First Impressions of Google Wave

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This is very brief, because I’m rapidly closing a piece about my first impressions of Wave for the magazine, which is a whole different process. So I’m not going to do a list of features. You probably know them anyway. For a more thorough introduction, try Lifehacker’s walkthrough.

My main impression is this: it’s much, much less like e-mail than I expected, and much more like a very rich IM client. E-mail is asynchronous. You can leave it alone for a while. Sometimes I leave e-mails alone for a month. That’s because I am a bad person, but still, there’s flexibility there.

Like IM, or for that matter like a phone call, Google Wave is synchronous. Everybody knows when you’re on it or off it, and when you’re on it, they expect you to be on point — doing stuff, answering questions, reacting. It’s like a little friendly dog jumping up and down and yapping for your attention. This isn’t necessarily a defect. I like little friendly dogs. But it does — to me — sharply limit the contexts in which I’ll be willing to use it.

Whatever, now for the part you’re actually reading for. I’ve got four more invites. Who wants ‘em?