I had a friend a little while ago tell me she thought I was a good candidate to test out
I had no idea what I was holding. My invitation came with eight other invitations. I held onto my invitation for four or five days before I had a chance to sit down with it, and the second I mentioned on Twitter that I was going to take it for a test drive later that day.
Bad idea. All of a sudden, people I had never heard of were asking me for invites. Like 30 of them. At 7:00 on a Sunday morning.
I ticked off my invites – my boss, obviously; two guys I expect to collaborate with at some point anyway – and then...well, there were lots of people who wanted them, and not that many. I managed to give them away in as fair a way as I could think of. And without accepting an offer to hack any databases. Since I had a few of those.
So, now I've got connections on Wave. What does it do?
It essentially allows three things on one screen: document sharing, synchronous conversation, and asynchronous conversation, and it does it all in one browser window.
I'm not as wowed by this as I could be. The open conversation (or "wave") gets very long very quickly. It's only searchable via browser search, although thankfully you can thread the conversations. You can search your waves to see which ones have some term in them, but not the one you have open.
This isn't an immediate problem, but get a few people in there for a few days, and then have one take a couple of days off – catching up is almost impossible.
I'm also not impressed with the way embedding documents and some widgets work, but to be fair, I haven't put forth much effort to make that part work for me.
At this point, I'd be content to stick with an IM or IRC chat for the synchronous communication, email for asynchronous communication, and Google Docs for the document sharing. The good news for Google is it already has all three, with the Google Docs, GMail and GChat. And if there's ever good archiving for GChat (both text and video), they have everything you need.
From a usability standpoint, Wave is pretty good, though Google needs to swap the "Done" and "Delete" buttons; people are used to the button at the lower right of the form being the action button. I've also heard that Wave needs a better mobile app, but (a) I haven't tried it out and (b) my guess is they'll make sure people are happy with the desktop app before they refine a mobile app.
If you're using Wave successfully and want to show me, I'm open to it. email@example.com (and then leave me a comment or