Google Wave - Disappointed?
November 19, 2009 ·
As Google Wave rolls out more invitations, I'm seeing a lot of people complaining that it doesn't seem to do much useful stuff. I'm actually finding Google Wave very useful. So why do I like it and many other people don't? I came across a great blog post by Daniel Tenner that asks "What problems does Google Wave solve?" where he talks a lot about what Google Wave is not and that provides a big clue as to why many people aren't finding it very useful. Most of the complaints and confusion I see are from people whose experience is just public waves. That's understandable. We have no point of reference for completely open collaboration tools, except perhaps wikis. But a wiki has (some) structure and has 'pages' and 'content' and a sense of navigation. That's missing from Google Wave - by design, since that's not what it is aimed it. Public waves really are a waste of time (in my experience so far). Where Google Wave really shines is in closed group collaboration. If you have a team that is working on a project that needs to refine ideas, concepts, proposals, documents and be able to maintain discussion threads in context, then Google Wave can be very effective. Waves work best when they have a narrow focus and a set of dedicated contributors - rather than some random, open-ended topic and a big crowd of people going "So, what's this Google Wave all about then?". And, no, I don't have any invites at the moment. I'll tweet when I do.