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Summary:

Google is apparently satisfied enough with its pre-release Google Wave project that the company today started rolling out a preview version, although it’s only available to some users. Wave (see “Google Wave Explained” at GigaOM Pro, subscription required) has already been available for a tiny group […]

wave-logoGoogle is apparently satisfied enough with its pre-release Google Wave project that the company today started rolling out a preview version, although it’s only available to some users. Wave (see “Google Wave Explained” at GigaOM Pro, subscription required) has already been available for a tiny group of developers for some time, but now more than 100,000 invitations to try it in its newest incarnation will go out to active preview developers, the first users who signed up and offered to give feedback upon Wave’s announcement, as well as to some customers of Google Apps. There are even signs that people who received invites are giving them to others who didn’t.

Wave, when it was first introduced in May, was hailed by many people as a next-generation, cutting-edge communications tool. It combines email, instant messaging, wiki features and more into a splashy-looking unified stream of messages, images and thoughts, as seen in the screenshot here. For a more in-depth look, check out this video of Wave in action. Google has served up some interesting examples of how Wave might be used, and although there is room to reserve some skepticism about it, given the erratic history of “unified communications” applications,  it’s a project to watch. For more, check out WebWorkerDaily.

  1. For VoIP fans, the most interesting thing is Ribbit’s ability to embed voice as data objects in a Wave to be replayed with the built-in player.

    http://bit.ly/Wzqli

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  2. It’s not surprising Google are introducing Wave so cautiously. For this to work in a general release it has to be robust and, even with the months of sandbox development and testing, there’s a long way to go. On top of that, Wave is so radically different from anything that’s gone before, it’s going to take time for developers and users to realize its full potential. I just hope there’s the bandwidth to handle the realtime collab, something that ties in nicely with another of Google’s mantras: make the web [i.e. the apps and browsers] more efficient.

    I’m hoping for an invite. If I don’t get one, so be it. Wavr will come to us all in 2010.

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  3. Google Wave will open up conversational content to search engines. Interactive chat and email has been, until now, mostly invisible to search engines. All that is about to change now that real-time search wave “Robots” can participate in wave conversations.

    The technology and business of search (SEO, Collective Intelligence, Adwords, page rankings) will crumble and become meaningless in their current design and context – for example, if i embed a wave into my website, and the conversations get really busy, will search spiders be willing and able to keep up with the wave content?

    If Google make the APIs for Wave Gadgets and Robots open, but lock up the server end, there will be an acute tilt in the search playfield in favor of Google – the volume of new knowledge available continuously and exclusively to the Google search factory through the Wave will make it impossible for Bing and Yahoo to compete.

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  4. I started using Wave a couple of days ago, and gave fallen in love with its support for flexible, transparent communications. It works better than anything else I’ve tried except face-to-face meetings — and maybe it will prove better than meetings, over time — for collaboration. I was surprised at how rapidly Wave revealed its value in both personal and business environments.

    So have GigaOm tried Wave, and if so, are reactions under wraps for competitive reasons, or can y’all share your thoughts as Wave users?

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  5. By the way, rather than wait for an invite, request one. Go here: https://services.google.com/fb/forms/wavesignup/ (requires Gmail account).

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