My Latest, Favorite Google Wave Tips and Updates

12 Nov/09

Been hard at work readying The Complete Guide to Google Wave for its PDF debut this month. The Wave team has been making it more difficult with (welcome) changes to the app on the final days of copyedit. I’ve been updating a book-specific Twitter stream, @gwaveguide, with Wave news and tips, but wanted to round up three of my favorite must-know items here.

  • You already know that public waves are a great way to interact with people on Google Wave (especially if your friends and co-workers haven’t been invited yet). But the problem with public waves is that they were opt-out instead of opt-in: the moment you opened a public wave, you got added to its participants list. Today the Wave team fixed that madness. The “mute” button, which you would have to press to keep an active wave from constantly popping up in your inbox with new content, has been replaced with “unfollow.”* Instead of getting automatically added to a public wave’s participant list by just opening it, it’s now opt-in: you click “Follow” to get a wave’s updates in your Inbox. Follow/unfollow works for any wave, too–not just public waves. For now, unfollow is a stop-gap solution for the inability to remove yourself from a wave. Here’s more on using follow and unfollow.
  • Speaking of public waves, making a wave public is a weird pain in the ass using the contact (which disappears from your Contacts panel any chance it gets). Instead, use the bot.
  • Hold down the Shift key to select multiple waves in the Search panel, and the you can archive, mark as read, unread, or move them to a folder in one shot.

In other book news, I’ve moved my list of favorite bots from this blog post to Chapter 8 of the book, and currently I’m loving Inbeddable, CleanTXT, and XMPP Lite. Adam compiled a killer list of useful Wave gadgets in Chapter 7. Finally, several readers have expressed interest in translating the book’s text. We welcome that! Here’s more on how to help translate the book.

What are your essential Wave tips, bots, and gadgets? Let us know on-wiki, in-Wave, or in the comments here.

* It’s interesting to note that the Wave team abandoned the Gmail term (mute) for the Twitter term (unfollow), which gives it more of a social network feeling (versus email). Overall, a smart, easier-to-understand choice.

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