I’ve been beta testing Google Wave for the past few weeks, since I got an invite form a kind soul (don’t ask me for an invite, I’m second gen, so I don’t have any to give out, unfortunately), and I’ve been rather surprised and confused at the amount of naysaying going on from various tech pundits about how Wave is a failure, or it doesn’t live up to its promise. My experience has been quite the opposite: I’ve been using it successfully (minus a few bugs—it is beta software, after all) to collaborate with co-workers and colleagues, and I can absolutely see the promise of Wave as a replacement for—or enhancement to—traditional email, once adoption rates reach a critical capacity (hopefully a total replacement. I fucking hate email).
Wave is not a social tool. It’s not Twitter, it’s not GTalk, it’s not Facebook. It was never designed to appeal to the crowds of geeks who are currently trying it out.
Wave is built for the corporate environment. It’s a tool for getting work done. And as far as those go, it’s an excellent tool, even at this very early stage.
I agree completely. Well, almost. I don’t necessarily think Wave’s appeal is limited to the corporate environment; quite the opposite: I see it becoming an invaluable tool for anyone who needs to communicate and collaborate: soccer moms organizing their PTA, artists collaborating on a project, designers working with clients, musicians brainstorming and shooting ideas back and forth, families trying to agree on a schedule, and yes, corporate suits collaborating on a business document.
In short: so far, so great. If I have one misgiving about Wave, it’s that more of my day-to-day co-workers and colleagues aren’t on it yet.