Well, I finally got to try out Google Wave (thanks to my good friend Matt). I just wanted to post a few first impressions. First, if you haven’t really been hearing much about what this is, don’t feel bad. I’m not sure Google yet know how to market it. I gathered from reading about it that it would be a real-time meld of Facebook, Gmail, and Google Docs, with a little Skype thrown in for good measure. What the heck that might look like was anyone’s guess.
My first impression was “Hmmm. Ok, I’m here. Now what?” The truth is, there isn’t too dang much you can do all by yourself. I understand how it will have a much different feel once everyone you know is connected and spends as much time in Wave as they do on Facebook and checking their email, but right now, it feels desolate. Remember when chatrooms first got going and sometimes you would be there and just sort of realize you were alone? That’s how it feels.
Features: Well, honestly, to me it seemed very similar to a few of the key features of Google docs. For instance, the stock video describes how you and your friends/colleagues (both?) can work together in real time on a document side-by-side with a running chat thread. Sounds pretty cool, but you can already do that in Google Spreadsheet, and to a lesser extent on Google Docs. I am wondering if Wave is the future of Google Docs itself. Might it be melded into this chat/thread/collaboration site? Not that I fear change, but to me that would be like crossing Powerpoint with Twitter.
More once I get a better chance to play around with it.
Update: I added a bunch of contacts from a thread posted on Classroom 2.0 of people interested in building contacts and I did actually get started. It is interesting. Real-time collaboration is certainly very easy. I can see it getting bulky. I already feel like some of the “Waves” I have been invited to change so quicly, it is hard to digest them in the same way one might on Facebook or by checking a few blogs.
If you have access, and you’d like to come check out Wave with me, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Feel free to add me as a contact and remind me where you got my email from 🙂