I received an invite this week to be one of the Google Wave beta testers. I must say that I come away with a very positive first impression.
I generally am pretty receptive to new technology. I like to stay current with all the new software and electronics. Having a partial background in cellular communications, it goes without saying I have to stay current on the phone industry, but I generally try to concurrently keep up with computer tech.
As such, I'm embarrassed to admit that when I first tried Wave, despite knowing the needs and advantages of collaboration, it seemed like a mix of a glorified email account and message board among invitees.
I'll confess, though, after using it a bit more with a friend of mine that introduced me to it, it's extremely intuitive.
For those of you that have not yet heard about Wave, its' a collaboration tool that Google is introducing (right now on a trial basis) to have real-time communication. In addition to having threaded replies, and showing the typing as it occurs by another party, you can insert maps, surveys, attachments, documents, media and many, many gadgets and tools into your collaboration. You can invite selected individuals to take part in a particular thread, or "wave." What's especially neat is that they have extensions for video chat and teleconferencing you can install to run during a session.
While the video chat seems limited at the moment, as you can only do one-on-one, and it seems directed more at personal use than business, the teleconferencing software is pretty slick. You enter your phone number, and have all the users do the same, and once you start the conference within the wave it calls all the users on their phone from the number of the host, connecting them instantly. Pretty slick.
From what I've seen of it thus far, it's going to do well for its intended use. Any type of collaborative or planning effort could be greatly benefited by Wave.
Another tremendous product, it seems, for Google. And I hate myself for taking part in their quest for world domination.