Thursday, October 29, 2009

What to do with Google Wave

I was lucky enough to receive a developer's account for Google Wave really early in its pre-pre-launch time window. Unfortunately, Google Wave is basically useless if you are all along. It feels something like having a laptop without an Internet connection. What are you going to do? Play solitaire! Now comes the pre-launch, Google Wave preview, when people are able to invite others. I now have several people in my contacts list that have Google Wave accounts so I have played with it a bit, but not usefully yet.

To really understand what Google Wave is all about, you need to use it to accomplish something. The necessity of accomplishing some task and the coincidence the person you are working with has an account has not crossed paths yet in my life. I know people with accounts, but have not found some useful way of using Wave yet.

This is not to understate the fact that I have come up with some interesting ways of using Wave, I have just not had the time to implement any of them yet. The biggest use I can think of is using it as the back end for a content management system. This is definitely not an intended use and a lot of work would need to be done to interface Wave with a functioning website.

Another way I hope to use Wave is as a real time collaboration platform for some of my class work. I currently use Google Docs for many of my classes where I work on a team. The near real time functionality of Google Docs is nice, but it is not perfect. There is a delay and it can cause problems. With Wave, two people can literally be editing the same sentence.

At this point in time I really do not have that much to say about Google Wave. I recognize it as a very important platform that will help drive the Internet forward, but is Wave too early? Will people be able to find ways of using it? Most other Google products are simply better versions of tools that are available from many other companies. What makes Google special is that it keeps things simple while providing innovative features, think Gmail.

Google Wave is very exciting and I hope slowly integrate into my daily Internet connected life.

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