Wednesday, June 16, 2010

And Speaking of Google..


And speaking of Google Wave, I have created a set of linked Waves intended to elicit discourse, comments or questions regarding anything groundwater management.  My hope is that all the groundwater management types will join in and participate.  Google Wave, if you're unfamiliar with it, is a vehicle to discuss and collaborate on documents, ideas, thoughts, proposals and who knows what else.  It's like a wiki in this regard - an open architecture format that allows anyone to create a document, idea, or discussion point and anyone else to respond with edits, supporting material, a refute or whatever else they want to say about the issue at hand.  The operating system is like IM'ing, but more real time - you actually see what others are typing as they make their inputs.

The site I made is called:  All Things Groundwater Management.   You'll have to create an account in Google Wave and once you do you can find the GMDA Wave by searching on "with:public Tag:groundwater".  (Once you find it, you'll want to add it to your Inbox to keep track of it)  The main Wave is the intro and currently has 3 linked Waves - 1) Issue Discussions (w/ 5 starter discussion topics); 2) a GMDA meetings Wave; and 3) a GMDA Board Meeting Wave.  The discussion waves currently are completely open, but may change to "access by request only" if we all feel a need to restrict it.  In fact, I'm taking a poll inside this wave on the "open issue" right now (Discussion Topic # 4) so feel free to chime in.  The Board Meeting Wave is by request only and is being reserved for GMDA board member participation only.  You can see it, but cannot comment or edit any of the material therein.

I have to admit that the learning curve is a bit higher than normal, but the utility of Wave to conduct open (or controlled) discussions and collaborative development is very promising.  For starters, most versions of IE don't even support the newer format, so you'll have to download and install a Google Chrome Frame, or, just use a compatible browser like Safari, Firefox or Chrome.  On the plus side, I'll wager the polling widgets alone would keep Zetland busy for at least a year!  

Anyway, come by for a visit if you can and help build the groundwater management community Wave. 

2 comments:

  1. For web conferences you should try http://www.showdocument.com ,
    Great for online teaching and collaborating. I use it for working on my designs with other in my field.
    Its free and pretty simple - you just upload your file and invite others to view it together.
    - Laura W.

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  2. Laura: Thanks for the reference. While showdocument is a pretty nifty document collaborative tool, we also want to promote as dynamic as possible discussion threads on ideas in addition to collaborating on specific documents. Google Wave does both. I'll probably keep my showdocument account, tho. It may come in handy some day. Thanks again for the comment.

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