Can it be that one of the most hyped new tools of the year has already met an early and untimely demise? According to Google’s blog, the company has decided to end support for the much-anticipated and, apparently, hardly used Google Wave. What can we say besides, “Google Wave, we hardly knew ye!”
It seems like just yesterday that the iBraryGuy team was using every social networking tool available to get one those exclusive invitations to Google Wave. It was rumored to be the tool that would forever change the way we communicated. Better than e-mail, better than chat, said eager-eyed technophiles. When we finally got our invites to Wave, it felt like Christmas. Just a few weeks later, after struggling to understand how Wave worked and looking fruitlessly for ways to incorporate it into our lives, we shelved it just like those Christmas toys from our youth. Apparently, we were not alone.
On the company’s blog, Google Vice-President Urs Holzle wrote, “. . . Wave has not seen the user adoption we would have liked.” He further announced that Google would discontinue development of Wave before the conclusion of the year. The site is to stay active through year’s end and the code behind Google Wave will be made available via open source for those who wish to work with it on their own. Wave was home to a series of innovations. From real-time sharing of images and media to spell-checking that actually worked by understanding the context of a word as well as the word itself. Sadly, these improvements never quite caught on with users.
Google Wave did have its fans . . . just not enough. We here at iBraryGuy certainly gave it our best try. However, from its busy, clunky interface to its confusing system of gadgets and bots, we just never got it. For its part, Google says that it has learned a lot from its great Wave experiment – lessons that it plans to put to good use in the development of its next social networking project. For our money, they are alluding to the company’s rumored challenge to Facebook, the so-called “Google Me”. Like Google Wave, this yet-to-be-seen innovation is generating a great deal of buzz.
Oh . . . and speaking of Buzz . . . we can only hope that it is next to go. 😉