About two weeks ago I was excited to get a Google Wave preview account and wanted to give some thoughts on what’s good/bad etc. In case you haven’t heard of what Wave is all about take a look here. In a couple words though basically they are rethinking email now that we have all became such different users of the internet.
First off the good!
- Wave Threads – Basically a ‘wave’ is analogous to an email but can do much more with a ‘wave’. They did a great job and have fixed near all issues with communicating via modern day email. You start it and address it to several users put an initial message attachment or even more. At this point nothing more than a normal email but where it leaves email in the dust is when people respond to your message. With a ‘wave’ you get a thread which allows you to inline reply, reply privately to just a single person, reply the sequence of replies, and again lots more. With a ‘wave’ you don’t have this long list of replies to topics in previous emails separated by email meta data which sometimes can make email’s almost un-followable.
- Extensions – Wave provides interesting ability to leverage special in message extras such as ‘Yes/No/Maybe’ polling. This provides new abilities to exchange ideas like outlining a area on a map your interested in moving to via using the Google Maps extension. Because its pure now it seems like a great way to allow people to extend ‘wave’ quickly however I could see it turning into a new way to hack a computer.
- No integration with legacy email (yet). I would just think that the first thing out of the gate if you were serious about doing something made to be a peer to email and potentially a replacement would be to provide legacy email interaction functionality. Maybe though they don’t intend on integrating with email at all, I would guess not though. I know I’m probably just too early on this but its difficult to get a feel for how this would work out in real life with other people working on real email. I’m sure that email won’t just go away and the questions I have would be does one person using email with it ruin it or what?
From the quick look I have been able to do so far its a great idea and well executed overall so far. The big issue is performance to me and understanding how it fits in with current day email. All which are fixable. Keep an eye on Google Wave I think it has a way to go but could change how we communicate online.