Webconsuls - Web Design, SEO, and SMO Specialists

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Eight Google WAVE Invitations - Is Anybody Going to Wave Back?

Česky: Ikona pro sociální síť. Je součástí bal...(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Today, November 28, 2009, I finally received eight Google WAVE invitations to distribute! But before I distribute them I thought I would share some of my observations about Google WAVE and some links to interesting articles about it as well.

Thanksgiving has come and gone this year. I hope you had a peaceful holiday. It seems Thanksgiving Day is always a day filled with various conversations that take place as dinner is being prepared and while one is waiting for the next football game to start. This Thanksgiving was no exception at our home, but now I am wondering how many families stopped long enough to engage in a conversation about Google Wave. That's right. You read correctly. We actually had a brief conversation about Google WAVE. I think it was Aaron who asked the question: "Ok, I waved, is anybody going to wave back?" To this Daniel grinned and said that he, too, had noticed that it doesn't seem to do a lot of good if you wave and no one waves back. What is with that? We collectively wondered aloud!

I received my invitation to Google WAVE on November 12, 2009, but I have been reading about it since May 28, 2009, when Google announced the WAVE to the world at its I/O developer conference. A follow up post on May 31, 2009, was even more interesting, particularly the comments by Yefim Natis. I was encouraged to sign-up to be a Google WAVE beta tester on July 22, 2009. But I believe I didn't follow up on that suggestion, as I was busy working on a number of Webconsuls' projects at the time. So when the big day came, September 30, 2009, I did not get one of the 100,000 original invitations. But that does not mean that I didn't follow the WAVE's progress along the way. On October 19, 2009, I enjoyed reading a TIME Magazine piece by Lev Grossman, Google Wave: What's All the Fuss About?

I think it was shortly thereafter that I began to really think about the WAVE. Some press was good and some press was negative, was the WAVE alternately and literally at its crest and ebb with each passing day? A friend questioned why I was not in a rush to be part of the WAVE. My immediate answer was really twofold and it continues to take shape, even now that I have my invitation and can send invitations to my friends.
Here are my thoughts:

1) I spent about eight years in an IT department where part of my job description included Quality Assurance, either directly or in a supervisory position. Quality Assurance or QA, as it is known in the business, is a very fancy name for being a TESTER. Test the system until you can break it! I believe the average pay for a QA with a few years experience is somewhere between $45,000 and $60,000. Now, let's multiply $50,000 X 100,000 beta testers for Google WAVE. What you must understand about QA and what Google figured out a long time ago is this: Testing has a way of sucking you in...not unlike a rip current! It is hard to stop, once you start. And many people want to be able to say they were in on the ground floor of this WAVE. Be assured Google is good about listening to your comments ("test defects"), as they are anxious to have a good product. They will make you feel "valuable", albeit you are an unpaid volunteer.

2) While I love the beauty of the ocean, as a youngster I had many bad experiences with rip currents. Growing up in Southern California the beach becomes part of your life, but it can mean certain death. Therefore, the word WAVE has not always had a pleasant connotation. Let's think about it: tidal wave (OMG), permanent wave (ugly hairdos), microwave (makes you sterile if you are not careful), brain wave (you hope you have them, but it is bad news if people are looking for them), rogue wave (think The Perfect Storm), wave of nausea (TMI), heat wave, cold wave, seismic wave, good-bye wave (almost always sad).

As I close today, I invite you to read a few more articles:

Google Wave May Be The Future, But the Future is Not Real Time

Why Google Wave Sucks and Why You Will Use It Anyway

Google's Infinite Strip

And...I want to share with you a YouTube video about the Laguna Beach Greeter (notice it is not the Laguna Beach waver). There was a time when the only road to travel between San Diego and Los Angeles was the Pacific Coast Highway. One of my most vivid childhood memories was riding along PCH with my family and seeing Eiler Larsen, the greeter who welcomed all who traveled through Laguna Beach until 1975. He waved his hand...it was a good WAVE.



As always, let me know what you think and leave a comment if you want an invitation.
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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Marking Veterans' Day 2009


Marie Lynch, Joseph Eagen, Sister Eagen, Margaret Ryan (Nee), Bill Eagen
Did you ever come across an old photograph and wonder where and when it was taken? I actually inherited a number of photographs from my parents and my husband's parents. Pretty soon I will hand them down to my children. But today, I thought about this particular photograph and it occurred to me that sharing it with you would be part of my marking Veterans' Day 2009.

This photo pictures L-R Marie Julia Lynch (my mother), Joseph Raymond Eagen (my father), one of my father's sisters, my father's maternal Aunt Margaret Ryan (Mag), my father's younger brother Bill (kneeling). This photo was probably taken in Great Falls, Montana, definitely taken prior to my parent's marriage (1942) and later than October 1936 (the month of my father's enlistment in the U S Navy). Based on the rather sad looks on everyone's face, I am guessing this might have been taken around the time of my father's mother's death in early 1939. I do know my father was allowed to come back to Montana from China to see his mother before she died, as a special request to the US Navy. (See Letter Here)

During my childhood my father would often take us aboard some of the US Navy ships that were stationed in our hometown of San Diego. I have these vivid memories of him boarding these ships and the young sailors saluting him. He felt at home on these ships and he was proud of his naval career.

In Winter 1979 my younger brother, Michael, was commissioned as a Naval Officer, a young ensign.
(See photo on right) While my father lived to see this event, he died shortly after on March 27, 1979. Some 25 years later I was honored to be invited to my brother's Naval Retirement Ceremony. He retired as a Captain. At this ceremony a beautiful poem was read. It brought tears to my eyes that day, as it does today thinking how proud my veteran father would have been of his retiring son, Michael.

Today I am sharing this poem with you in appreciation to my father and all veterans.


The Watch

For twenty years,
This sailor has stood the watch

While some of us were in our bunks at night,
This sailor stood the watch

While some of us were in school learning our trade,
This shipmate stood the watch

Yes...even before some of us were born into this world,
This shipmate stood the watch

In those years when the storm clouds of war were seen
brewing on the horizon of history,
This shipmate stood the watch

Many times he would cast an eye ashore and see his family standing there,
Needing his guidance and help,
Needing that hand to hold during those hard times,
But he still stood the watch

He stood the watch for twenty years,
He stood the watch so that we, our families,
And our fellow countrymen could sleep soundly in safety,
Each and every night,
Knowing that a sailor stood the watch

Today we are here to say:"Shipmate...the watch stands relieved.
Relieved by those YOU have trained, guided, and lead
Shipmate you stand relieved...we have the watch!"

"Boatswain...Standby to pipe the side...Shipmate's going Ashore!"

- William Whiting, 1860

Saturday, November 7, 2009

SMO and SEO News Feeds For You

Judy Helfand, AKA Judy Eagen June 1974
It seems it is almost impossible to keep abreast of all the SMO and SEO news. You can scan the headlines on Google, Yahoo, your favorite newspaper or tech magazine and the amount of information is astounding. Just today I again realized I have an account with Google Reader which automatically sends me more information. I signed in and saw my Google Reader inbox had 851 items! I guess you now know I have been too busy for Google Reader. But this post is not about the Google Reader, it is about how to keep our Webconsuls' clients abreast of internet marketing news. Turns out Webconsuls set up SMO and SEO news feeds for you and our clients over two years ago. So again I ask the proverbial question: Is anybody "listening" or in this case reading?

The experts keep talking about Twitter. I have a Twitter account, I follow and am followed; however, there are a few things about Twitter that annoy me. Today I will just mention two: (a) some people provide TMI (too much information) or should I say information that is redundant (since they have more than one account) and useless information; (b) it often takes two to three clicks to get to the meat of the message. Let me give you a real life example. Today I signed into my Twitter account around 6:30AM (MST). I read a Tweet that said: "6 Reasons to Embrace Social Media Today Web 2.0 Journal". So I clicked on the link, but instead of being taken directly to the article I was taken to a TweetMeMe page that listed 65 Twitterers who had RT (retweeted) this article. I then click on the original link and I am taken to a blog post by Web 2.0 Journal. I read the article, it was interesting, but didn't really provide too much new information, it was more one writer's opinion. Just like my blog post today, is basically my opinion.

Here is my advice for today. If you want to go to one place and read the headlines for SMO, then I invite you to visit Webconsuls' SMO in the News Page. There you will find the current SMO headlines and you only have to click once! If you want to read the SEO news then visit Webconsuls' SEO News Page.

P.S. If you want to find me on Twitter, click here.
P.P.S. If you are wondering about today's photo...this is from 1974 when I was employed by the Cal State Los Angeles University Newspaper, The University Times, a daily paper in those days.
P.P.P.S. As always, let me know what you think.