Google Wave - Issues and Opportunities
A colleague of mine, James Goodwin, has been given one of the prized beta log-ins for the Google Wave project. He has very kindly invited me and I have had a play - starting a few waves and pings.
My initial thoughts are that the Wave may replace email as the main mode of communication in businesses. The tag system may also replace the need for a document management system if it is carried out in a systematic way. However, this will create immediacy problems with instant collaboration that was usually reserved for meetings and conference-calls.
I also think there may be copyright issues in relation to instant collaboration on projects. If you are working with a third party on a document or idea using a wave then you are likely to be considered joint authors (if the contribution can not be distinguished) of the work and as such you will be restricted in the autonomy you have over the work created.
The other normal issues of Software as a Service still remain - who back ups your waves? How secure are the waves and what levels of service (ie availability) do you expect.
It will be interesting to see if adoption is fast once full access is rolled out. I believe there will need to be a critical mass of users before the wave pervades the business environment in the same way Twitter is now doing.
The ability to create applications for the Wave will provide businesses with lots of opportunities so, as always, there will be some that adopt early and lead the way.
I guess the wave project is evolving and my comments and opinions are likely to evolve with it. I will try and keep pace and keep playing.
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