(Read last week’s article on the Chrome browser by clicking here.)
Unlike Chrome, Wave certainly has its short-comings. Yeah, I know it’s still by invite only, and Google has slapped some big notices how it’s a preview version and not even in beta testing. In other words, like old maps show, “Here be monsters!”
The gist of Wave is Google trying to make an online tool for communication and collaboration, with some fancy widgets built in. Think of it like a chat room on a bad batch of steroids.
I received an early invite to the system and have spent some time in it with friends kicking the tires. The result? It’s got growing pains, but shows some potential. Socially, I prefer Twitter to keep in touch with friends. Wave, however, is more of a big chat room. You create “Waves” that you can think of like a topic. In that wave, you invite from your contact list folks you want to participate with. Inside that wave, you can post messages, upload files, add images, even little games and poll questions.
Here’s an example: let’s say I want to organize a dinner party with friends. I create a wave, give it a name/short post (“Let’s have supper before the holidays get here”), and add participants to it via my contacts list. Within that wave, I can start suggesting dates, time, location, etc. At any time, my contacts can reply with their own comments, via text, images, links and such. We can also input widgets like a polling question (“Will you bring a covered dish? Yes – No – Maybe”).
After a couple months of usage, though, Wave to me is not the end-all, be-all email or chat/message board killer some are making it out to be. The big gripe is the invitation-based method currently in use. If I can only Wave with folks who have accounts right now, what about other friends and family? In addition, it still is buggy and slow in use, even when I use Google’s own Chrome browser to use it.
Short answer: Neat idea, but much left to be desired. Now, Wave goodbye.