December 1, 2009

Nerdgasm: Google Wave

Google Wave is out -- sort of -- and I am lucky enough to have lots of nerdy friends who are well-connected with the nerdy elite, and kind enough to give me an invitation. So I spent some time yesterday getting overwhelmed by the feature-rich beast that is Google's latest step in its quest to take over the world.

Some really cool things:
  • You can use Wave for a sort of instant message-E-mail hybrid, and watch your correspondents typing in real time. (This also means you can see their every typo, which has made me very self-conscious already.)
  • It supports embedding videos, images, maps, sudoku games, and a bunch of other things -- even conference calls.
  • You can use it to cooperatively edit a document with other people (really useful if you've got a group paper or presentation).
  • Playback: If you come in late on a conversation/collaboration, you can press the playback button to see a step-by-step playthrough of all the changes made so far.
  • Possibly the coolest thing, at least in my opinion: you can publish directly to a Blogger blog via the Bloggy bot (, meaning that you can have collaborative blog posts.
It's still in beta, so it still feels sort of awkward and clunky. It takes a little while to get used to the new commands and functions. And since the best features in it are dependent on you having lots of contacts to cooperate with, it won't reach its full potential until Google de-mystifies it by making it universally available. Even though the ability to post to a blog directly from Wave is cool, people who don't currently have Wave can't read your blog posts, which is obviously a bummer. They are supposedly going to change that, but for now it's kind of irksome.

As a note, eBay has numerous listings for Google Wave invitations, ranging from $0.99 for a "nomination" to $199.00 for an active link. Doesn't anyone remember Gmail? It was free -- eventually -- for people who had enough sense to realize it wasn't worth a heap of money to access the beta version a few months early. Still, someone's going to make a nice wad of cash off of the gullible and impatient. And it is a fantastic way for Google to create hype for their product. It's very smart marketing, when you think about it. There's a reason Google will rule the world someday.

No comments:

Post a Comment