Surf's up -
Plenty of wannabe web impresarios will tell you how difficult it is to catch the world's attention, even when they're armed with what they insist will be a killer app. Imagine how jealous all of them must be, to see the world salivate for a new thing that doesn't even exist yet.
Well, Google Wave does actually exist; it's just that ordinary mortals like you and me aren't allowed to use it yet. It's an ambitious attempt by Google to weave a whole bunch of things, like e-mail, social networking, office interactions and a myriad of applications that Google just happens to have already.
Right now, Wave - which was announced just a week ago - is available only to developers, or the sorts of people who can develop applications that will run on the platform when it's made public later this year.
So, for people like me, it's been a week of often tantalizing descriptions and screenshots. Some of the folks I follow say Wave could very well be as revolutionary as some of the hype suggests; a friend of mine, though, is a little skeptical, and notes that the innards of Wave will lock people into the Google universe, whether they like it or not. For a lot of developers, that's a pretty mighty restriction.
I have to say that, from the descriptions, it all looks pretty seamless. Your e-mail inbox may feel a bit redundant, as you'll be using a hybrid of instantaneous communications (memo to Twitter: Google is watching you very closely) that will also allow colleagues to swap and share materials with you, in real time.
I have a hunch, though, that Wave could be kind of like ig, now iGoogle, or Individual Google, which is the personalized service that Google has offered for years. At first, it did seem revolutionary, with one-stop shopping for your e-mail, your frequently used pages, your favourite news sites, and so on.
I loved iGoogle for many months, but I'll confess that it gave way gradually to other tools. I wonder, therefore, if Wave might also dazzle us at the start, until its sparkle fades with familiarity.
Then again, all of this depends on finally getting a chance to use the thing itself!
Elsewhere this week:
You Should Have Seen This
I've offered my share of time-wasters in this column - and I use the word "time-wasters" affectionately, and with apologies for the loss of productivity in local offices - but I haven't often suggested something like this. It's a motherlode of treasures that live on the Internet, some of which are quite famous (the "Star Wars kid", Bill O'Reilly's profanity-laced meltdown) and a good few I had never seen before. A site to bookmark, for sure.
30 Free Fonts
Sure, you probably got a ton of fonts with your computer, but you can always use a few more. Even if your profession doesn't require a nice, healthy variety of typefaces (believe it or not, people earn degrees in this kind of stuff), your next office poster or party invite could probably use a little sprucing up.
Voicing commercials or a script sounds easy enough: someone gives you a sheet of paper, you talk into a microphone, and you collect a cheque. Right? It's more complicated than that, and believe me, recording your own voice can be daunting. The pros make it seem easy, though, and this site makes it easy to find them. Should you ever need to go looking for that type of thing. Fun trick: turn on a whole slew of voices at once; it sounds like you're in an elevator with radios.
Ride for Dad
Father's Day is coming soon and so, too, is the annual ride to fight prostate cancer. All the information you'll need for the June 20 event is here.
John Gushue is a news writer for CBCNews.ca in St. John's. Blog: johngushue.typepad.com. Twitter: twitter.com/JohnGushue.