The First Wave

For a couple of weeks now, I've been using the new Google Wave web app, and it seems time to jot down some early notes about it.  

For those who don't know, Wave is an interactive, online, real-time collaboration and communication tool.  And when I say "real-time," I mean it - you can actually watch others in your wave typing, letter-by-letter, backspace-by-backspace.  

Like most things Google, the first reaction when getting a Wave invite is "What do I do with it?"  And like most things, the best approach is to dive in and find out, and read as much as you can.  There are tons of third-party extensions that really expand the usefulness of the tool.

The default Wave dashboard looks like an email box, with three panes.  On the left is navigation and contacts, in the center is your "inbox" and on the right is a reading pane for the active wave.  Any box can be expanded or minimized.

Wave is pretty JavaScript-heavy and uses some open-source technology (like HTML5 tags) that are not supported by IE, so you would have to install Google's Chrome frame to make use of all the features.  Myself, I just run it in Chrome since it's optimized for that browser.  FireFox runs it fine, and I think Safari does as well. 

I've been using Wave mainly as a collaboration tool with my fellow Joint Review authors.  It's great - you can drag photos and links right into a wave, and drag in documents and modify them together.  Some of the gadgets are cool too - when you add a GoogleMap to a wave, it centers on your location.  Then you can work on adding directions, locations - whatever - together. 

I can easily imagine using this tool to plan events and meetings.  It's quite intuative and easy to use. As more gadgets and features come online, I can only see it getting better. 

Wave is still in preview - Google's not even calling it a beta - so it's invitation only.  If you get invited by Google directly, apparently you can invite other people.  When I got my invitation, I had a wave in my inbox with 8 invites.  After a week or so, I logged on to find 12 more in my inbox.  So far, no one that I have invited has any invitations to give out.  You need a gmail account to be invited, but you should have one of those anyway.

If you're using wave, or have questions, put them in the comments. 


  1. If you have a spare invite for Google Wave I would really appreciate one - - I am anxious to try it out.

  2. one for me too at


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