For all those who keep churning out the fact that Google Wave has no compelling improvement of email and IM, those who constantly suggest its a social networking platform aimed at taking on Twitter and FaceBook, or stating that its gonna flop because its unfinished crud;
Jeez, stop and breath and takd a minute to think about it !
Wave is a protocol (XMPP based), not just Google's current server platform and client app. There are already independent open source implementations of servers for the protocol. Yes the Google front end is unfinished - for all those who moan about how distracting it is to seen what the other person is typing; well even in the original Google I/O conference video they point out that that there will be a private 'draft' mode that will prevent this, so you can write in peace..........
Yes the released (and hyped it) early, because they want 'community' input - so no, its not finished or polished, but come on its just gone from private Alpha to invitation only Beta, its a long way from finished product(s) and no one is saying otherwise.
However all this "social networking / email killer" stuff is just distraction. The Wave protocol is about content centric collaboration - its a collaborative document creation / editing paradigm. So before pontificating on how it will never replace Twitter, think about how it might become competition for SharePoint 2010 and the online versions of the Office apps.
Think: Private cloud + Google Wave + Google Voice + Google Apps +
Stephen Arnold has been saying for some time that people should be paying attentions to Googles moves in new database technology, so add that to all of the above.
Personally I would like to see appliances / software / VM's to more of this stuff inside the corporate firewall (you can build your own Wave servers, and buy Google Search Appliances).
I look at this from an enterprise viewpoint, and there are plenty of others who are doing so:
- Ribbit tele-conferencing gadget
- 6rounds vidoe conferencing gadget
- SAP Gravity - collaborative business process modelling
The only valid criticism I have heard of Wave so far is that is 're-inventing the wheel' a bit where it comes to the XML format it uses.
I am not on the invite list for the beta, and I doubt anyone at Google will read this, so I am not angling for one, in fact I think its going to be a couple of years before Google really builds up its 'wave front' - but thisl an open standards based protocol - stop thinking of Wave just as its seen in the flashy demo video or the sandbox developer account you managed to scrounge that you can't do much with.
Bottom line - stop thinking 'new fangled email crossed with IM and social networking' and think powerful content centric collaboration and document editing.