Google has added a nice little feature to Wave today — following and unfollowing. They’re removed the old “mute” command and made it a bit more sophisticated.
The main problem was with that people would read public waves, get automatically added to them, and their inbox would quickly become overwhelmed. This new feature should help eliminate that problem.
Here’s how following works: When someone adds you directly to a wave, or if you contribute to a wave, you will automatically be following that wave. When you see a public wave that you would like to get updates on, you can chose to follow it by hitting the follow button in the wave panel toolbar. You can remove these waves from your inbox by hitting the “archive” button, but when there is an update they will pop back in. You can switch between following and unfollowing a wave as much and as often as you like.
While it’s not overly different from the old “mute” feature, the extra control and the more familiar language should make it very useful for a lot of people. Google has plans to add more features to help you control your inbox, and may eventually allow you to follow people, groups and/or searches.