OK. I swear that I am not anti-Google or anti-Google Wave, and I promise not to repeatedly bash Google Wave. In all honesty, I couldn’t wait to get my Wave invitation and I am still very excited to jump in and see what its all about. My previous post about being underwhelmed has more to do with what it looks like now during beta testing and not living up to the hype, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t think it will eventually be a very capable product.
That said, there are two sides to the Google Wave coin. Its not all ice cream and rainbows, or sunshine and lollipops. First, the real-time collaboration is a huge benefit and the ability to see others typing as their fingers hit the keys is novel, but do we really need to watch others type…wrong…then backspace….then retype?
Have you ever written a message in anger or frustration? Then you take a step back and a deep breath, re-read it, and decide that there is a more appropriate way to say things so you edit the message before sending it? If you were holding that conversation in a Google Wave the other party would be able to watch as you type what a complete jackass….brain dead moron…..jerk….good person with the right intentions, but poor execution your boss is.
Real-time typing has its drawbacks.
What about the ability to chain and forward a Wave well after the fact? Say you start a Wave with a friend and you are venting between the two of you about a third friend. The Wave evolves and later the third friend is inadvertently added to the Wave. That person can go back to the beginning of the Wave, replay it, comment on it, etc.
Once its a Wave its sort of out of your control and the concept of assuming that everything you type will be shared publicly takes on a whole new meaning.
It will be interesting to see how some of the pitfalls of Google Wave are addressed as development evolves and the fully functional Google Wave eventually hits the Internet.
If you are on Google Wave, you can feel free to connet with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.