Google Wave: my initial thoughts

So I received my invite to Google Wave one week ago, and have been playing with it off and on since then.  It’s a fascinating platform, not quite what I expected, and it’s been really interesting to think about potential applications and uses of the platform.

My initial impression upon logging in was that it was a typical Google app, visually very clean, colorful, and smooth. I had some idea of how things worked from watching their tech demo video, so I began to play around with creating and joining waves. For those of you who haven’t geeked out to this as much as I have yet, “waves” are the individual threads (documents?) that the platform is built to create and share. The wave can be just yours, which would make it functionally similar to an office document, or you can collaborate on it by inviting other users to join the wave, or by making it public. Once a wave has multiple users, the users can edit the wave itself, either by changing the “base” wave or by adding comments, discussion threads, links, or other media. These individual additions each have their own privacy settings as well, so if I wanted to comment on a wave but only wanted the original author of the wave to see my comment, I could do that. The wave itself remembers each of these edits and the order in which they happened, and so all waves are able to be “replayed” so that the user can see how the document has evolved to the state it is in now. Continue reading Google Wave: my initial thoughts