Will Google Wave Shape the Future of Online Communication?

Or Is Google Wave Just A Bunch of Hype?

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To be clear, I don’t consider myself an expert on Google Wave by any stretch of the imagination, but based on what I have learned about it, these are my responses to frequently asked Google Wave questions. These are just my opinions.

We’d love to hear your opinions about Google Wave. Share them here.

Will Google Wave replace email?

No. It may replace email in the same way that social networks already have. Social networks have not replaced email in general. They have, however replaced it in some cases for some people. For example, friends may send each other a quick note via Facebook message rather than email. However, chances are one of those friends was emailed by Facebook alerting them that they had a new message. For more reasons on why social media (and I include Wave in this) won’t replace email, read this article.

Will Google Wave catch on with the general public?

Obviously, it’s incredibly early to tell if Google Wave will catch on on a massive scale. For that matter, what does "catching on" really mean? Does it mean to the extent of email? To the extent of Facebook? Twitter? There are pretty wide gaps between these. Will it catch on to the extent of RSS? Who knows. If you want my honest opinion, I don’t think it will achieve Facebook-like status. I’m not sure that it will achieve Twitter-like status either, which is just a fraction of what Facebook has.

If Compete’s numbers for the US are any indication, Gmail doesn’t even come close to attracting the unique users that Twitter does anymore. I have a hard time accepting that Google Wave will be bigger than Gmail (though it’s certainly possible). 

Will Google Wave catch on in the workplace?

If Google Wave catches on anywhere, I think it could catch on in the workplace. Lots of companies are using Google Apps, and now that Google is marketing that aggressively, that is likely going to increase big time. With the right promotion and integration, I could easily see Google Wave working its way into the mix there. The very collaborative nature of Google Wave caters to work-related use.

At this point, Google Wave is in its very early stages, and over the coming months and probably years, we are going to continue to see improvements and innovations made with it. Will that translate into widespread adoption? I’m not so sure.

I think people are going to have a hard time figuring out why they should be using it. I also think people are getting tired of having more accounts to keep up with (although this would be connected to your Google account).

If Wave brings all of their contacts and socializing into one central hub, it’s going to have some competition. Mozilla is already working on Raindrop, which sounds like a pretty useful tool. There will be others.

On the other hand, it could go the Twitter route, where people will struggle to "get it" for a long time, and slowly start finding uses that suit them. That "ah-ha moment" hasn’t come for everybody that’s used Twitter yet either, but there’s no denying that service has made its mark on popular culture.

I don’t want to sound anti-Wave here. It seems cool and potentially useful. Worst case scenario, it is just another tool that you can use if you want, which may or may not make your life (and work) easier. Best case (for Google at least), it becomes like email (or to a lesser extent Facebook) in the sense that it is practically unavoidable to use because everyone you know uses it and if you don’t you will be out of the loop. At this point, I’m just leaning toward the former.

Do you think Google Wave is going to change the world or do you think it’s being over-hyped? Discuss here.

Related Articles:

Google Wave Simplified: How it Basically Works

Mozilla Aims to Integrate Social Media and Email into One Inbox

Google Gets Serious About Marketing Apps

Will Google Wave Shape the Future of Online Communication?
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  • Jody Swaney

    I have been using the Wave for the last few days and I see more potential then you do. I don’t imagine that it will become as trendy as facebook, but I do imagine it being huge for business. The wave can replace and improve most customer service wikkis and thats pretty exciting. The one thing that it lacks is a notifier… I had a conversation with a developer last evening that consisted of a one on one question and answer discussion. In truth we exchanged more information in that 20 minutes than we could have in a month of email. I don’t think email well ever be obsolete because everyone is not always available but with a little tweeking this will be an opportunity for the main street to collaborate easily and efficiently as the big boys do, and that added creativity has unlimited potential. In truth I hope it doesnt catch on the the extent of facebook or twitter because the potential also exists for crime, scams, kiddie porn rings, and all of the other gutternet to explode along with everything else. The way I see it this will do to email what the telephone did to snailmail. If you want to discuss it more please email me at swaney3@gmail.com or wave me at swaney3@googlewave.com

    Great Article..

  • sbn

    Nice Topic Thanks
    Do u want to know more about google wave visit

  • http://www.pnc.org.pk/ Saima Farooque

    Very interesting post !!

  • Melissa Digitallis

    Nice post, It is only a matter of time before we can see how big the Wave will become. Its bizarre how we have changed the way we communicate and it will be interesting to see how we do so in the future. Check out this new site: The Tomorrow Mural created by Intel, where anyone can express their vision of the future…what would your vision be? http://tiny.cc/RVvuX

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