Google Wave Review : Why it may Ultimately FailBy soumitra, Gaea News Network
Friday, October 2, 2009
Google Wave as they say it, is an online tool for real-time communication and collaboration. It can both a conversation or a document for people to discuss and work together. They can use richly formatted text, photos, videos, maps and more. We have discussed every other thing you need to know about Google Wave including what it does, what are its features, who made it or what is special about it but at the end of the day, it seems that the whole thing is a digital popularity contest rather than people’s real desire to have a whole new communication experience. Yes, Google gives us the technology for real-time language translation, online collaboration in real time and email, social networking and wiki and instant messaging under one roof, but the question is still the same, does people really need this? Just because we have the technology doesn’t necessarily mean that we will use it. Let’s get into some details to clarify what I am trying to say.
We want simple communication, not information overload
Today, communication is not about technology. We have the technology to call people wirelessly and verbally communicate with them. We can even do video conferencing and talk to several people at the same time and even see them talking. But I doubt how many people around the globe is using that technology. Actually people are not worried about better technology, they want a simpler form and they are happy to send 140 character blips of information. We send messages when we want to and we accept them when we want to. This is the way the world is moving right now.
It is intrusive like instant message. You need to respond to the wave immediately, rather than asynchronously like email. This affects your daily-routine & workflow. People like e-mail because you can check them whenever you want to and does not become a headache anytime.
Google Wave can’t redefine online communication today because no set of tools or technology has that much capability. We look for information that is relevant and meaningful to us. Technology facilitates this process but it can’t redefine our needs. We define communications according to our own needs and we choose the technology that facilitates that particular type of communication.
Another important point to consider is the existence of some already popular platforms like Facebook, My Space and many more like that. People are used to these platforms and happy to use the tools that they find from there. They use them in their own manner to interact with people. It is not possible that Google Wave will incorporate all of those features and people may find using those older tools more comfortable.
Google Spreadsheet is perhaps the best online spreadsheet program. You can collectively work in a single spreadsheet with other at the same time who may be located thousands of miles away. Amazing, isn’t it? But how many of the spreadsheet users use Google Spreadsheet? The total number will be 100 times less than the total spreadsheet users around the globe. This is not due to the fact that google spreadsheet lack in features or technology, it is because people don’t need this.
The initial response isn’t everything
At this moment people want google wave because they can’t have it right now. You have to be invited to beta test it. And if you have access to Google Wave right now, you can send invites to others but there is no certainty that he/she will receive the invitation. It is a fact that lots of people aren’t getting the invitations and people are even begging for invitations on twitter. The situation has become so worse that people are getting to ebay to buy their invites. However, it is only a matter of few days when everyone of these people will get access to Google Wave and that will be the day when people will get tired of their new toy and will head on for the next coolest digital gimmick.
At the end of the day, I can see clearly that the Google Wave will be a complete failure to find the love of common people. Only some geeks and nerds will find it cool to have a typical application serving his/her needs. Google Wave is just another set of tools that will be addition to the failure lists from Google and may be this is the time we can lower our expectations from Google, after all, it can’t be that powerful to heal the sick, or eliminate the nuclear weapons, or make us immortal!