Riding the Google Wave

After finally being able to communicate with others on Google Wave, Gareth van Zyl still has a few questions about the collaboration tool

Tags: Google IncorporatedGoogle Wave
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By  Gareth Van Zyl Published  November 18, 2009

Google Wave, it's one of the most anticipated online collaboration tools out there; so, you can understand how glad I was to receive an invite to use it. At first, I couldn't use it to communicate with anybody else, as the ability to invite others is initially put on hold for a few new users of Google Wave.

This week however, my ‘Wave' came to life. Suddenly, I could converse with others and invite others too. So, off I went, and off the bat, I had quite a bit of fun with it.
Firstly, here's the things I like about it. It's a bit like Google Chat, only better, in so far as you can chat with others and see what they're typing as they're typing (if you're not a great typist, you might want to consider touching up your typing skills).

What I also like about it is the ability to drag and drop photos and files into your wave whilst chatting, and then having the option to click on the photos in particular to see them in a lightbox type effect.

It's also nice that you can have a chat with 3 or more people in a wave, and by using the ‘playback' feature you can trackback your conversations up to a certain point, in what is a kind of replay mode.

In terms of organisation, you can arrange your waves into certain folders for certain references. You can also add tags to waves whereby you can organise your waves into certain categories. There are even a number of shortcut keys one can use to navigate one's way through your waves, and by doing such searches as ‘with:public' you can see numerous public waves that you can engage with.

Having said all this, I do have a few issues with Google Wave (understanding that it's only in preview mode). First of all, one can do a lot of things with the search bar, but, unfortunately, something such as ‘with:public' isn't one hundred percent intuitive for your average web user in my opinion.

Furthermore, deleting waves also seem to be an issue because whenever I moved my items to the trash folder or unfollowed a wave, I couldn't figure out how to delete them from there. The waves then seem to float about my folders.

Despite some of my issues with it, I think Google Wave will become a popular communication tool in the future, but it does have a very long road to travel.

It's one of those tools that's in an ‘early-adopter' phase at the moment - your friends will more than likely rather keep using Google Chat than shifting onto the Wave. But it wasn't too long ago that Twitter was in an ‘early-adoption' phase too, and take a look at where Twitter is now.

3404 days ago

I'm not sure about wave...It isn't really something that I would use. There are so many alternatives out there, and I am not too keen about the idea of someone reading what I am typing as it is happening, due to to fact that I am a terrible writer and almost always have to re-type my messages, I would look like a real idiot.

3407 days ago

We have been using Google Wave in our company from Oct 31. We can say that internal communication has been made easier, specially when working on a project. Like you we have noticed flaws but nothing mayor. We do believe that many companies will adopt it as an standard way of communicating/sharing information

3407 days ago
Dirk Prinsloo

Good to hear someone is using it already. One of my friends got his invite two weeks ago, and is still waiting for the wave to invite others. How long did you wait from getting your account until you got the invite wave? I have been reading that there are a lot of people out there that got the account but no invites = no one to collaborate with... never mind testing this new platform of collaboration

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