What is Google Wave?
According to Google, the idea behind Google Wave was based on the question “what if you could design email today?” Regular email goes from sender to receiver. The experience of email is pretty linear. Google Wave merges many of the most popular ways people communicate on the web today. Most obviously it merges email with instant messaging capabilities. Also, more than one person can edit the message “wave” simultaneously in Google Wave. So the message can be moulded by the participants, which makes waves very different than emails. Participants actually can see each others changes to the wave real time, though you can choose to disable this feature. Basically, waves function not only as emails and threaded conversations but also as an instant messaging service between many participants.
Google Wave is a revolution in the way people will be communicating.
A famous Canadian, Marshall McLuhan once said “the medium is the message”. This is truly the case because the way a conversation is created and managed changes the very nature of the conversation itself. Google Wave is the combination of many services into one platform: email, instant message, video, Voice Over IP (VOIP), blogging, twitter, etc. Because it is open source applications can be created to expand the abilities of Google Wave to go beyond anything its programmers could have ever possibly imaged.
Cool things about current version of Google Wave
Blogging: Google Wave incorporates web publishing into its very nature. So one can add their blog or Twitter account as a member of a wave. So when the wave gets updated the blog or Twitter status gets updated. This means eventually you could in theory update hundreds of sites, blogs, posting sites all through a single wave. It is a web marketers dream
VOIP/video chat: One of the apps that comes with the beta of Google Wave is one that video chat. Hooray, no more long distance fees. It actually reminded me a lot of iChat.
Games: Google Wave’s real time capabilities fit well with online games. Though the first game (Sudoku) set up with Google Wave is pretty primitive, the possibility could be much more advanced as apps get developed for Google Wave.
Conferencing: The ability to handle multiple users all chatting and sharing things at once is excellent for conferencing. Mix this with the video app and you could easily simulate a real boardroom meeting.
Map: The map app that comes is cool because it allows people become a living GPS. Imagine having your friends guiding you through a new neighbourhood as you are driving to meet them. Or creating a wave where you create a travel agenda.
Polling: This app made it into the 1 hour and twenty minute video released by Google on Google Wave. The idea shown was polling a group of friends about whether they would be interested in attending a BBQ. I could see some uses for this to schedule or plan events.
Open source: Simply wow. I imagine within months there will be thousands of new applications for Google Wave. Keeping up with the technology will be an interesting challenge.
Issues with Google Wave
One thing that greatly concerns me is the fact that these waves are an ongoing conversation. It is disturbing because they are conversations, which is recorded in fine detail. Every edit, correction, deletion, addition, mistyping is saved and can be played back by everyone who shares in the wave. Make sure you don’t talk bad about the boss
My concern is also with the fact that there is no obvious delete button. Yes you can unfollow a wave but when you do it is still live on other people’s computers. It is different than email because of the level of detail stored so the potential for misuse is greater.
There is always one additional person is in on every conversation. Google itself could be lurking in the shadows and storing everything we say or do with Google Wave. It’s a concern to give such power to any company regardless of how honourable their intentions might be.
Security is a major concern with Google Wave. The ability for Google Wave to interconnect with many things means that the potential for people to do serious harm increases. Imagine you have a wave where you invite a current girl/boy friend and your blog as members. If you breakup with that person they could keep updating your blog through wave or inviting people to the wave that makes your previously private conversation and makes it very public.
Summary of Google Wave Review
Google Wave is still new and though I love the idea of mixing some my cool technologies together, I’m not sure what the end result will be. I wonder if people will even be able to handle all of the possibilities presented by Google Wave. However, whether we are ready or not Google Wave is here and ready to invade our computers and our way of communicating.
Any questions about my Google Wave review, please feel free to contact me at 905-417-9470 or by email at email@example.com