1. Where are all my Friends?
If you're used to Facebook, then Google Wave will be a little daunting at first. To the new user, it isn't clear how to add friends or colleagues to your waves, or any way to search for people with similar interests. On the plus side, this means that spam levels for now are low, but on the negative it isn't easy to find the people you're looking for.
The best way to create groups currently is via social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook. As Google Wave is further developed, it's highly likely that Google will implement much richer friend and contact location systems. For now though, at least add the person that sent you the Google Wave invitation!
2. Get used to it!
Once you login to Google Wave, you'll be presented with a screen split into 4 segments. To the top and left you'll have your navigation and contacts area, whilst to the right you have the inbox and new wave windows. The best way to get started is trying it out, so create a test wave and share it with your contacts - remember that Google Wave is a collaboration tool, so use it to learn too through your friends! Ask questions, create polls and become familiar with the interface.
3. Gadgets and Robots
Google wave utilizes both Gadgets and Robots to enrich and automate your waves. There are currently two Gadgets available - A Poll system to include in your waves, and a map module using Google Maps. There will be more Gadgets available soon, so keep an eye out!
Robots are currently the buggiest area of Google Wave, but there are a few that you can play around with - Bloggy publishes your waves to your blog, Tweety sends what you type to twitter and Rosy does translations. Robots are added to your waves in a similar manner to other users, and once added act upon their programming to "help out" with the waves.
4. Staying Organized
One thing you'll quickly realize with Google Wave - it can get very messy! Begin as you mean to go on, creating separate folders for each different wave topic. It is also important to keep your responses active so that nothing gets buried, especially if you're using Google Wave in a professional or academic environment.
5. Final Notes
Do remember that you can edit other peoples waves - this lets you keep the content relevant, get rid of rubbish and generally housekeep as you see fit. There is always the Playback feature, should you need to recover something you've already removed. This feature is especially useful when using Google Wave for meetings and sharing ideas - once you have reached your goals, re-edit your waves so they only contain the pertinent information! Also remember to invite your friends; you should receive 8 further invitations once you register with Google Wave. Alternatively, send your friends to twitter or this website to get a free invitation to Google Wave.
Getting Started with Google Wave