Google Wave, or, the revolution?
Last week, I was among the lucky folks who got a promotion got lucky won the lottery got a Google Voice invite. (It sure felt like winning the lottery, though!) Since then, I've done my fair share of playing around with it, and so far, what I've seen has been very promising. While it's not a completely intuitive interface, I feel that this can be allowed given that what Google is going for is a communications revolution. It's not immediately obvious how to reply to "Waves," the usual commands are a little over-reactive while being under-reactive at the same time. Allow me to explain: Google Wave, as it exists now, is not ready for complete public consumption, and the private invite-only beta is more of a use "experience." In fact, it's even branded as the Google Wave preview right now. As such, this experience is usually pretty slow. Which makes it really a little frustrating to press ENTER to try and reply to a Wave, have nothing happen, press it again, maybe double click a few times, maybe hit reply-- only to watch 15 "Wave-lettes," as I would like to call the Wave responses, appear on the screen, all blank.
In addition, its kind of a process to figure out how to make things work like you would expect. Embed videos? Sure! But how? Pictures? Totally, but no dedicated button or easy to follow instructions...its a hit or miss until you hit. Once you do though, the picture rendering is great, pretty instantaneous, no need for a download to preview or even view. You can play the embedded movie right in the Wave (and then invite everyone you know to the wave to watch the Youtube video of the French Bulldog who can't get up.) Documents work the same way, with everything sitting pretty right in the Wave, enabling in line commentary from all of the Wave participants. Oh, and you can see what people type, letter for letter, in real time as they type it (if you are both online) which can be both awesome and ridiculously embarrassing. ("So, wanna go on a date go out to a movie make out grab lunch can i get your number?")
As for me, I love it. The concept is superb, the ideas, brilliant. Sure, its almost frustratingly slow right now, but I am thankful that it's finally here! And you can bet your bottom dollar (um, not real money, of course. Virtual currency, how 'bout it!) that when it does roll out of private beta it is going to be KICK ass. Yeah, you can call me a fangirl. I dig it.