Underwhelming experiences with Google Wave

October 18, 2009
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Took some time today to work with the new communication meme – Google Wave. I wouldn’t call it a fundamentally new way to communicate – well, not yet. I think Google is safe to continue with a “preview” label – clearly not even “beta” yet. No horrible bugs – at least on the Windows platform – but some obviously missing features. And, I am not all that impressed with the basic idea – it’s just a mashup of Google Docs, instant messenger, and eMail.

Problems

All of my experimentation has been from a Windows machine – I am experiencing horrible performance issues with Firefox 3.5.3 on Ubuntu 9.04. I freely admit that this might not be a Wave issue – for the last two weeks, all of my Google sites (Mail, Docs, iGoogle, Reader …) run brutally slow, timing out by graying the browser window. I know it’s a weird issue because I can’t Google for an answer (a disturbingly tight loop). Wave refused to even show me the stills from the introductory videos until I disabled Greasemonkey. Yes, I’m sure it has something to do with my setup, my installed plugins – I’m just surprised that the problems have been this stubborn.

So, to get anything done, it’s back to Windows – still using Firefox, but no



Took some time today to work with the new communication meme – Google Wave. I wouldn’t call it a fundamentally new way to communicate – well, not yet. I think Google is safe to continue with a “preview” label – clearly not even “beta” yet. No horrible bugs – at least on the Windows platform – but some obviously missing features. And, I am not all that impressed with the basic idea – it’s just a mashup of Google Docs, instant messenger, and eMail.

Problems

All of my experimentation has been from a Windows machine – I am experiencing horrible performance issues with Firefox 3.5.3 on Ubuntu 9.04. I freely admit that this might not be a Wave issue – for the last two weeks, all of my Google sites (Mail, Docs, iGoogle, Reader …) run brutally slow, timing out by graying the browser window. I know it’s a weird issue because I can’t Google for an answer (a disturbingly tight loop). Wave refused to even show me the stills from the introductory videos until I disabled Greasemonkey. Yes, I’m sure it has something to do with my setup, my installed plugins – I’m just surprised that the problems have been this stubborn.

So, to get anything done, it’s back to Windows – still using Firefox, but no hint of platform troubles. Just an underwhelming experience with the fancy new toy.

I Am Legend

Interconnections on the Internet are a wonderful thing; I put out a Tweet (sic) regarding my Wave invites, and a note in LinkedIn as well. Twitter generated the most responses, with folks I’d never met – great fun to connect like that. The following day, I got a note from someone looking to connect via Wave – I’m guessing from the information that I can see, this person saw one of my original notes via Friendfeed. Amazing how those copnnections were practically spontaneous …

… while Wave feels like I’m in a walled garden. I still feel very cut off in the Wave world – a different domain from gmail.com means a new address to track, a new contact list to build. And it’s difficult to find connections with folks you already know; I received another Wave invite from a friend, but since I didn’t need it, I tried to figure out how to connect to him via Wave (I thought it a reasonable assumption that he, like me, has dived in). Unfortunately, I had to resort to an email message and some detective work to find out his Google ID – not something I could explain to most business users.

Yet Another Email Client

Yes, I am still at that opinion. Most of the opinions and articles I’ve scanned make it sound like we are working with a next-gen email client that does some of the basics right. I do note that the amplifiers tend to gush a bit, while the attenuators work hard to impress with wit.

Generally Pro

Generally Con

Maybe It’s Just Me

One of my random invites went to this guy, who’s review was a bit more positive than mind. Ok, maybe I’ll jump into the with:public pool and wade around a while – it’s probably the only way I’ll really get it. However, I am very willing to be patient and continue the experiment – took me about 3 months to get Twitter.

Previously …

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