From PC World: Are you looking forward to the day when Google Wave, Mountain View's all-in-one communication and collaboration tool, goes public? Well, for a select group of users, that day is coming this fall. Google announced in a blog post earlier this week it will open up Wave to 100,000 people on September 30. To get on the early bird list, you have to volunteer to be part of the Google Wave testing community.
Google didn't say whether it's too late to sign up now, but if you're interested you might as well try. Just head over to Google Wave's Website, provide your e-mail address, and make sure you check off the option that says, "Enlist me! I'll report bugs and give feedback (e.g. user surveys)." You also need to let Google know how you want to use Wave, and then write a short message to the Wave development team -- Google says haiku, sonnets, and ASCII art submissions will be accepted.
At its core, Google Wave is a combination of e-mail and instant messaging combined with any Web-based media you can think of. I find the best way to get my mind around it is to think of Google Wave as a mutlimedia conversation thread that includes a variety of tools to help your discussion. You can collaborate on documents, chat with people over IM, e-mail show photos, throw in a map, play games, and so on.
But the advantage of the Wave is that it's not going to be like Facebook where you just spit out your posts for all your FB friends to see. Google Wave is supposed to let you decide who you want to share information with for every single wave or thread. It's true that, to a certain degree, you can control who sees your posts on Facebook, but not to the same degree you should be able to with the Wave.
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