Science Online Software and Tools

The sound of two hands Waving

The Life Scientists Wave in Iron

I got a Google Wave account (grin) via Cameron Neylon on Monday morning (thanks, Cameron!). I’m trying not to get caught up in all the hype, but I can’t help grinning when I’m using it, even though I don’t really know what I’m doing, and even after seeing the Science Online Demo and a couple Google videos.

But where and how will we get the benefit of the Wave?

I’ve read a few articles, and played around a little, and chatted with people, but I’m still a complete novice. So, I’m not going to talk about technical aspects of waving here. However, even now I can see that the power of Wave will not be in what’s available by default (as was the case with Gmail – you got an account, started using it, and that was pretty much it). It will be in the new applications, interfaces and most especially the Robots that will be riding the Wave with us where the most value will be. OK, so I’ve only had an account for one day, but I think even as a beginner, I can see it is in what we will create for ourselves and our communities to use that will make or break this new thing. And, as ‘we‘ are so much a requirement for this to work, my next point becomes pretty important.

What it will really take to get the best out of Wave for us researchers and scientists?

It will take many, many scientists participating. Social networking needs to get a lot more important to people who currently may just make use of e-mail and web browsing. This is exciting, but we’ll need their help. A very good slideshow by Sacha Chua about this can be found on Slideshare. Use it to convince your friends!

First steps.

As for me, I’ll be waving with both hands this Thursday at 2pm, when Cameron Neylon comes to talk about open science, Google Wave, and more. Unless Cameron is a fantastic multitasker, I may be the only one with an account at the presentation. Not sure how interesting it will be if I am the only one waving. I’ll keep you updated, and post my experience with live blogging with Wave here, and let you know how it goes.

I’m also hoping that I can get some of my research out there into the wider world via Wave robots. I have an interest in structured information (ontologies, data standards etc) and think this may lead to some interesting things.

So, the sound of two hands waving? Pretty quiet, I think. But add another few hundred pairs of hands, and things may get a lot louder.