Internet-mandated post topic: Google Wave

I have a Google Wave account. :smug:

Wait, wait, don’t come begging for invites! I didn’t get one of THOSE accounts; I have a latecomer developer account on the dev server, and we don’t get invites or the ability to play with the other reindeer on the “public” alpha server. Instead, we desperately search for public waves and attach ourselves to them, gasping, grasping for any sort of human contact while the cool kids on the public server invite their families and learn what it’s like to actually, you know, communicate with a human being.

Devs DO get two accounts, though, one for main and one for testing. So we’re smug about that. (You can’t have my test account; I’m using it for testing, oddly enough. Put away the begging bowl.)

Anyway, what’s the deal about Wave? Well, it’s like email and chat combined; you can edit anything anybody types, even while they’re right there watching you; there are programs called robots and gadgets which can affect the wave in real time; you have a history scrub bar so you can go back and see the way a Wave develops; and Google won’t control it forever, since they’ll release everything open source when it’s done … waaaay off in the future. What’s up now isn’t your standard Google “beta,” which means essentially a full live release version ready to go and only getting better from here. No, what Google has now is one step above a description scrawled on a napkin. It’s usable, and that’s about all it has going for it.

As a result, bloggers all over have been talking about Wave with a sort of “feh” attitude. “What would I ever use this for? I had to install a new browser instead of using my trusty IE6, nobody I know is on it (not even Hannah Montana!), it actually crashed once like grody, and I can’t automatically understand how the interface works just by looking at it. I give it only one of my coveted kitty-thumb’s-up stickers out of five, for a rating of EPOCH PHAIL. Better luck next time, Googleailures.”

Well, okay, you’re entitled to your opinions, even the really stupid ones. But when the day comes, you’ll be rushing to catch up with those of us who can actually see the potential. I’m particularly excited to be in on (almost) the ground floor, and I’ve been developing some interesting things that take advantage of Wave’s unique capabilities. Once they release the server code and whole companies start getting ramped up in this, then things will really start hopping.

Some of you are probably too young to remember the early days of the Internet, when email was still amazing and Mosaic was THE browser. I’ve been an active Internet participant for 15 years and I still missed out on a lot of that “oo everything’s so new and shiny” stuff. Wave reminds me of that sort of open frontier of possibilities. The internet’s been lacking any sort of standard for real-time concurrent collaboration and nobody’s missed it because … well, nobody knew what they were missing. It’s too new to see the big picture yet, but mark me, there will be a picture, and it will be big.

And this time around, at the beginning of a whole new future, I have skills and understanding that I didn’t have 15 years ago.

Heh. Heh heh. Ha ha ha. HA HA HA HA. BWAAA HA HA HA HA HA HA HAAA

(sudden cut to darkness, ominous echo)

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