Posted by: jhamon | May 30, 2009

Trying to Catch a Wave

My friend Christopher Williams invited us to a benefit dinner tonight for the Western Center for Law & Policy which he co-founded.  That’s the organization that is representing a pastor and his wife who have been tangling with the County of San Diego over a home Bible study. The case has quickly garnered national attentions.  (BTW: the County decided on Friday that freedom of religion still exists in San Diego and have backed off on the issue).

Another friend, Craig, introduced me to somebody as a “technology guy.”  I had to laugh, because more often than not, I am on the trailing edge of technology.  It is true that I develop algorithmic trading technology and that I work with a software jock, a cognitive scientist and an IT guy, but in actuality they bring me along on the trip.  I ride shotgun, take in the sights and occasionally point out something in the road ahead.  In fact, I find myself sort of self-conscious about my lack “next wave” savvy.  So recently, I started to make a consistent effort to be apprised of the Next Big Thing.

And for once, I might actually have identified it.  For a long time,  I have been bothered by lack of integration between communication mechanisms: voice, email, text, skype, video, audio, blogs, tweets…

This has practical implications.  For example, when I need to in touch with someone in a hurry, I always have to ask myself his preferred medium: will he get a text if I send it to him?  Does he prefer  a call?  Another example: I do a lot of daily communication with my business partners on skype, but it doesn’t keep files around and it’s hard to find a url 10 days after it got passed to me.  Or: our 18 year old is hard to get on the phone but easy to reach by text.

Isn’t there some way that all these disparate streams could be integrated in some way that preserves context and flow while sticking around so that we can retrieve it later?  Google Wave just might be it.

Google Wave Screenshot

Google Wave Screenshot

The screen shot doesn’t do it justice.  You’ll do best by watching the video from the Google Developer’s Conference.  Non-geeks, you only need the first half hour or so to get the picture.  But give it a shot; it’s really a game changer in my opinion.  I’m just wondering how quickly our team can start using it.

I told one of my younger and techier associates of how I’d seen something amazing and new.  That’s about as far as I got before he said, “Oh, yeah.  Google Wave.”  Maybe I should just shut up and just enjoy the view.

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