Saturday, July 25, 2009

Surfing the big G-Wave

Go ...ogle has answered my prayers and given me early developer access to Wave. I am now the proud owner of the Wave account giulio at wavesandbox.com.

A couple of months ago, immediately after watching the presentation of Google Wave on Youtube, I wrote in Big G-Wave coming?:

"Google Wave could be a Big paradigm shift, and change the way we use the Web. Email, chat, discussion groups, wiki, IRC, blogs, microblogs, social network and groupware all in one. Wave may be a Facebook killer and a new Twitter much more integrated with the rest of the Web. Email and IM are obsolete, we will spend our online life in front of a Wave screen. Instead of sending email, IM and tweets, writing blogs and logging on Facebook, we will plug in dynamic and interconnected Waves...

As a transhumanist, I really look forward to trying Wave. Transhumanism , a sparse and global social movement, required the Web as an essential enabler to bloom, and I wonder how we will use this new powerful communication platform. By enabling us to do things much faster the Web, the new Web 2.0 (is Wave the first example of Web 3.0?) and the mobile Web wake emergent properties of our collective consciousness. We could send snailmail letters hundreds of years ago, but we could not build a new global social movement in a matter of days. Wave may permit doing things even much faster and achieve a critical mass to enable new emergent waves in our developing noosphere.
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My first impressions: awesome. Of course, this is a developer preview and some features are not implemented yet, others are implemented but not working, others used to work but today are not working... what you can expect in an alpha developer preview. But the potential is there for everyone to see. Wave is open source, and users are developing new extensions which will certainly result in new and unexpected usage patterns. But I can already see how common Internet usage patterns --email, IM, chat, IRC, collaborative wiki editing and group discussions-- are simpler, faster and better in a Wave implementation. The simplest example is adding new participants to any Wave. Many users say that this is the most impressive application they have seen running in a browser, and ZDNET has an interesting analysis of the potential of Wave for the enterprise.

By one of its creators: "Here's how it works: In Google Wave you create a wave and add people to it. Everyone on your wave can use richly formatted text, photos, gadgets, and even feeds from other sources on the web. They can insert a reply or edit the wave directly. It's concurrent rich-text editing, where you see on your screen nearly instantly what your fellow collaborators are typing in your wave. That means Google Wave is just as well suited for quick messages as for persistent content — it allows for both collaboration and communication. You can also use "playback" to rewind the wave and see how it evolved."

Mashable: "Less than two months ago, Google dropped a spectacular surprise upon the world: Google Wave. The communication tool aspires to redefine not only email, but the entire web. And from our very first test of Google Wave to our complete Google Wave Guide, we have to say that it’s a game changer.". I agree --Wave has the potential to change the game. See also the Complete Guide to Wave on Mashable.

Wave is an all-purposes communication platform, meant to offer an alternative to all things people do on the Internet. Something so big would not be accepted if it were a single vendor solution, but Wave is an open source system. I am sure new Wave developments and user extensions will begin moving into the social network niche soon, and developers will create native, embedded voice and video conferencing applications and 3D virtual worlds. The next few months will be interesting. Unfortunately we cannot invite new testers to wavesandbox, but I wish to encourage everyone to request an account: Google will open Wave to more early users in September.

For current wavesandbox users, this review is also available as a wave, you can comment in Wave.