Cutting through the LA Times hype over the Wave hype

Not even a day into Google Wave crashing upon the shores of the tech blogosphere and we have the L.A. Times gushing on over how it’s is going to transform how they work. Now that would be all well in fine if it were for the fact that the number of points they make about how much Wave is going to be the killer journalistic toolkit couldn’t be applied to tools that have been already with us for some time.

Collaborative reporting: this was their high point.

The idea that you could share, edit, and change the flow of any article being written by more than one person or a single journalist and an editor. Uhm …. hmmm .. Perhaps you guys should have taken a look at Google Docs since much of what seems to be all hot and cool for you in Wave already for the most part existed in Google Docs. This would also take care of that whole live editing you mentioned further on.

Record and archive interviews: repeating what is already available

Again to varying degrees this has already been done by a program called Evernote which can be shared and stored in the cloud. As well it can perform text searches in photographs and other scanned in images or digitally imported information – something that Wave can’t do.

Discuss while you read: the making of a confusing mess

They seem for some reason enamored over the idea of people being able to add comments or have conversations interspersed throughout the article. Suddenly semi orderly comments are not good enough, no now we have to totally throw any possible coherence right out the window by letting conversations pop up in the middle of a journalistic train of thought. How anyone can see this as a benefit to reading the news is ridiculous.

Transparent writing process: watch as we string words together.

Ya, that’s a great idea … let’s hop right on that one. As a writer the last thing I want is someone looking over my shoulder as I try and string thoughts together from disparate source so that they can make sense. Not likely. I can just imagine how Truman Capote, or Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein would have reacted if they knew that someone else was reading what they were typing.

Instant Polls: that is so Web 1.0

I am sure that whoever through this one in there doesn’t have the first clue about the Web and all the tools that are already there because the idea of polls on the fly has been around for a long time – nothing new here.

The fact is that if journalism wanted to change the game they didn’t have to wait until Google Wave came along. Just about everything listed in this love affair of a post has either been available for some or is available without Google giving it some sort of kiss of authenticity.

If they wanted to advance journalism to a new era they could have done so long before Wave was even a ripple in a couple of Google engineer’s eyes.

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