Confused By Google Wave?

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It appears that most people are.  What I’m going to attempt to do for you here is not a review or a how to…  That would be pointless.  It’s not a released product yet so it could change drastically and suddenly at any point.  What I shall be doing is giving you my take on what Google Wave is in it’s most basic form, what it can be used for and the concept of the wave it’s self.

NOT A Social Network

Whenever I’m helping someone get to grips with Wave, one of the first questions they ask is how they find other users or friends.  Well, you don’t.  I’m not saying you “can’t” because there *is* a social aspect to it but it’s not a social network, it’s a communication tool.  You don’t trawl around the email network looking for email addresses to add…  Think of Wave as being email 2.0.  Email with benefits.  If you’re a web forum user you can also see it as being like a forum on demand!

Collaboration

Sure you can use Wave to talk to an individual, just like email but it really comes into it’s own when you want to collaborate on something as a group.  If a person has an idea they can start a wave about said idea and invite other contacts into the discussion.  Just like CCing someone in an email but again better.  It’s better because they can be brought into the conversation at any point and see the whole conversation as it happened.  Using the “Playback” feature, they can also see how the conversation evolved post by post.  Particularly useful if a conversation has multiple threads.

Threads

Real life conversations are not perfectly linear.  They have multiple threads.  Something said earlier in a conversation might be revisited later etc.  By having a threaded view you can respond to anything and interject at any point in the conversation but unlike real life conversations, this need not cause the main thread to go off topic.  By using playback, you can see when and how various subtopics were started.

That’s All…  For Now

I’m not going to say any more.  The purpose of this article is to de-confuse.  If you want to learn more, Google it.