Google Wave Works For Collaborating Online
After the initial sneak peek testing release of Google Wave in July of 2009, the announcement recently of official beta testing of this newest service by Google had invite wishers swarming. The service combines email with instant messaging, tosses in social networking and wiki technologies and combines this all into one neat little package.
If you were one of the lucky ones to either participate in the pre-beta release or one who received an invite, you'll find Google Wave relatively easy to use. Upon initially logging in, the user is presented with four panels - navigation, contacts, inbox and the wave box. Creating a new wave is as simple as clicking on the "New Wave" link. Once created, you can add text, pictures, files and many available gadgets that Google has in its Gadget Gallery.
One complaint so far in the beta process has been a lack of participants to share the experience with. This can be remedied a bit with the usage of one of Google's "robots". Robots are email addresses that can be added to the contact list and then added to a wave. They will basically interact with you and within your wave.
Google Wave can be used for collaboration, event planning and even single person brainstorming. There are a variety of gadgets and tools that can be added onto each wave and each participant has the same capabilities. One feature that stands out from other collaboration tools is the quick and easy way a participant (who may have missed out on the live version of the wave) can go back and view the wave history simply by clicking on a play button.
After much testing and playing with Google Wave, it seems apparent that its best usage and implementation will be with intraweb office structures needing a good collaboration tool. That being said, it is still in its beta testing stage so the jury is still out on exactly how far this service can go.