I got my Google Wave invite about a week and a half ago. I’ve looked through the features, I’ve watched (some of) the video tutorials (not the 80 minute video, I admit), and I must say I’m at a loss. I’m still not exactly sure how to use it. I mean, I know how to use it, I’m just not sure how to use it effectively.
The main reason for this, I think, is that I don’t have many contacts yet and so have been unable to try many of the features. Yet I keep accessing my account and … doing nothing.
I began to wonder why that was. Why was I so excited to get an invite? Why do I keep logging on when I don’t have anything to do? And, given that I doubt I’m the only user (if I can call myself that) having this problem, I wonder at Google’s system of releasing features by invite only. Yes, it keeps the product fresh and exciting and elusive. Google Wave has been a trending topic (on and off) for weeks on Twitter.
But, unlike, say, gmail, users don’t seem to know quite what to do. People already knew how to email and could use their new address to communicate with people who hadn’t gotten a coveted gmail invite. There were new features in gmail, but users could pretty much how to use them within an already familiar context–and could get along without them if particular features seemed too complicated.
So where does that leave Google Wave users like me–people who want to explore something new but don’t seem to quite have all the tools yet? Is Google’s campaign of invites a good scheme or do the cons outweigh the pros?
And the biggest question: If you’re using Wave already, what on earth do you use it for?