Google Wave

So I’ve been playing with Google Wave for the last couple of days and I’m still not sold on it. Perhaps because of all the hype, and hyperbole descriptions that say things like Wave is what we’d have “if email was created today”.

When you first log in to Wave you’re presented with a set of panels. These are for navigating through your folders, selecting contacts and participating in Wave conversations. Waves are a mix between email and IM. You can edit/add comments to any section of the conversation and these appear in real-time to other online participants. This Techcrunch article sums up the abstract concepts nicely by grouping e-comms mechanisms as passive-aggressive.

The Wave team have integrated a widget model (like those on iGoogle home pages) to allow programmers to extend the environment. Of particular note is the Ribbit teleconferencing application that makes use of this API. It allows you to jump out of written Waves and into a phone conference call. I’m less excited about the Sudoku app.

To get going I created a Wave to discuss Wave with my friends and colleagues who are also beta testers. So far the poll I posed has 4 votes for unimpressed and zero for impressed. Since Google are performing a slow roll out of Wave it looks like they’re testing the water to see how people use it. The ingenuity of the online world can often produce some unexpected uses of new technologies. I’ll be interested to see what happens with this one.

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