Will Google Wave make us more transliterate?


Google Wave arrives this week. I requested an invitation months ago but haven't heard yet whether I'm in the select few of the rumoured first 100,000 public invites. There's lots of excitement afoot, though, and on Twitter you can read it in many languages, which is especially pertinent since word has it that soon Google Wave will translate for you in real time. Imagine! And that's just one of many new functions we've never seen before.

People expect big things of Google Wave. Will it change literacy as we know it? I do think it's likely to make users more transliterate. Here's an excerpt from the Google Wave About page which explains some of what is really different about this evolutionary moment in the history of email:

What is a wave?

A wave is equal parts conversation and document. People can communicate and work together with richly formatted text, photos, videos, maps, and more.

A wave is shared.
Any participant can reply anywhere in the message, edit the content and
add participants at any point in the process. Then playback lets anyone
rewind the wave to see who said what and when.

A wave is live.
With live transmission as you type, participants on a wave can have
faster conversations, see edits and interact with extensions in

…If you can't get your head around it, try watching the developer video. It's over-long and very detailed, but most of the information can be found in the first 15 minutes or so.

Dipping my toes in the water

Thank you, Sue, for welcoming us to the blog.

I'm looking forward to contributing some thoughts on my journey towards transliteracy, although not without some trepidation in the august presence of the other contributors. I've been online for the majority of most days in the past twelve years or so, but I'm a relative newbie when it comes to the in-depth exploration of the undulating and tangential web.

The MA in Creative Writing and New Media that I've just completed under the expert guidance of Sue Thomas and Kate Pullinger opened my eyes to art and content possibilities that I had not encountered before. Because I hadn't even known that they existed, I had never looked for them, despite my love affair with online search.

I suppose this is one of the most valuable things I took from the course: that the journey in the networked world is inevitably a communal one to at least some degree … to expand our knowledge and insight and to grow as 21st century people, we need not only our lovely machines and ever-cleverer software, but also other fellow travellers as companions and as guides. Otherwise, we are likely to follow only our own well-worn paths. These offer, of course, many joys and discoveries as sophisticated search tools enable us to mine the deepest seams in our areas of interest, but they may not challenge us to our full potential. 

For this reason, finishing my MA saddened me a little as it ended a time of sharing with the majority of the other students who have elected to do the course over two years and can look forward to another year of intense exchanges. So it was a relief to attend if:book's Fictional Stimulus launch event in London last Tuesday eve and realise that participation in the ongoing discovery and discussion of digital literature is still only a click away.

Splash! Splash! I'm in!

First There Was WikipediaVision, Now There’s TwitterVision

In January I wrote about how strangely addictive WikipediaVision was (and still is) but now I've come across something that inspires even more obsessive behaviour…at least for me.


I realise TwitterVision (by David Troy) has been around for a while; Nat Torkington blogged about its hynosis-inducing effects back in last March. Although I checked it out then (albeit briefly), it seems much more interesting to me now…perhaps because I'm also hooked on Twitter itself. Its seems this mashup would make a geography lesson or social studies lesson quite fun too…



Follow David Troy on Twitter here.
Other interesting Twitter mashups:
For more, check out the extensive list (100 examples) at MoMB Labs.