Thanks to Chris Rubal, I finally got a Google Wave invite and I have been playing around will it a little. (I haven’t gotten any additional invites yet, but when I do I will give them out to folks who read the IL Blog.)
Here is a fun user-created video that describes the “problem” that Google Wave is trying to solve. I think it is one of the best descriptions of how email can “break-down” and grow overly complex and unwieldy. If you have ever tired to untangle a long, multi-person email thread, you’ll know what I am talking about! It can be maddening and certainly is inefficient.
While I think Google has diagnosed a real problem, I just don’t know if Wave is the solution. It feels like a little like instant messaging morphed into a discussion board. Or the word that keeps popping up in my head is a “real-time wiki.” I think I will know how I really feel about Google Wave until I figure out a way to use it collaboratively to solve a real challenge. The proof is in the tasting, as they say!
Gina Trapani (with Adam Pesh) are writing a book about Google Wave called The Complete Guide to Google Wave. A preview of the book is available as wiki.
They write this about “Wave’s Downfall: A Universally Confusing Initial User Experience.”
Google Wave’s biggest downfall is how overwhelming it can be for new users when they try it out. Parody web site EasierToUnderstandThanWave.com jokes that heady topics like radiocarbon dating, neoclassical economics, and polymodal chromaticism are easier to understand than Wave. The joke rings true because the initial Wave confusion is a nearly universal experience. The first waves you’re bound to receive from your friends and co-workers, fresh on Wave, will say things like “I don’t get it” and “This is weird.”
This may be a real hinderance for Wave right from the start.