Thursday, October 29, 2009

wave and interviews ... Too new or the wrong medium?

I'm trying to do an interview for my blog using wave, and so far it's not going very well.

When I first thought about it, using wave to interview a small group seemed pretty natural. The idea of a free flowing discussion with the ability to go back and massage the stream a bit felt more like sitting around a table and talking than sending emails back and forth.

I asked the team from The Compleat Rubyist if they'd be willing to try it out and they were willing, so we gave it a shot. Sadly, it's not going very well and I'm considering falling back to email to finish things off. (I really want to get the interview done and posted, because I think David, Gregory, and Jeremy have a good thing going on.)

I'm interested in finding out why this attempt isn't working out though. Wave is still pretty immature, and there are neither tools nor habits in place (yet) to make this kind of use easy enough. Maybe it's a function of the medium not being as good a fit as I thought.

What do you think, is it a question of maturity, overall fit, or something else altogether? What kinds of things are you finding wave a particularly good (or bad) fit for?

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Mr. Neighborly said...

I think it's a two-fold problem. First, new habits are difficult to form, especially when there's no apparent value. As of right now, Wave is basically a second e-mail inbox. I'd rather not have two of them open, especially when I'm already distracted enough. If there was a way to integrate the two, I think it'd be a lot easier to pay attention to it.

Second, when you do use it and keep it open, it's not very easy to know when new things have come your way. I'm thinking a native client would be useful to help with this, but I haven't seen any of those yet, so I don't know when/if that'll be solved.

All in all, it's a neat platform, and I think if you were doing a real-time, one-on-one interview (or maybe more people I don't know), it would work. But for asynchronous communication it seems to breakdown pretty badly.

zobie said...

I've been investigating the possibility of using Wave for some group collaboration so I was interested to read that it isn't working for you. Can you give more detail about how it is failing? What kinds of problems are you running in to?

Kevin Rutherford said...

Wave feels like it ought to be an ideal platform for group discussions, and I'd be willing to give it a go. You don't say why your current experiment isn't going well -- perhaps a blog post analysing that might be useful?

gnupate said...

zobie and Kevin,
I'll try to post something tomorrow with some additional details.

kenny said...

wave is a stinker. it does most things poorly.

tea42 said...

I gave Waves a go at having a back and forth discussion with a fellow coder. Something I frequently do via email. I too was disappointed. With email one often interweaves ones discussion within the previous persons email. Using ">" or such character to distinguish the two. While you can do this with Waves too --and one would think better b/c it supports comment branch natively, it actually comes out worse b/x the document doesn't flow in the same way. You can't delete arbitrary sections. Your are stuck with this stack of boxes. So it really feels more static than email.

On top of this the interface is a bit clunky. I can't move the edit pane to the left where I'd rather have it. And the ability to watch others type is just silly. Cool tech, but worthless in practice.