2Wave Frees Us from Collaboration Stagnation
Google Wave is free and open source, allowing developers from many levels of experiences to write extensions for it. Novell has already built a Wave server, providing a solid enterprise use scenario. It’s likely many others will follow, paving the way for richer applications. After years of corporate enslavement by the Microsoft Exchange and IBM Lotus Notes e-mail vanguard, Wave can solve the problem of collaboration stagnation.
3Switching from E-Mail to IM and Back to E-Mail
When we use instant messaging, it’s separate from e-mail. We have to switch back and forth between our IM app and our e-mail app. Tenner noted that while Google Talk tried to resolve that issue by storing IM conversations in your in-box, Wave intuitively turns into an IM-like platform for rapid replies and turns back into an e-mail-like platform when communications slow down.
5Adding Contacts to a Conversation
6Keeping Contacts in Touch
Who likes attaching files in e-mail messages? Don’t everyone raise their hand at once. With people exchanging more and more files in the workplace, most companies cap their workers’ in-box storage capacities. Tenner said that while sending e-mails over 10MB usually fails, attaching a 10MB file to a Wave e-mail is no problem at all.
E-mail threads tend to be flat, one to one, one to many, or many to many. Google Wave resolves this by allowing clean threading. “Yes, if you use a lot of threading in an instant messaging context, it will be hard to manage. But within the typical e-mail collaboration context, it will keep things a lot more clean and tidy than not having threading,” Tenner explained.
Correcting typos in e-mail is rough. “You need to quote the context, highlight which bit you corrected, and then rely on the other person applying your changes back to the original document. With Wave, no such problem—you can just edit the original text and make those changes. If the person who submitted that document wants to review your changes, they can play them back,” Tenner explained.
11One Last Thing
Sure, Wave is new and a little scary. You don’t think e-mail or instant messaging were scary when people started using them years ago? Change can be scary, but change can be good. And Wave is not change for change’s sake—it’s the start of an evolving collaboration paradigm. Remember, this is just an experimental rollout. Expect Wave to have more features to enable asynchronous communications in addition to all of the right-away real-time exchanges. And expect more Wave servers from Novell and others embracing the change. Get enough Wave servers talking, and we may see a challenger for e-mail in the workspace.