Visualizing an "Attention Wave" - What does it look like?
For Immediate Release episode #490 - co-hosted by yours truly (Dan York)

Today's launch of Google Wave - some links and initial thoughts

googlewavepreview.jpgUnless you were under a rock, or are not in the tech part of the online world, you knew that yesterday into today was "the big day" when Google Wave launched it's wider public preview. Having had a Wave login since back in July, but not honestly had a whole lot of folks to try it out with, I was pleased to get the invite this morning to join in the public preview. If you are in the world of Wave, I can be found at:
[email protected] [email protected]

Feel free to invite me to a wave. [UPDATE: It appears that within Wave, you have to use the "" address.]


There were, of course, a zillion stories written over the past couple of days related to Google Wave. Some of the ones I found most useful in understanding the basics:

Mashable has also had extensive coverage over the past few months, as has RWW in particular.

There were some other posts I found interesting:

The demo, in particular, was quite compelling and intriguing to see how Google Wave could fit into existing business apps like Salesforce.

With ANY service that was so incredibly hyped as Wave, there was the inevitable backlash... predicted by a TechCrunch article, chronicled by a RWW piece and certainly given the greatest roasting by none other than Robert Scoble himself:

Many, many, many more posts out there, naturally, and I'm sure many more will come in the days and weeks ahead as more people try it out. (I would also be remiss if I didn't point out Dion Hinchcliffe's great post from back in May: "The enterprise implications of Google Wave - Definitely worth a read.)


As I worked with the public preview today, I did have some initial thoughts:

  • Overall, I definitely LIKE it - Having worked with it for a while, I have to say that the potential for near-real-time collaboration is pretty amazing. It's great to see the ecosystem of applications (gadgets and robots) developing. The preview seems pretty fast and stable. And it's all built on XMPP and other open standards with the promise of a distributed architecture. All in all pretty impressive.

  • UI takes some getting used to - Having said that, the user interface to Google Wave does take some getting used to. Just the way comments are inserted... it's part IM... part email... part wiki. You might be leaving a comment toward the bottom of a wave when someone else inserts something toward the top. Just takes a bit to understand.

  • Namespace shared with GMail - This is either a good thing if you have a GMail name you like, or an annoying thing if you were hoping to get a particular name. In my case, I had perhaps naively hoped that maybe I could get "danyork", but since someone else has that for GMail already, I couldn't. So I wound up using my GMail account name. To be honest, it makes sense for Google to do it this way. There will just be namespace collisions for people like me with common names. So it goes.

  • Yet another place to check for messages - Both Louis Gray and Robert Scoble mentioned this, and I definitely agree... your Google Wave inbox becomes yet another place to check for messages. I already have a work email account, a personal email account (well, several, but all coming into one client), a Skype IM account, a dozen other IM accounts aggregated into Adium... so in addition to checking all of those I need to check my Wave inbox. And because it is web-based I don't have a way in my Mac's Dock area to know there are new messages. Hopefully at some point it will be integrated with GMail or provide some other way to help us with this issue.

  • Distributed architecture isn't there yet - I realize that this is only a "preview" for 100,000 people, but I'm impatiently interested to see the distributed architecture outlined at As I recently wrote about at great length, the "Internet Way" is to have distributed, decentralized architectures. Services like email or the web where: 1) anyone can set up their own server; and 2) you don't have to ask anyone for permission to do so. Google Wave holds out the promise of giving us a very rich collaboration infrastructure built on a distributed, decentralized model. I want to get there. Today. :-)

Those were some initial thoughts... I'm sure I'll have more as time goes on and I'll write about them here.

What do you think? If you are in the initial preview pool, what has your experience been?

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