I totally owe my little brother. Thanks to him, last Friday, I got my hands on geek gold: a Google Wave invite.
Five days in, I’m hooked. It’s an amazing platform. One of the things that strikes me, after playing around on it for a while, is how difficult it is to describe. My strong suspicion is that it will forever change the way digital cultures work. Why, exactly, is harder to explain.
I think it’ll be because the user has a hub in which they receive and share information. Currently, the information exists, the user accesses it and sometimes creates it. Here, you have a single interface in which you access and create, and the information comes to you.
While I’m a geek, I’m certainly not overly techy, so understanding much of Wave’s capability is beyond me. But even the little things I’ve tried out- like the twitusername app that automatically links any reference to a twitter account to its feed- are amazing. It feels like a system that works intuitively, while giving the options to customize it to exactly what I need.
Obviously, it’s still early days. I’m sure it’ll integrate with Google Reader in some way, but I don’t have the vision to figure out how. I also think it’ll be different when my friends are on there- it’s hard to actually understand how it will change the collaborative process when you’re not using it as a collaboration tool yet. But the combination of the public and private web in one place, of conversation and information distribution, just makes sense. I suspect that, once everyone is on there (and I really think everyone will be on there), it’ll be the one window you keep open all day. Everything you need, in one place.
It’s an amazing, intuitive system. It doesn’t take long at all to get the hang of it, and it just makes sense: to have a single piece of information that people access and develop, rather than an exchange of pieces of information. I really don’t think email will last much longer, in its current form…
Yeah, I’m ranting, but it really is genius- and utter common sense- at the same time.
PS I’ve been using this list of Wave extensions. Very useful. I’m rather in love with the word poetry one.