Have you managed to get an invite? Well if you haven't don't worry because Google has just made Google Wave publically available. So what is it going to do and how complicated is it? Well from my review there is a learning curve. At the minimum it is a new way of communicating by mixing e-mail, IM, extensions, gadgets and all sorts of other things and you can embed them in the wave - not too disimiliar from other community software products but more ambitious!
So how does this help your everyday day life?
Google has recently announced an app store and this will certainly help get a few ideas flowing but here are a few suggestions on how you can actually make Google Wave work for you right now.
This is probably the most obvious category of use for Google Wave. If you hafve a lot of people that need to collaborate on a project of any kind then Google Wave may help. Working on a project on your own is easy to control but if you're writing music, a script for a play, a speech, designing a poster or website or any other kind of creative collaboration, then a Wave is an excellent way to do it. It adds the real time element so that you can bounce ideas off your partners just as you would face to face. It records all your suggestions and it allows each person to see what everyone else is working on. In larger groups, the wave can act like a central hub where all the work is not only collated but also focused.
GREAT IDEAS - Project Management, script writing, music writing, speech writing, web design, filmmaking
Another great use for Google Wave is event planning - from complicated overseas trips to weddings. Rather than sending e-mails back and fourth between unwieldy address lists, instead all of the ideas can be stored and the communication held on the wave without having to worry about people missing the message or contacting people on the wrong phone or e-mail. It also provides a one single location where the complete information of the event can be accessed. You could plan a holiday with a group of friends and include details of flights, accommodation, maps, opening hours of tourist attractions and images of places you'd like to visit as well as perhaps the sharing of photos afterwards. You could even embed the whole thing into your blog afterwards to show people what your vacation was like.
GREAT IDEAS - Stag & hen Dos, holidays, road trips, weddings, business events
Any activity that needs extensive planning with plenty of variables and too much information for a single piece of paper. One of the great things about Wave is the space for Extensions which come as either Robots or Gadgets. These can alter both themselves and the entire wave with live information pulled in from the outside world. One good use for these would be to keep the content of a wave up to date - whether that be football scores or the price of oil. If a collaborative, multimedia document then has the ability to update itself, you can use it to model or plan any complex situation. Through that, you can know how you wish to respond to the real-life situation. Simple examples might be household finances. You could have a robot set to bring in the effect changing interest rates might have on your monthly household expenditure and show you where to best spend or save the money. It would adjust the plan according to your preset parameters. This way you don't have to keep writing new models but just develop the same one as your venture grows.
GREAT IDEAS - Business plans, household budgets, statistical analysis, gambling patterns
Whether we're taking about a teacher holding a class to an entire group of students with diagrams, written words and active participation or, for our practical purpose, something as simple as helping your parents fix their PC, it's an excellent way to do so. Best of all, these classes will remain online for them to access any time they need rather than have to rely on memory or bother you again while you're busy doing something else.
GREAT IDEAS - Remote learning, helping some fix their computer, giving accurate directions to a location, writing a shopping list for someone else
From the set up point of view, it's probably more a suggestion for a business or a web enthusiast but very soon we might find ourselves using Google Wave as a commenting system on sites and forums. The point here is that it allows users to watch conversations happen while being part of them. So, rather than make a comment and refresh the page for the next five minutes to see if anyone else replies before forgetting about it and never returning to that page again, you'll be able to see people typing as you are doing so too. Doubtless it will help fuel internet rage but at least we should get through these issues a little faster - say over just 10 minutes of your lunch break rather than the whole hour.
GREAT IDEAS - live forums and web article commenting, community sites
As of today, there is still a lot of uncertaintly around Google Wave and it may not prove the runaway success that Twitter is but that doesn't mean there isn't still plenty you can get out of it if you have a go. The point with all this new technology is to try. At the least, when it does take off, you'll be able to say that you were there in 2010.