It feels like a little like a scene from a classic 50’s SF movie. There’s a big oscilloscope in the center of the frame. On the screen, two distinct sine waves. Someone turns a dial, then another one, and the two sine waves move together into phase. Then the next plot point appears.
I’d gotten an invitation to Google Wave from Pumpkiny (thanks!) three months ago. I’d given Wave a quick look. It was mystifying for the most part. Ellen Filgo, Baylor’s E-Librarian and intrepid pioneer in all online matters, put a Baylor Waver wave together. There are about twenty of us on there, including a few of my students from last term’s New Media Studies seminar. But when I checked in today, most of the Wave activity was dormant, on that Wave and on the six or seven others I’d been added too. It looked like we’d all given it a try and then gone on to other matters. (The exception in my inbox was one Bryan Alexander had started, a Wave about Wave–a popular genre–with some extra Wave information resources and some typically trenchant commentary from Bryan.)
Today somebody turned the dials and got the waves in phase, somehow. A faculty colleague emailed me asking if I’d heard about Google Wave. I was cleaning up email and found the one that described the official EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative Wave for the annual meeting in a couple of weeks. I finally read some entries in the Google Wave Blog. I re-read the ELI “7 Things You Should Know About Google Wave” with renewed interest and attention. One colleague in the Baylor marketing/communications division emailed me with a question she’d received. I replied with an overview and links to resources. Another colleague in that division emailed a colleague in the library, then the University Webmaster. The emails were crossforwarded. The flurry of interest sent me back to Wave again, where I began to add to the public Baylor wave and soon found myself in a conversation with a fellow from Spain about dragging and dropping pdf files into Wave. (Turns out you can do it, but only in Chrome natively; Firefox and Safari need Gears installed to do it.)
A closer look, a harder look, more people in the network, a little more conversation, a few more resources, and things begin to coalesce here. I haven’t gotten my head around it yet, but I think I know more of the “it” I’m trying to get my head around, if that makes any sense.
I feel that old spidey-sense tingling. A good feeling. Wave is ambitious, subtle and bold as well. It’s a version of Ted Nelson’s intertwingling.
I’m getting interested.