So I got invited to Google Wave today. Cool stuff, right?
Several of my friends are on there, so we ended up having a little conversation, kind of like a chatroom. I’m not satisfied. First, I should clarify: I don’t think we were using Wave for the right purposes. Wave is supposed to be for collaboration or whatever. We were just a bunch of sixteen-year-olds goofing off. Also, this post presumes a cursory familiarity with Google Wave (see the Google Wave Help Page for info). In any case, here are my thoughts.
The positives. I can see using Wave (when it comes out of beta or whatever you call this) for newspaper stuff. It looks useful for things like invitations (but Facebook takes care of a lot of that, doesn’t it?). It’s definitely a cool concept.
The negatives. The see-what-your-friends-are-typing-IN-REAL-TIME is useful, but confusing. Actually, I prefer the way EtherPad does things. It’s more intuitive. The main issue I see is that the lag makes “real time” rather inaccurate. The annoyance comes in because the words lag showing up on your own screen as well as everyone else’s. So it feels like typing on my computer when it’s feeling especially slow ;). Another annoyance is the lack of a “mark all as read”-type feature. You have to click on each reply before Wave considers it “read”.
Julie said it seemed as though Wave was trying to improve communication…but failing. I kind of agree, but at the same time I think it could be really useful in the right circumstances.
My last concern is that all of the legitimate uses I can think of for Google Wave are rendered moot because barely any of my friends are on here :-/.
In any case, I’m sure Wave will be improved substantially before it makes it out of preview mode. And it has the potential to be awesome.
Edit: also I think the whole “\/\/ave” thing is a little ridiculous. It’s a wave, we get it. Just use a regular W from now on.