Saturday, November 21, 2009

Not waving but drowning

I finally got a Google Wave invitation and logged in a couple of weeks ago. That's it - so far. It's still in quarantine until I have time to work out what to do with it. I'm not sure why I'm keeping it at arm's length since it must be one of the most awaited (and hyped) applications of all time and I've read plenty of rave reviews from people I trust. I think I got a bit turned off by the whole business of sending out a limited number of invitations (according to Google anyway) and letting the world fight over them. Talk about creating demand. Very clever marketing of course.

Already I have a few contacts in my Wave box and I clicked on one of the conversations. It was a long column of messages and embedded dokuments resembling a long chat session. I immediately felt stressed. Google claim that this will sweep away e-mail and I welcome that. The trouble is that right now I have so many communication channels that I can't find room for yet another, especially one with only a select band of users. When Wave is ready to incorporate my e-mail as well as contacts in Facebook, Skype, Twitter etc then I'll be really interested but I really don't want yet another communication app open on my screen.

Wave is not the first app I've kept in quarantine a while. I signed up for Twitter months before I even sent my first tweet. I signed up and then watched it sit there for a while as I tried to think of something useful I could do with it. Now it's one of my favourite tools and a great source of information. Maybe I need time to adjust and Wave will be a hit when I finally decide to examine it.

If you're already using Wave you will realize that I still haven't learned the basics yet but I suppose I am experiencing the same feelings many teachers and colleagues get when they hear me waxing lyrically about the wonders of Web 2.0 etc. Interested yet hesitant to open Pandora's box and let all the demons out. Good to get a reality check basically.

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