To take on resolution two from our Top 10 Social Media Resolutions for 2010 list, we had to get familiar with Google Wave.
Wave lets you communicate synchronously or asynchronously with a group of people. You can post polls, lists, documents, photos, gadgets or type directly into the Wave. Currently, Wave is in a limited preview, so not all functionality is available. It is also only available by requesting an invitation be sent by Google as they are available, or from an invitation by somebody that has Wave. Once you are on Wave you will get additional Wave invitations to send out.
Waves are ideal for small groups or team collaborations. But, the more people that contribute, the murkier the Wave can be unless there is a very specific structure. Think of Wave as a better alternative to a string of messy emails, especially when an entire group is involved. Ideas can be shared on one clean space instead of a group of forwarded after forwarded email where attachments can be deleted or sent twice. If changes are being made to documents, the real-time changes can be seen on the Wave instead of asking for an emailed revision. And since the Wave is stored online, storage space in your inbox is not being wasted.
Let's look at a Google Wave example:
Jane has multiple people collaborating on her blog with a designated schedule of who writes what, and when each post is due. Sometimes two people are assigned to a post, and sometimes more ideas are needed to fill in the schedule. Jane also receives emails each time a blog post is complete and ready to post.
Jane decided to post the blog schedule on a Wave. When people have ideas for blogs, they add them to the schedule. As posts are complete, the status is changed. Instead of interruption or confusion from emails, everybody has a designated place to go view the status of the blog schedule.
Waves can be organized in folders and each have their own purpose. It's a unique project management tool that can be applied for your personal needs as well. It's definitely worth checking out.