Google Wave – Conversation Doesn’t Have To Be Chess

I’ve been holding my Wave thoughts to myself for the most part barring random tweet or comment here and there, but after reading the Fast Company version, I finally decided to type a brief opinion out.

Brief admittedly because Google’s version of the Wave hasn’t launched, and it isn’t open source enough for me to have my own Wave implementation setup, so I have no idea how it really works up close.

Wave is not a reinvention of email. Google may have said it is, but it’s not. Wave is another version of conversation.┬áThe fears laid out in the Fast Company article (especially #2), say it all:

“With live transmission as you type, participants on a wave can have faster conversations, see edits and interact with extensions in real-time.” That’s what Google says. Am I the only one who writes an email, then revises it for tone and clarity? It’s creepy enough that other people know when I’m typing on Gtalk. Now they can see what I’m thinking as I try out sentences?

That is exactly what a conversation is.

When I’m standing in the same room as somebody and conversing with them, anything that comes out of my mouth is heard. If I stutter, or misspeak, or change my mind mid sentence… I am allowed. If the person listening to me needs to interrupt me or offer an answer that I’m having trouble expressing, they can. Just like that. Two people don’t sit and stare at each other while they try to formulate the perfect response.

Conversation doesn’t have to be chess. And to me, Google Wave is for conversation.

Your profile is not yet eligible to be featured in Google Search.

Hearing that Google Profiles are starting to be included in search results, I head over to my Google Profile page and see a little message:

Your profile is not yet eligible to be featured in Google search results.

To have your profile featured, add more information about yourself.

A link is given for Add more info to my profile, and learn more. I follow the learn more link, as I’ve already added plenty of info to my profile and I can’t figure out what else they could need.

The learn more section has the basics — add info to your profile, add links to your web pages, etc, etc — and then a section for “Verify your name” and get a “Verified” badge on your account.

Sweet, I can be Google Official! I click on verify your name and am brought to a page that tells me I should:

  • Sign in on the Knol homepage.
  • Select Preferences from the My profile drop-down menu in the top right corner of the page.
  • Click Name Verification.
  • Select how you want Google to verify your name.

So I sign into the Knowl homepage and at first the My profile link isn’t up in the top right corner, but after a few clicks it suddenly appears. I click on the My profile link and go to preferences and then Name Verification.

Wow, two options — Phone or credit card. Each seems easy enough, so I go with phone. I enter my name, address, phone number and click the button to have Google call me.

Alas, I am not in the “directory”, whatever that is. So I cannot use this method for verification.

Whatever, credit card is just as easy. I click Verify name by credit card. Enter name, address, credit card number… and no — “We encountered the following problem: Error: please try later.” How descriptive.

So then I gave up and added a short biography of nonsense, and then added my special super powers, and then added something I can’t find on Google. Saved my profile one more time, and voila, my profile is eligible to be featured in Google search.

Huh?