Google Wave has been hyped as being the next great thing to hit the web. It is suppose to change the way we interact with each other and share information – all in a real-time fashion. When it was first announced I watched the videos and listened in on more than a few blog post conversations about this next great game changer from Google and I signed up immediately to try and be one of the lucky ones to get in on the early testing.
Well as you can tell from the news that dominated the web today both on Twitter and an increasing number of blogs Google opened up the floodgates for 100,000 lucky people to have a chance to play with the preview (read and alpha of an alpha). Like a lot of people I waited patiently for my invite to hit my inbox every time I would refresh my email client and like a lot of people it never showed up.
However I was lucky enough that a good friend managed to snag me a live invite, rather than one of those "take your place in line" invitations and have spent the last hour or so exploring what is suppose to be the brave new world of communication and information sharing.
Am I impressed?
Not yet. Not in the least. Sure the real time display of all the people in each of the waves you are involved in might be rather neat but I'm honestly not sure how long it will be before it gets old, boring and irritating. The other big problem I have is from the moment you log into Google Wave for the very first time because this is what you will find waiting:
Look I don't claim to be the smartest person in the world but neither am I the stupidest person either but my first reaction on see this was – now what?
You see, we don't have a problem like that when it comes to starting up a new email client for the first time, or a new IM client for the first time, or even the majority of social media services for the first time – you use one and the rest pretty well follow suit. This isn't the case with Google Wave because it is a totally new beast; and I'm sorry but a one single paragraph welcoming message isn't going to help the confusion the majority of people will face with Google Wave.
It's taken me the better part of an hour just to figure out the rudimentary ways you can use Google Wave so I can imagine an average computer user coming upon it for the first time will be even more confused.
Anyway this is just my first run through with it and maybe on subsequent testing when more people are around and more features come on line my feelings might change but like Steve Rubel asked in his post – what problems is Google Wave solving?
In the meantime I wouldn't get too excited over Wave and wait until it gets a wider audience of active users because right now – to be honest – I'm not seeing anything that will turn our information sharing world on its head.
I'll be spending a lot of time exploring Google Wave over the next few days with the hope that unlike Robert Scoble, who doesn't have to high of an opinion of Wave, I will see what all the hype is about. I'll be wrapping up that exploration up into a full post so you can have a better idea of what is coming your way – good and bad.