Testing Google Wave in Stockton

Google has been hyping its latest innovation, Wave, as the future of online communication. And Wave is impressive in its beta version, which is now being testing by users across the world.

It allows users to share information live in a variety of formats, including text, hyperlinks, video and maps. It’s like live chat in which you can watch other users add their comments word by word. Some have already created public Waves to collaborate on large projects like writing novels and screenplays.

Wave also can be useful for newspapers looking to build community with readers or share information during breaking news events. The Seattle Times worked with their readers last month on a Wave about the shooting of four police officers in that city. Times staffers worked with readers to keep the public informed about the hunt for the suspect in the shooting as well as road closures and school lockdowns.

That Wave grew so popular that traffic on it slowed. Its role in coverage of the shootings earned The Times praise both from the community and those in the journalism industry. You can find out more on the Times’ Web site.

Yesterday I decided to test out Wave in Stockton, creating what I think is the first public Wave for local news and information. I created a second public Wave this morning specifically for today’s news. You can find it by searching with:public Stockton in Wave (see the screenshot at left) or, if you’re logged into Google Wave, by clicking here.

Keep in mind that because Google Wave is in its beta stage, you still need an invite from a current user to participate. Each user invited to test Google Wave was given a limited number of invites.

For more on Google Wave, check out the short video below or the much, much longer video at bottom.

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