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A Beginner’s Guide to Google Wave

Logging into Google Wave for the first time is a baffling experience. It is almost impossible to work out what to do without the help of others, so I thought I’d create a really simple, step-by-step guide to get you started.

Step 1: Find some Friends

The first thing you need to do is to find some people to connect with. The problem is that not many people are signed up yet and even if they are, you probably don’t know their google wave address.

If you are lucky enough to know their google wave address (mine is farmlanebooks (at) goooglewave (dot) com) then you can add the person using the little + button next to the words manage contacts in the bottom left of the screen.

If you’d like to find some book bloggers then I’ve created this wave:

[wave id=”!w+kNwYIiY_C” height=”200px” server=””]

Just log in and add yourself to it, then click on the avatar of anyone you recognise and add them to your contacts. Once you are following this wave it will be easy for me (or others) to add you to the other book blogging waves.

Step 2: Find Some Waves

The next thing you need to do is find a few waves to read, so that you can start to join in. The best place to start is probably with waves which are open for everyone to see.

To find public waves, type with:public into your search box and then click on the magnifying glass. This will bring up all waves which are viewable by everyone. You can refine this search by including keywords, after the word public, for example with:public FAQ will bring up waves with frequently asked questions, or with:public books will produce a list of waves in which books are mentioned.


Once you know some-one’s google wave address you can search for waves in which they’re participating¬† in a similar way – for example with:farmlanebooks will bring up all waves which I am currently following.

Step 3: Create a Wave

When you are ready to start a discussion, just click on the New Wave button at the top of the centre panel. Type your message in the box in the right-hand column, then add people you’d like to share your conversation with using the + button next to your avatar. You can make the wave public by adding as a participant. (you’ll need to add to your contact list before you do this)

Step 4: Enjoy Google Wave!

Hopefully, this post will provide enough information to get you started, but if there is anything you’d like to know, then just ask and I’ll do my best to find out the answer for you.

Are you managing to wave successfully now?

Do you have any hints for new users?

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Is Google Wave Useful?

In the last few days Google Wave has started to be used by a growing number of book bloggers. For those of you who don’t know, Google Wave is a collaborative tool that allows people to discuss a topic, or edit a document in real time. I have only used it for a limited period of time, but am not convinced that it will be much use to bloggers on a day-to-day basis.

So far the majority of ‘waves’ are discussion threads, which would be much better if available on a blog, accessible to everyone. I know that people are only experimenting with Wave at the moment, but I find the privacy of Wave worrying. I don’t like the fact that people have to be invited to join in a discussion and worry that new bloggers would find it very hard to be able to join in to the community. It all feels very cliquey, in a way that blogging and Twitter have managed to avoid.

Yesterday I set up a quick poll on Wave, to see if people thought it was useful and almost everyone thought that it would be. A few people expressed concerns about the private nature of Waves, but most thought it would be a beneficial tool.

One of the better aspects of Wave is the ability to import all its functionality into a blog post, but I am unsure as to how this will work. In the interest of science I have included the poll I created yesterday below. Unfortunately it won’t be visible in Internet Explorer, but please can you let me know whether you are able to see it with other browsers. I am particularly interested in whether those without a Wave account are able to view/edit the Wave now that I have made it public.

[wave id=”[wave id=”!w+0sF8bM7VC” server=””]


For those that can’t see the above box – here is a screen shot of it:



I can see that Wave is a great tool for writing joint posts or working together on a bigger project, but it isn’t going to be somewhere I visit daily. If you are lucky enough to have access to Wave, please add me (farmlanebooks (at) googlewave (dot) com) as contact!

Have you found Google Wave useful?

Do you think you’ll use it regularly?