Google Wave is really just a rough pre-beta right now. So any attempts to clean it up and add features are more than welcome. Today the Wave team posted about the newest feature, following waves. This should make the process of managing public waves much less awkward.
From now on, clicking on a public wave will no longer mean it stays in your inbox forever. To stay updated on a public wave, you just hit the “Follow” button. When you are added to a wave or you contribute to one, you will be following it. Hitting the “Archive” button will remove a public wave from your inbox.
Public waves that you have only opened will now automatically fall off your inbox eventually. Finally, the “mute” feature has been replaced by “Unfollow”. Clicking the unfollow button will remove a wave from the inbox immediately. Google may eventually expand the whole “Following” idea to people, groups, and searches. So if Wave wasn’t confusing enough already, you have this to contend with.