Over the past few months I've been using GoogleWave as a communications means with a project team. It’s been interesting using the application and I wanted to share a few takeaways from the experience:
1. Being able to streamline communications by posting and editing content in real time proved to be the strongest selling point of this application. I see much potential for project teams, groups, or any other collective body to obtain value by using this product to increase communication efficiency.
2. You can run into problems if you don't get buy in to use Google Wave as a central means for communication from you group, team, etc. I found some would default to standard email because they didn't want to take time to learn this new tool. This resulted in inefficiencies as messages or questions left on the Wave would often go unnoticed and be left unanswered. It will be interesting to see if Wave can overcome this key adoption problem to attract pragmatic users. At this point, Google Wave is not for everyone, but applications that integrate the feature of email, forums, and chat should continue to evolve and become important interaction tools.
3. Google Wave is still a work in progress. I found beta version vulnerable to crashing, especially if Wave’s become long and there’s a lot of active participation. Some of this could be that I’m running Wave on my netbook most of the time. One positive note though, every time a Wave crashed (to often at times), I was able to re-launch a recover everything I had written in the process of posting. I was thoroughly impressed with this as I still lose an email now and then to Firefox crashing.
In the end, I’m confident Google will work out many of the applications technical short comings. My recommendation is to approach using Google Wave with an open frame of mind. Lastly, if you’re trying to use the application for something important, in which effective communication will be critical, establish from the beginning that Google Wave will be the central means to avoid the abandonment problem.