Dec 2, 2009

[Google] My Google Wave Wish List

google_waveImage by jlori via Flickr

So I've been using Google Wave for more than a month now, and it's been an interesting trip thus far. At first all I was wishing for was either more friends on Google Wave or to actually have invites for the application so I could have more friends on Google Wave. Long story short, a mass of invites seems to have gone out in the past two weeks and now practically all of my geek friends seem to have it now (and I still have about 20 invites left.) So naturally more contacts on Google Wave has resulted in a lot more experimentation.

There are something things that I'm already loving about this application and you can certainly feel the potential for it. The big things for me are (1) the ability to edit anything in the Wave, (2) true real-time collaboration and (3) it's just so gosh-darned shiny!

But given this is still in beta, there are also some major things I'd love to see in upcoming updates in Google Wave, so here's my short wish list just in case Santa works at Google:

Better Wave Management Roles - As much as Google Wave is a social tool that only makes sense once you have friends, once you get a lot of people participating in a single Wave, it very, very quickly becomes a madhouse. There are replies going on in different parts of the Wave, things being edited left and right and you have no idea what's going on. In both Google Docs and Google Sites, there are different types of users you can involve in the page whether they are just viewers or full-blown authors. Wave still doesn't have that yet and so we have no choice but deal with the risks, especially if you decide to make a Wave Public. So Google Wave has very strong potential for replacing messages boards and threaded micro-blogging services like Plurk, if only it had a way to assign moderators or project leaders who have more controls over the Wave compared to others.

What's New This Time? - When you log into Wave, you'll be sure to notice which waves have new messages. The challenge is finding those messages that have been updated within the Wave. For now you can only scroll up and down the Wave, looking for that slight little green bar on the right hand side that indicates when a message is new or has been updated. This can get very tedious over time, especially as Wave-bloat suddenly makes your browser eat up more and more of your available memory. Bugger. Can't we have a way to jump between unread messages within a Wave? Something like how Google Reader can filter our new items? Even just email notifications will go a LONG way.

Learn to Play Nice With Others - This is the first Google project in recent history that claims to be highly collaborative and lacks decent integration with other Google products. Why can't Gmail integrate into Wave yet? Why are documents only included as attachments instead of live links to Google Docs? Shouldn't we be able to drag into Google Calendars into a Wave or something? I can't even link to other Waves easily unless I do the click-and-drag trick. Sites did a much better job of interconnecting with other Google Services, so when will Wave get the picture?

I'm sure other things will come to mind as I play around with Google Wave more, but these are the major items for me for now. How about you? How has been your Google Wave experience? What are you looking for? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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