’m not one for routines and doing the same thing over and over again.  But at the same time, I’d like a little more pattern in my life.  Living week to week is not sustainable.  So many things hinge on settling (and having money): starting to attend yoga classes, joining a massage clinic, picking up more hobbies, getting more creative with cooking, hitting up more restaurants, going to football/basketball games, getting alumni membership in Alpha Kappa Psi, reading books again…  I’m putting off everything requiring money or a steady time commitment.  After all, I don’t want to start something just to have to change when I do start working full-time.

Business sense

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , ,

Just a quick thought for today.

As I mentioned before, I’m waiting for my invitation to Google Wave (yeah, apparently it takes way more than one day to process).  Now I wrote about it naught but two days ago because it’s putting together some great features, but over the past 24 hours, that excitement and interest has dwindled to disappointment.

Here’s the thing: you make a great product, you make it exclusive to up the value and hype, then you need to make it actually useful for people!  The success of Google Wave depends solely on people’s desire and ability to collaborate creatively in many ways in a virtually live sense.  There’s plenty of that out there, but then when you put on the restraints like invite-only access, you’ve got to be careful with how that works.  In this particular case, the very thing creating the hubbub over who has it and who doesn’t is also turning around to hurt Google.

Don’t get me wrong, I completely understand why the invite-only way of spreading access is a great idea.  It worked well with Gmail, but only because you can use that account to e-mail any other e-mail address.  That way, people who don’t have it could see that you have it (a bit of a status thing at first) and you can still use the functionality on your end to organize messages and whatnot while not getting a disruption in your service.  But imagine if you got a Gmail account back when it was fresh and new and you were only allowed to e-mail other people with Gmail accounts.  It kind of kills the buzz, doesn’t it?  Well, that’s kind of what’s happening with Google Wave right now.

Early adopters were looking forward to trying out all the functions of this new application (or whatever you want to call it).  However, they’re stuck waiting around for days, maybe even weeks, just to be able to share it with their friends.  With all that Google can do, they can’t even create a system of approving invitations within the hour (or at least the day)?  I’m sure they have their reasons, but I don’t know if they can outweigh the loss of momentum between the initial burst of excitement surrounding getting invited and the follow-up burst of excitement when the invitation arrives and an account can be set up.  I imagine it would be like showing up to an exclusive event that you managed to get invited to only to be forced to wait in the lobby for hours.  Once I do get the full access I was looking forward to getting, I’ll be less enthusiastic about it from the impatience that built up during my wait.

To me it’s ironic that they’re handicapping the system by not giving it its lifeblood: connectivity.  I definitely think things are working against them in terms of the viral spread that is possible.  Wave’s growth is stunted by the fact that great, 100,000 people have it to test out now, but a good portion of them don’t really have anyone to use it with!  I know I’ve got some friends who have had it for a few days and don’t really get to use it creatively because all the people they invited still haven’t received the activation link.  Instead they’re sitting around waiting with us as well.  It’s a pity, really.

And though I’ve resolved myself to waiting probably another week before I can really try it out, I still hope that I get my code soon and keep checking my inbox, despite knowing deep down that I more than likely won’t get it in time to test it out before things pick up again and I have less time to spare.  I hope it’ll actually be impressive enough to reignite my interest once I do get started with it.  Otherwise, this whole delayed invitation process really was a bad business move on Google’s part.

Do the Wave

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Google is a company that knows how to create.  Create lots of online applications for people to use, then create huge hype over them when they (slowly) release them.  Remember the days when Gmail was invite-only?  Well, now it’s happening with their newest project: Google Wave.  Apparently it’s also going on for their service Google Voice, which will be opening up to the public eventually.

google waveToday I got an e-mail from a friend, asking around to see if anyone has invites for Google Wave.  That prompted me to go on a wild goose chase, first trying to figure out what exactly it is, then of course trying to find people with invites.  My search didn’t get far – after all, Google’s got a central location to explain what Wave is.  At first I read about it and understood the general concept – a collaborative tool online, with live interactions.  It’s like being in a meeting room, throwing around ideas and sharing documents, but in electronic form.  That wasn’t enough to really interest me, but I am a persistent person and I like to help others to make myself feel good and useful.  So, I watched the one-hour, twenty-minute, and twelve-second video outlining all the fun little doodads that come in Wave.

The screenshot provided by Google.

The screenshot provided by Google.

Now that is what truly sparked my interest.  The usability looks fabulous, there are a lot of functions for all the things you ever might want to do, and plenty of fun widgets!  It is open sourced, so there will certainly be a LOT of cool features to come as programmers get their turn at it.  It can integrate with websites and sync the information on your blog and in your Wave so that comments from one show up in the other.  Same thing goes for Twitter – you can link your account and post tweets from within Wave.  It is truly live to the point of being able to watch the other person typing out what they want to say (you can turn that feature off if you make a lot of mistakes or don’t want to have to take back something you didn’t mean to type).  It’s easy to drag and drop things into the Wave you’re working on, or take part of the current Wave and create a new one.

Some of the extensions they have are really what caught my eye.  Right now it’s smart enough to spell and grammar check in a contextual way, so even if you misspell something and end up typing another word instead, it can catch it and change that for you.  Sometimes it will change automatically and sometimes you will get that telltale red underline and then be given options.  It recognizes links without needing the http:// to indicate so and you can paste links in from a Google search without having to copy-paste the URL.  You can embed Google Maps, pictures, videos, and the like very easily and it recognizes YouTube links as videos and offers the option of embedding that with a quick click.  There’s also a real-time translating function that can translate between any two of 40 languages!

photo credit: marketingfacts on flickr

photo credit: marketingfacts on flickr

Once I went through that video, I got curious.  Suddenly, I was interested in trying it out for myself.  First I thought of the people I know at Google.  Oh wait, there aren’t any.  I have an acquaintance who works for them in Australia last I checked, but I haven’t heard from him in ages.  I checked LinkedIn and found that one of the people that Panda knows works for them, but he doesn’t know the guy well enough to ask for favors.  So there I was, wondering if I knew anyone who would have access to this kind of thing.  I decided to go to Twitter to post a funny observation I had made while watching the video.  While I was there, I searched for Google Wave and noticed that it was the top trending topic.  I guess this is all newer than I thought it was, since the hype was intense.  There were people selling invites!  That’s just insane.

I then read a few tweets about people giving them away (most were fakes, claiming they had 1000 invites) and couldn’t really find any leads.  I came across a lady who looked legit and messaged her just to try my luck.  I then noticed a lot of people offering Google Voice invites for Wave ones.  Well, the moment I saw that, I remembered a good friend of mine who has set his Google Voice number as his status for quite some time now.  Whenever he signs on, I see a message: “(XXX) XXX-XXXX new google voice phonenumber.”  I couldn’t resist telling him how I was reminded of him (and ask what exactly a Google Voice number is for).  As we chatted, I learned that not only did he have Google Voice, he has Google Wave as well.  After clearing up what Google Voice is for, he mentioned that he had one more invite to Google Wave and asked if I was interested.  Well, of course I was!  So I took his offer and I should be receiving my invite sometime tomorrow.

Then, let the Waving begin!

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