I’ve spent the last two weeks playing around in Google Wave. I see its potential as a collaborative tool to share information during news events, such as a snow storm. I see it being used as a comment tool much like people comment on facebook or retweet with a comment on Twitter.

I’ve joined waves that were created to discuss the use of social media and/or Google Wave in journalism and in news. I’ve reviewed other media outlets use of Google Wave. I’ve read articles on using Google Wave in news.

Do I get it? Not completely. Frankly I look at a wave and I think MESS. There are aspects that are still too difficult. I’d like to be able to search for public waves without having to type with:public before the search term or phrase. I’d like to be able to have more of a profile area so I can see a short bio of those I’m waving with. I’d like to be able to block certain wavers. (I’ve already been hit on in a wave.) I know some of what I’m asking exists in the form of applications, like applications you’d use with facebook, but I’d like it to be much easier than having to find and add an application or bot to the wave. Then there's the simple fact that wave is still in beta and not open to all yet.

The Seattle Times used Google Wave to share information during the manhunt for the suspect who gunned down four Lakewood, Washington cops. I heard about the wave before the suspect had been found. The wave was hard to follow and had a lot of side conversation in it; including a conversation if sharing police scanner traffic was legal or not. Yes this gave me a headache. I continued to watch it develop though. I saw how certain wave members were going through and editing along the way to update information and delete old or inaccurate information. I don’t know, but my guess is these wavers are Seattle Times staff members.

After all of that I see how Google Wave could be used as a news tool. I’ve just started my first public wave, Colorado Snow, to be a place to share information during an expected snow storm. I am anxious and excited to see how it will work.

My one huge hesitation with fully using Google Wave to share the news is that every single entry can be edited, can be changed, and can be deleted by every person in the wave. Yes, you can hit a playback button to see exactly how the wave was formed, but if there are many entries in the wave, the playback feature isn’t practical. It’s slow. I don’t believe people will take the time to go through the wave edit by edit. I believe people will read the wave as it is.

I trust most everyone I chat with on Twitter and facebook. It’s the unknowns that make me wary. A public wave is open to everyone, just like Twitter. Anyone can jump in on the conversation. The difference is my original tweet can’t be changed. If I’m retweeted and the tweet is changed, it’s pretty easy to jump to my Twitter stream to see exactly what I’ve said. It’s not that easy with Google Wave.

The rest of my hesitations I’ve realized can be the same as using any social network. For example, there is no official moderator of any wave. Well there’s no moderator for Twitter or facebook either. You can delete comments, and respond to comments. Same can be said for Wave. Newsrooms that realize sharing news via social networks means you don’t have total control over the story, and are able to let the story take its own form through those who add to it, will succeed in staying a relevant and news entity.

So Google Wave I will give you a try.