As of some time last night, Google Wave became read only. In a few months it will go offline entirely. This is a sad moment.
Frankly, I have a hard time understanding how the service could have been so unpopular that Google decided to pull the plug. Me and many of my friends found it a very useful tool. Primarily we used it for planning our RPG's.
And there's simply no straightforward replacement for it. Its combination of realtime discussion and persistent information was unique. Sure, I can use things like wikis or Google Docs to store information, but they lack the discussion element, so important in the planning stages of a project. Forums and social networking sites, on the other hand, are too public for many of the discussions we have, while I've always found email very awkward for longer discussions. Meanwhile, the open source versions of Wave are still pretty raw, and I don't really have the server capability to run my own instance of one.
So what I need is a tool for private small group discussions. Something that feels a little more simple and immediate than email, but lighter and more private than a forum.