But going public, as it were, can do a lot for a company or service. Around eight months after releasing a beta to testers, Google has made the decision to open Wave up for everyone to enjoy. Or at least use. It's a part of Google Labs, and now you no longer need an invite to get in the door. Google has pointed out a few best-use scenarios below, so if you've been waiting for when your entire staff or team could have access in order to try it out, now is your chance.
Wave is still pretty interesting. We're not quite sure how or if it fits in just yet, but it's definitely got potential as a collaborative tool. Google also admits that things weren't fully baked during the Beta run, noting that "if you tried Google Wave out a while ago, and found it not quite ready for real use, now is a good time to come back for a second try." The public version of Wave is said to be "much faster and much more stable than when we began the preview, and we have worked hard to make Wave easier to use." For example, you can now get email notifications when waves change, easily navigate to unread parts of a wave, and remove participants added by mistake. Google has also added permission management options and an extensions gallery. Visit wave.google.com to get it a whirl, and make sure to suit up before heading over.
Wave is a great place to get work done, in particular for teams working together on projects that involve lots of discussion and close coordination. Here are a few examples:
Business: Co-workers at companies large and small are using Wave, from writing software code at Lyn and Line and coordinating ad campaigns at Clear Channel Radio, to international project communications for Deloitte's As One project.
Education: University students and professors worldwide have used waves within and beyond the classroom to collaborate on Latin poetry translations, write academic research papers and even build new functionality with Wave's APIs. An ICT teacher also enjoyed having her 5th-graders do their class research in Wave.
Creative collaboration: From virtual art classes to writing the Complete Guide to Google Wave itself, waves make it easier for groups to review and critique multimedia content like images and videos. (We've heard that Wave is fun for gaming, too.)
Organizations and conferences: The Debatewise Global Youth panel explored climate change across 100 countries and waves at eComm (Emerging Communication Conference), LCA 2010 conference and HASTAC 2010 helped track speaking sessions. We are using waves in the same manner at today's Google I/O conference.
Journalism: Mashable used Wave to interview journalists on the future of journalism, and The Seattle Times experimented with a public Wave to develop their Pulitzer Prize-winning news coverage.