Just got my Google Wave invite from Google this past Friday night and thought I’d share my thoughts on it over a few blog posts. I won’t go into a lot of detail since you can get that info from all over the web (like here, here, and here).
Overall, at this very moment, I feel like a kid who got a very cool birthday gift but need batteries in order to use it. Why? Because you need people to wave with, which leads me to how Wave invites work: they’re not sent immediately and Google doesn’t tell you how long it’ll take for them to send the invite.
In my next post, I’ll post my thoughts after using it with some friends. For now, here are some thoughts:
Choosing a Google Wave username:
Choosing your Google Wave username will be confusing and is a pain in the ass if you have multiple Google Accounts. Here’s the deal: when you accept the invite and sign-up for Wave, you have to login with a Google Account. Then, you have to choose your Wave username…but here’s the catch: Wave reserves a username that is associated with a Gmail account so you can’t use the same username when signing up with a non-Gmail Google Account. Here’s an example of what happened to me:
- I have two Google Accounts – one is with my MobileMe email addy and the other is my Gmail account.
- I accept the invitation and login with my Google Account that uses my MobileMe email address.
- I try to choose a username that’s the same as my MobileMe username but Wave tells me it’s not available…and it doesn’t tell me why.
- Then, I try logging in with my Gmail account and – presto – my username was automatically set to be the same as my Gmail username.
- As mentioned earlier, I got 20 invites with my Wave account but invites are *not* sent immediately. Wave says, “Invitations will not be sent immediately. We have a lot of stamps to lick.” It’d be nice if they gave me an idea of how long it’ll take for my invites to be sent!
- Usability can be a bit wonky (which is on par for Google). For example, when I viewed a Wave, I was trying to figure out how to add myself to that Wave so I can find it in the future. After messing around for a few mins, I realized that once you view a Wave it’s automatically added to your Inbox.
- You can only interact with other Wave users. You can only send/receive emails or Waves with other Wave users (email@example.com). An email sent from your non-Wave account (firstname.lastname@example.org) will not be received by the Wave server.
That’s it for now. I’ll post more thoughts as I get to use it more.