I’ve been on Google Wave for less than 48 hours and a longer blog post is brewing. However I did just want to respond to a post by Mark Smithers today in which he described Google Wave in a Sentence as:
Google Wave is a tool that allows asynchronous communication (similar to email or discussion boards), semi-synchronous communications (similar to Twitter or FriendFeed) and synchronous communications (similar to instant messaging) all wrapped up with wiki-like capabilities for collaboration.
After only 48 hrs experience, really only abt 4 hours of actually poking about, I am tempted to agree with his assessment that students and teachers could use Waves as collaboration spaces. However, I’d like to see the file sharing capabilities first. This is switched off at the moment.
I’m less impressed with some of the mass waves with 300+ participants – they feel very chaotic. Mark calls them standing waves – I wonder if tsunamis is more apt? The Educators Directory Wave is a prime example. Everyone is talking (literally over each other as this is possible in a Wave), threads are difficult to discern, it’s hard to recognise individual contributions and the whole thing is liberally sprinkled with polls and maps. I wasn’t surprised when at about 4pm Google Wave warned me that this wave was about to explode.
So, after the initial 48 hours, here is my Google Wave description in a sentence:
Google Wave is like a wiki done by amateurs, a text chat with 120 participants and a discussion forum without a facilitator, all rolled into one.
I’m sure this will improve as we get the hang of making waves…
If you want to get in touch and improve with me, I’m nz.catspyjamas [at] googlewave.com