Reinventing Communication

Google Wave proposes to reinvent the way we communicate and collaborate.  Wave’s hype claims to take email to exponential heights.  It’s all yet to be seen because Wave is still in test stages.

Email has evolved as an essential tool in newsrooms and the communication form’s contribution to news production is immeasurable.  Coupled with the smart phone email has changed communication between the newsroom and the field.  However, the rundown is still the event list for a news program.  The assignment list continues to be the game plan for news coverage.

Rundowns or run orders and assignment lists will likely remain as the basis for broadcast news production.  How these foundations are utilized could change drastically with Wave.  Google calls Wave conversation and document.  Let’s say the conversation is either the assignment list or the rundown and both of the lists take on the form of a document in a Wave.

From the initial conversation or Wave on assignments everyone involved has a copy of the document – the assignment list – in their mail box.  The assignments conversation breaks out stories into separate assignment Waves for every one associated with a specific report.

So from an initial all encompassing Wave comes another round of Waves parsed out according to specific assignments.  Everyone can then look in their mailboxes for updates and materials or rich content related to the story concerning them.  They also are linked by a Twitter like email string to everyone involved with the assignment.

When the show producer decides on the slug for the associated story they join the appropriate Wave.  Now everyone knows immediately the assignment with which each producer’s slug is associated.  All content, in acceptable form (video, text, graphic, contacts, resources) can be associated with the proper story or Wave. 

Google Waves can be used to track stories from current status all the way back to assignment.  Using a single resource to follow many paths.  It’s just one of the ways I believe Wave could be used in news production.

Next week, Broadcast Newsroom Computing looks at taking television mobile.

James Rowe

Rowe and Company, LLC

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