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Google Wave – Why Agents Need to Learn This Tool Now

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Time is up, the paradigm is shifting

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Yes, I’m now riding the wave. Google Wave that is, and you should be too. I’ll admit, I wasn’t in too much of a hurry to get my early beta invite, as Google has already graced us with G-Mail, Google Talk, Google Voices, and now Google Wave, not to mention Google analytics, ads, real estate, and countless other Google things that all require some kind of attention, but this time, it’s different.

Google wave is Google’s way of rethinking collaboration for every day people, every day business, and yes, every day email. At first, I wasn’t that impressed, until I actually watched over Lani’s shoulder as she worked with a friend here in Austin using Google Wave. As they talked using live email all in the same chat window, the conversation is tracked, it can be played backwards and forwards to keep you in sync with one another, and (here’s the wicked part) they were able to exchange photos and videos within the same session. No new browser window, no clicking links, it was all just there- that’s when I realized that agents that have failed to learn and utilize basic web tools just got left behind- time is up, the paradigm is shifting.

I had these thoughts, realizing that this is a meeting tool- it’s a client and an agent sharing real estate knowledge, viewing neighborhoods, showing homes, and communicating about them in real time from the comfort of their pajamas. Clients can now present with ease in one window what they’ve found by crowd sourcing their home buying process with their agent, and their agent can do exactly the same in return. Google Wave allows the client and agent to get on one page seamlessly, store it, play back the stream of conversation, and even share it with others.

Worry not, because the coming that is Google Wave is still in early beta and your clients most likely haven’t yet experienced the wave, and probably haven’t even heard of it yet, but mark my words… they will, and they’ll use it not only personally, but in business, because it knows no timezone and is only limited by one’s ability to actually learn how to use it. It isn’t hard, it’s not intimidating, in fact, it looks a lot like email, but it is so much more than that which is why you need to learn it.

Stay tuned, you’re going to be hearing a lot more about Google Wave.

Benn Rosales is the Founder and CEO of The American Genius (AG), national news network for tech and entrepreneurs, proudly celebrating 10 years in publishing, recently ranked as the #5 startup in Austin. Before founding AG, he founded one of the first digital media strategy firms in the nation and also acquired several other firms. His resume prior includes roles at Apple and Kroger Foods, specializing in marketing, communications, and technology integration. He is a recipient of the Statesman Texas Social Media Award and is an Inman Innovator Award winner. He has consulted for numerous startups (both early- and late-stage), has built partnerships and bridges between tech recruiters and the best tech talent in the industry, and is well known for organizing the digital community through popular monthly networking events. Benn does not venture into the spotlight often, rather believes his biggest accomplishments are the talent he recruits, develops, and gives all credit to those he's empowered.

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37 Comments

37 Comments

  1. Ken Brand

    October 14, 2009 at 10:46 am

    Whaaaaaaa. Where the hell is my invite Google.

    Go get’m Benn, thanks for sharing.

    I have the Google Voice deal, but I haven’t pulled the trigger on porting my cell number to it yet. How about you? Are you using GV?

    Thanks

    • Benn Rosales

      October 14, 2009 at 10:49 am

      @kenbrand I’m using Google voice, and so far I really like it, unless you’re the caller. The need for google to advertise what system I’m using seems very 1.0. All and all though, it’s been very helpful in many respects. I’ll not be porting any numbers to it though, just the call forwarding feature.

  2. Todd Waller

    October 14, 2009 at 11:26 am

    Benn,

    I created a public wave for real estate agents here: [link broken]

    and have begun populating it with tips on just using wave, but with a bent for agents. Obviously, looking for collaboration and learning together with other RE professionals.

  3. Abel C. Ruiz

    October 14, 2009 at 12:16 pm

    Benn,
    Thanks for sharing your insight. I look forward to using it very soon. I always have agents asking me about new and innovative ways to stay on top of the market. I will be sure to forward this to them. I will also continue to refer them to AG for everything else 😉

  4. Adam Weart

    October 14, 2009 at 12:17 pm

    Todd, I tried joining that wave… not sure I am doing it correctly. I pasted the link into my google wave page. It does not appear to be pulling up. Tips?

    • Todd Waller

      October 14, 2009 at 12:36 pm

      Funny thing, I think gWave is acting a bit goofy today…Not had an updated wave since about 9:30 am EST…

      Be sure to snag the whole link too…I see the link above stopped being a hyper link at the !. You can also do a search for it by typing the following into the bar above your inbox:

      with:public real estate

      The open RE wave I created is titled: Google Wave and Real Estate – Open Forum

      Hope that helps…

  5. Donna Patton

    October 14, 2009 at 12:22 pm

    I’ve tried to get an invite, but nothing yet.

  6. Benn Rosales

    October 14, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    You can reach Todd @Toddwaller to get an invitation to his group.

    • Todd Waller

      October 14, 2009 at 12:37 pm

      yeah, happy to add you directly to the wave…simply dm on twitter your googlewave.com address and I’ll happily add!

      @ToddWaller

  7. Joe Sheehan

    October 14, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    Wow! I can’t wait. I viewed the videos and I think this is a killer app, will change the way we communicate completely and forever. I can’t wait for my invitation!

  8. Jennifer S. Levine

    October 14, 2009 at 2:57 pm

    I find the whole, you have to be invited by a friend to gain access, to be a great way to create desire to test it out. I look forward to continued reviews on how it works for everyone! Thanks for sharing Benn!

  9. Adam Weart

    October 14, 2009 at 3:11 pm

    So I have had a chance to test drive a little in the “Wave” and I have to tell you. At first it is a little overwhelming, but once you get used to the functions it is fairly easy to navigate. I can definitely see the benefits this would hold for agents wanting to extend the conversation with their clients. I can see this working hand in hand with Twitter to create meet ups (tweet ups)…I can just see it now Twave Ups….(maybe that could use a little work)

    Thanks for the info Benn

    Great as always!

  10. Benn Rosales

    October 14, 2009 at 3:34 pm

    @laniar is finding Adam that it can kill FF, she’s crashed twice in two days, I on the other hand am pretty stable on chrome (figures). I’ll have more in depth in the coming days, but for now wanted to make the intro- thanks for the feedback in the meanwhile!

  11. Louise Scoggins

    October 14, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    Thanks for the heads up Benn! It sounds really interesting, almost like a cross between IM and Gmail. I’m going to see what I can find out.

  12. Missy Caulk

    October 14, 2009 at 7:33 pm

    I got my wave and set it up but until a few more folks are there, not much to do. Waving at Todd and the group he started.
    Find me Ben…and Lani….

  13. Gary Sattelberger

    October 14, 2009 at 10:25 pm

    Way cool! I didn’t think the beta of gwave was going to be available for awhile yet. I signed up for it months ago so hopefully I’ll be getting an invite soon.

  14. Benn Rosales

    October 15, 2009 at 1:38 am

    update: one of the recommendations I’ll be making is the need to provide a disclaimer/acceptance for private data and conversations. Agents should know now that conversations can be embedded in blogs and emails. Agents should be aware of disclosure rules and other items of a sensitive nature that may be overlooked in a comfortable setting that can be taken out of context later- not that anyone I know would ever have this problem, but I’m pretty sure there are reasons they’re not calling this email, and that might be because it wouldn’t have the same protections private emails currently have.

    It was discussed offline today it is totally possible that Google could potentially crawl the conversations at some point as well- I haven’t had time to really dive into the details of the use policy of Google just yet, but I will this weekend unless someone else can shed some light.

    • Todd Waller

      October 15, 2009 at 8:31 am

      Benn,

      Aaaand there’s the rub with Wave… Will the Google index/crawl these waves? Which waves will they crawl? If it truly is an open source hunk of software, then installation of Wave for businesses (agents & brokers) would, presumably, make the sharing of information a little more ‘comfortable.’

      Right now, in its shaky beta phase, I’d be leery of using this for sensitive client communications. Having said that, and once Wave’s limitations are known, I could see a few applications immediately for agents;

      1 – House Hunting Collaboration with buyers
      2 – Lead management for RE teams
      3 – Office ‘Meetings’ for home office or distant agents

  15. Gary Sattelberger

    October 15, 2009 at 1:53 am

    I wonder if Google would be able to crawl the conversations if the Wave software was run on a private server/domain. If I recall correctly, Google mentioned in their big roll-out video that this is open source software that could be run on a private server.

    When I first saw the Wave intro video one of the thoughts I had was would this software have the potential to be used as a transaction management application. I hope there is strong enough security for something like this.

    I don’t have a Wave account yet so I am just hopefully speculating at this point.

    • Scott Forcier

      October 16, 2009 at 12:05 am

      I think there is! I haven’t used it either but this was one of my first thoughts as well and will be one of my main initial practical uses of the wave without a doubt.

      I’m also looking forward to working with buyers searching for properties and actually providing SERVICE over a wave. I really can’t wait!

  16. Anthony

    October 15, 2009 at 3:52 pm

    A business acquaintance of mine actually did a prototype of an app similar to Wave a few years ago. It was targeted at Realtors to facilitate real time collaboration with clients. The feature set was very similar to Wave but the project was never completed, so I’m very excited to see Wave available now.

    Now only if I could get an invite 😉

  17. Scott Forcier

    October 16, 2009 at 12:00 am

    Duuuuuuuuudes I sure could use a google invite.

    For the spirit of Chrismas, LORD, send me a google invite!

    I would love to work and share with you all.

  18. Doug Francis

    October 16, 2009 at 8:34 pm

    Wow, the video on this makes me want to get in line… The agent and client interaction would be a great tool. Do I beg for an invitation @ToddWaller?

  19. Terry McDonald

    October 18, 2009 at 5:58 am

    I’m not one of the invitees but at an SEO REBAR meetup yesterday in Charlotte the reviews were decidedly mixed…from “nothing there” to an excellent way to teach a class online.
    Question: How many new ways do we need to communicate?

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Instagram announces 3 home feed options, including chronological order

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Instagram is allowing users to choose how their home feed appears so they can tailor their own experience… and chronological is back!

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Instagram home feed options

Break out the bottle of champagne, because they are bringing back the chronological order in Instagram!

About time, right? Well, that’s not all. Per Protocol, Instagram has announced that they are rolling out three feed options in the first half of 2022. What?! Yes, you read that right.

3 New Feed View Options

  1. Home: This feed view should feel familiar because it’s the algorithm you already use. No changes to this view.
  1. Favorites: This feed view option presents a nice and tidy way to view creators, friends, and family of your choosing.
  1. Following: Last, but not least, is my favorite re-boot, the chronological view of every account that you follow.

Per Protocol, recent legal allegations have been made that Instagram and Facebook have been prioritizing content viewed as harmful in the algorithm and specifically in Instagram. Instagram is widely believed to be harmful to teens. Per the American Psychological Association, “Studies have linked Instagram to depression, body image concerns, self-esteem issues, social anxiety, and other problems”.  They have been under scrutiny by lawmakers and in response are posing the chronological feed as a solution.

However, this won’t fix everything. Even if the algorithm isn’t prioritizing harmful posts, those posts will still exist and if that account is followed it can still be seen. The other issue with this solution is the knowledge that unless Instagram lets you choose your default feed view, they could still cause the algorithm view to be the automatic view. Facebook doesn’t allow you to make the chronological feed your default view. This means you would need to choose that view every time. This bit of friction means there will be times it is overlooked and some may not even know the functionality exists. Knowing this information about Facebook, prepares us for what’s to come with Instagram. After all, Facebook, or Meta, owns both.

While as an entrepreneur, the chronological view excites me, I know the reality of it being used is questionable. I would love to know others can see the products and services I offer instead of hoping that Instagram finds my content worthy to share in the algorithm.

As a human being with a moral conscience, I have to scream, “C’mon Instagram, you CAN do better!” We all deserve better than having a computer pick what’s shown to us. Hopefully, lawmakers will recognize this band-aid quick fix for what it truly is and continue with making real changes to benefit us all.

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Facebook’s targeting options for advertising are changing this month

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Do you market your business on Facebook? You need to know that their targeting options for ads are changing and what to do about it.

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Laptop on lap open to Facebook page representing ad targeting.

Meta is transforming Facebook’s ad campaigns beginning January 19th. Facebook, which has been infamously battling criticism regarding election ads on their platform, is revising its limited targeting ad campaigns. Per this Facebook blog post, these changes eliminate the ability to target users based on interactions with content related to health (e.g., “Lung cancer awareness”, “World Diabetes Day”), race and ethnicity, political affiliation, religious practices (e.g., “Catholic Church” and “Jewish holidays”) and sexual orientation (e.g., “same-sex marriage” and “LGBT culture”).

These changes go into effect on January 19, 2022. Facebook will no longer allow new ads to use these targeting tools after that date. By March 17, 2022, any existing ads using those targeting tools will no longer be allowed.

The VP of Ads and Business Product Marketing at Facebook, Graham Mudd, expressed the belief that personalized ad experiences are the best, but followed up by stating:

“[W]e want to better match people’s evolving expectations of how advertisers may reach them on our platform and address feedback from civil rights experts, policymakers, and other stakeholders on the importance of preventing advertisers from abusing the targeting options we make available.”

To help soften the blow, Facebook is offering tips and examples for small businesses, non-profits, and advocacy groups to continue to reach their audiences that go beyond the broad targeting of gender and age.

These tips include creating different types of targeting such as Engagement Custom Audiences, Lookalike Audiences, Website Custom Audiences, Location Targeting, and Customer Lists from a Custom Audience.

Here’s the lowdown on how it will happen.

Per the Search Engine Journal, changes can be made to budget amounts or campaign names without impacting the targeting until March 17th. However, if you go to change the ad set level that will then cause changes at the audience level.

If you need to keep that particular ad to reuse, it may be best to edit the detailed targeting settings before March 17th in order to ensure you can make changes to it in the future.

I believe it was Heraclitus that declared change is constant. Knowing this, we can conclude other social platforms may follow suit and possibly adjust their targeting in the future as well.

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Hate speech seemingly spewing on your Facebook? You’re not wrong

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Facebook (now Meta) employees estimate its AI tools only clean up 3%-5% of hate speech on the platform. Surprise, Surprise *eye roll*

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Facebook being crossed out by a stylus on a mobile device for hate speech.

As Facebook moves further toward Zuckerberg’s Metaverse, concerns about the efficiency with which the company addresses hate speech still remain, with employees recently estimating that only around 2% of offending materials are removed by Facebook’s AI screening tools.

According to Wall Street Journal, internal documents from Facebook show an alarming inability to detect hate speech, violent threats, depictions of graphic content, and other “sensitive” issues via their AI screening. This directly contradicts predictions made by the company in the past.

A “senior engineer” also admitted that, in addition to removing only around 2% of inappropriate material, the odds of that number reaching even a numerical majority is extremely unlikely: “Recent estimates suggest that unless there is a major change in strategy, it will be very difficult to improve this beyond 10-20% in the short-medium term.”

The reported efficacy of the AI in question would be laughable were the situation less dire. Reports ranging from AI confusing cockfights and car crashes to inaccurately identifying a car wash video as a first-person shooting are referenced in the internal documents, while far more sobering imagery–live-streamed shootings, viscerally graphic car wrecks, and open threats of violence against transgender children–went entirely unflagged.

Even the system in which the AI works is a source of doubt for employees. “When Facebook’s algorithms aren’t certain enough that content violates the rules to delete it, the platform shows that material to users less often—but the accounts that posted the material go unpunished,” reports Wall Street Journal.

AI has repeatedly been shown to struggle with bias as well. Large Language Models (LLMs)–machine-learning algorithms that inform things like search engine results and predictive text–have defaulted to racist or xenophobic rhetoric when subjected to search terms like “Muslim”, leading to ethical concerns about whether or not these tools are actually capable of resolving things like hate speech.

As a whole, Facebook employees’ doubts about the actual usefulness of AI in removing inappropriate material (and keeping underage users off of the platform) paint a grim portrait of the future of social media, especially as the Metaverse marches steadily forward in mainstream consumption.

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