How Google Wave May Transform Journalism, And How Your Job Might Be Affected

Actually, if Google Wave is as great as it’s cracked up to be, LA Times writer Mark Milian predicts that reporter’s jobs will become easier.

It may be a little premature—Google’s only giving out 100,000 invites so far, and while that seems like a lot, those invites are going to developers, beta testers, and some paying customers of Apps—but Milian’s got some ideas about how journalists could use Google’s new collaborative tool.

You may notice that double bylines aren’t very common. That’s because trying to co-author a news story stinks.
…We’re not going to e-mail our co-writers with every new lead and minute detail we dig up. But if we’re sharing a virtual notebook, we can scan through … or search the newest findings as they’re logged, make comments and highlight our favorite bits.

Then, when it comes time to write, we can rearrange and discuss the story’s flow in the same software. Thanks to the openness of Wave, collaborative pieces between bloggers could become more common.

We also thought Milian’s idea about story updates would make online producers very happy: currently on the web, when updating a breaking news story, either the news org replaces the old version with the updated version, or appends “UPDATE” at the end, or sprinkles updates throughout the text.

He suggests using Google Wave’s revision timeline feature (which sounds like a smarter version of what already exists in Google Docs) on a blog so that readers can see what was changed and when, without some poor producer (our words) having to manually flag the changes.

What else would you use Google Wave for?

Publish date: October 1, 2009 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT