Google Wave crashes on beach of overhype

I just got my Google Wave invite. No, I’m already out, so I can’t send one to you, sorry.

But this service is way overhyped and as people start to use it they will realize it brings the worst of email and IM together: unproductivity.

See, the first thing you notice is that you can see people chatting live in Google Wave.

That’s really cool if you are working on something together, like a spreadsheet or a Word document.

But it’s a productivity sink if you are trying to just communicate with other people.

It also ignores the productivity gains that we’ve gotten from RSS feeds, Twitter, and FriendFeed.

What do I mean by that?

It is noisy, but the noise often happens way down in a wave deep in your inbox.

This is far far worse than email. (New email always shows up at the top of my inbox, where Google Wave can bring me new stuff deep down at the bottom of my inbox).

It’s far far worse than Twitter (where new stuff ALWAYS shows up at top). It’s even far worse than FriendFeed, which my friends always said was too noisy. At least there when you write a comment on an item it pops to the top of the page.

And, worse, when I look at my Google Wave page I see dozens of people all typing to me in real time. I don’t know where to look and keeping up with this real time noise is less like email, which is like tennis (hit one ball at a time) and more like dodging a machine gun of tennis balls. Much more mentally challenging.

See, Google Wave was oversold as something you’d use with the public, or at least with large groups of friends, like you use Twitter, email, or Facebook.

No. Using it that way is an attention dump and will kill your productivity. Google Wave is actually closer to IM. Great with your very close friends or very active coworkers but horrid for nearly everyone else.

Google’s Wave will crash hard onto the beach of overhype.

My advice?

DO NOT ADD EVERYONE. Get a close personal friend, or a coworker to play with this and don’t publicize that you’re using it until you are sure you can deal with the productivity hit you’ll take here.

DO NOT ASSUME THIS IS A TWITTER KILLER. It is not. It’s not even a good sharing engine, far worse than FriendFeed is. I’d recommend using a private room over on FriendFeed first.

DO TRY THE API if you are a developer. From what I’m seeing that’s where the real value in Google Wave will come, but we haven’t seen enough apps yet so end users won’t find much here to play with yet.

To see some screen shots and how noisy this can get, go over and check out Louis Gray’s post about it.

Just get ready for the crash of overhype, this one didn’t deserve this much hype for what it delivered.

Comments

  1. But if you use it the way it should be used, which is to collaborate with a group of people all working on the same thing it can be great. Not everyone I interact with online has my email address, twitter account, phone number, etc.. Just those that I choose or those that I need to work with on something. That is what I see Wave being useful for, I wouldn't replace any of my other services with it.

  2. This is no surprise to hear. After watching the ''roll-out' video, all I could picture was an absolute me on my screen and far too much buzzing activity versus productivity.

  3. Thx for the quick update – I tried Gist last week and felt a bit overwhelmed as well… Have you? It was slow, to slow to pull all this in one place. How does it compare?
    Now, you did tell everyone to invite you at googlewave… are you starting to feel like using your new twitter strategy with GW will be better?

  4. I know where you are coming from – but this comparison is totally wrong. You shouldn't compare google wave with twitter, friendfeed or facebook at all.

    You should compare google wave with wiki's or google docs.

    It is pretty usefull and it can boost productivity a lot – if you look at the right use-case.

    Think of people who work on the same document and send emails between themselfs back and forth to discuss the document.

    Google Wave has nothing to do with Lifestreaming or conversation about a single asset (like on FF) – it's about bringing collaboration on a document – like wikis or google docs does – and the conversatino around it. (which now often takes place via email)

    And for that use-case it might be a big win situation and not disappointing at all :)

  5. Surely just like Twitter and Facebook and other social media tools, its usefulness comes down mostly to how you use it. For instance, I see this as a great tool for collaboration on a project where you can get everyone together to work on a collaborative document at the same time or at separate times without everyone needing to email the document around to everyone else every time a change is made and without needing to host it on a version management system or SharePoint server.

    Of course, you will get many people that use it as an email/IM replacement which has the potential to be a huge productivity drain. In my view though, having the ability to create these little mini-communities called Waves for different projects could be hugely beneficial if you use it in a way that is productive for you.

  6. I can't be sure, but I am probably one of the first guys who added you on Wave after you twittered your address. My first thought: wow, he isn't not prepared for what is going to happen, but then I was using Wave for a couple hours already.

    Anyway, I know that being one of the first to write down your thoughts on something new is good for the clicks and so forth, but you're judging way to quickly.

    Yes, currently everybody does have their eyes on Wave so it's a natural thing to watch everybody type down their lines in real time. That will settle down. As soon as people will get used to the product, this part of the noise issue isn't going to matter anymore.

    Also: I don't agree on the noise factor. Try building different folders for different kind of waves and they stop navigating like an email client and start using search. I found it quite liberating to split all the waves and at the same time to have access to them without doing a lot of navigation.

    Furthermore, I think that Wave will create a lot new fresh ideas. Yes, the noise argument can be very valid, but I'm pretty sure that the productivity part is a stronger one with Wave. Writing blog postings, creating whole project centric waves, creating a photo set together (why didn't flickr think of that?), etc. etc.

  7. Google Wave isn't close to a wiki. First of all, it's not public. Second of all, you have to be invited in to participate on a wave. Third of all, wikis don't fill up my inbox with notifications.

    But, yes, there is a use case there. I'm just not quite sure what it is and because of the productivity killing noise I'd only use it with small groups that I care about an awful lot.

  8. Gist is a system to help people network better. Nothing like Google Wave. The two aren't even closely comparable.

    No, Twitter lets me listen to who +I+ choose and it's in a simple river. Google Wave is like trying to listen to a noisy cocktail party and keep up with all conversations. Twitter is also public, so I can repurpose everything. Google Wave? I can't repurpose anything there and, it even creates yet another silo where information will go to disappear.

  9. I can see why you've said what you've said above. However I think there is a big difference between how people might use Google Wave now and how it could be useful.

    The key here is that at the moment not everyone you might want to communicate with is on Wave. So people are making public waves – which are not productive. Private waves (the default) are quiet and can be very productive. Like you suggested in your post – make some private waves with friends if they have invites.

  10. Ahh, yes, ye olde “you need to learn the tool to get a lot out of it.”

    I tried that line on thousands of people when I was evangelizing FriendFeed. It rarely worked there either. Sigh.

    I agree with you, but first impressions do matter and I'm looking for tools to let me work with large numbers of people.

    This is NOT Twitter/Facebook/FriendFeed.

    It's more like email and IM getting together and having a baby.

  11. Right. Just like you wouldn't open up IM with everyone. IM is really great if it's just to talk with your boss or your wife. Talking to the entire world? Not very great. I don't think we disagree. I just think that this tool got way overhyped. That does NOT mean it isn't useful for some things.

  12. Really no surprise here.

    Back in 1994, while developing simulated open collaborative networks we ran up against the wall.
    It's worse than a kid in a candy store — here you realize that the candy you are looking at is being eaten and slurped on by 20 other kids while you're still deciding if you gonna buy it.

    Google wave will make the term “unpublic” very popular soon.
    (unpublic is a term I like for describing the intermix between wanting an item to be public, yet not quite modifiable, yet sharable, but retaining some sense of “ownership”, a weird mix to be sure).

    It is a BIG CONCEPT to digest, and will take years to master.

    (I've been waiting for a WAVE-like system since 1994, it's going to be interesting :-)

  13. Yup exactly – I think we are in agreement here. But you seem to be using this reasoning to saying it is overhyped etc. We don't really know how useful it is yet. All we see so far is that public waves are not really helpful or productive. I don't really know why Wave even has public waves – I think it was just a way for people to find each other in the Sandbox. I don't think and I hope it is a permanent feature.

  14. Right… things for which you haven't even tried to use it for yet!

    You kinda lost a bit of respect for not standing back, taking a deep breath, and looking at the bigger picture.

    I suggest creating another wave account – with a nice quiet/secret username – and inviting your colleagues, for work related discussions.

    Rinse, Repeat. Rewrite.

  15. Most of the things you mention can be corrected with a small code rewrite. Live typing can also be turned off so that shouldn’t be a show stopper.

    I agree that it is a bit “busy” and all over the place, but can see the potential of selectively enabling certain features to get what you as an individual find useful.

    It’s different from most things out there which is why (I think so at least) people are not ready to embrace it. The wave will go on and it will become very useful to some while it might not represent anything past another beta test for the rest. Same as you raving about FriendFeed, I know plenty of people who find it useless and even borderline annoying, different flavors for different people.

  16. jake: welcome to our real-time-world. And customers don't give these tools more than an hour of trying anyway, so you're off base there. If the tool doesn't communicate what it's good for within a few minutes of visiting it really doesn't deserve any hype at all. There are so many services and tools out there that DO do that that are competing for your attention.

  17. Well you can create public waves, so that it comes closer to public wikis. And you can also make wikis private, so that you need to invite people to participate ;) So I think public vs. private is not a good criteria.

    That you can get spammed is really a huge problem and that is close to email, because you have an unique identifier, that enables everybody to “spam” you easily – absolutely a problem – agree with you totally on this point. Especially as you unfold your identity to every wave participant in the moment you get added to one ;)

    I agree with you on this small groups focus. It will work in teams that you know and which are commited to some “rules of participation” well. I use wave since the developer alpha and “big wave surfing” (with hundrets of devs in one wave) is a really a big mess and it simply doesn't scale.

    So if the expectation of the masses goes towards the direction of a friendfeed / lifestreamig / real-time-conversation-focused like tool, it will be disappointing and will crash on the beach for sure ;)

    So let's highlight the collaboration aspect in this discussion :)

  18. “I'd only use it with small groups that I care about an awful lot.”
    That is exactly how I was expecting to use wave. I never though of it as a replacement to twitter, FF, or even email completely. I expected it to replace emailing word documents around to my project teams.

  19. Robert, I'll have to agree with a lot of what you've pointed out here although I walked into it with a different goal in mind. I think Wave is to Twitter as LinkedIn is to Facebook. I only add people to my LinkedIn that I totally trust and would recommend to others in the same way that I'll only use Wave for people that I would actually collaborate with.

    I think in general the public has heard over and over that Wave is the Twitter killer and you're right it is not. But what it does offer is a great way for like minded people to easily share ideas and work together to solve problems.

  20. Having spent a fair bit of time today on Wave I have to say I think this discussion would work better on wave.

  21. I agree, it's not Twitter/Facebook/Friendfeed. I don't think that it's Waves intention to compete with those platforms – it's actually can play great with all of them.

    BUT. New tools tend to change the way we communicate. Blogs did that, Twitter did that especially. I think it will take a while for Wave to get actual attention from the mainstream, but when it will start getting a substantial number of users and we will see how company's and projects will start building their workflows in Wave … well I think we will see another big change in the way we communicate. It doesn't necessarily compete with Twitter, but it might make it obsolete (just an idea, I'm not really saying that it will).

  22. I am not surprised at all. I see this as a business workgroup app which will help colleagues share files and help in the editing process. It may grow into something more but for now, that is how I view it. And it is not yet ready to launch.

  23. Its so not good for you comparing Wave with Facebook, Friendfeed or Twitter. Wave is just a different platform and its nothing to go against those other social networks!

  24. Ah not really :) Google Waves brings a lot of benefits with it.

    But Robert, I think it's healthy to push the discussion in that direction: what is really the difference between wave and google docs?

    (and tbh I don't have an good short answer yet)

    Just a few bullet points:

    - you have a “structured” way to leave comments and discuss
    - you can run applications within a wave and collaborate with apps
    - you can embbed waves elsewhere
    - google wave is build based upon an open protocol
    - the replay function gives you a nice way to understand the process
    - waves might be more visible to you than google docs ;)
    - it combines email and google docs in a better way I think

    Yeah maybe that's it. You will never rely on a conversation within a google doc, but will have an email conversatin around it. Waves does combine this?

    I am really just “brainstorming” :) So – does this convince you, Robert?

  25. So I needn't be upset at not getting an invite then Robert. Hmm, makes me feel better…mind you would have only invited a few anyway

  26. Except that no one is on Wave except for 100,000 people. And this is public, anyone can join, they don't need a secret code, it works on iPhone, it's searchable on Google, Bing, and Yahoo. And more.

    1. Yes but waves can be public, published etc. according to needs. And therefore available anywhere a blog is. As the demo showed, you could run a blog through it.

    2. “except that no one is on Wave except for 100,000 people.” – petty response that. Other comments are valid, but that was not.

  27. Valid response – I meant just in terms of the UI but in reality if you want to find people with big opinions about the wave UX and the functionality it can/can't offer – then everyone who's experienced it is in there.

  28. Well yeah… first impressions are everything. Agreed.

    Re: Real time world comment: YOU are the one who can't take your eyes off the screen to filter the real time inundation. I've got a handle on mine, pal.

    Wasn't so long ago “They” also thought the telephone would be good for listening to concerts.

    Turn off your concert mode – turn on stereo headphones and you'll see.

    It'll be cool as soon as we all figure it out and stop trying to use it for something it doesn't do well.

    I can't help but wonder if you can filter your wave inbox to only show you your 20 most contacted buddies/coworkers? Would seem to me that is a good place to start.

    I still say: Being the first to off-handedly poo-poo this platform without actually making an effort to try it – is nothing less than being first to market – and thats page-hit whoring, my friend.

    ~jake

  29. Aha now with people actually using it will we posts like these. I did use it and found it good enough to collaborate and work with big teams.

    For example if you are working on a single document you can easily see what several people are saying and so on. However it depends on how you use it. It is good for collaboration but may not exactly be good for fun.

  30. I plan on following this closely. I watched really long demo yesterday and began thinking many of the comments your stating, in fact, Lars actually eluded to the fact that it could noisy… they will need a way to create a one-to-one, one-to-a-few, one-to-many option to block/grant access to this API otherwise we are going down the proverbial productivity tube pronto… even writing this is wasting my time????

  31. Well, I’m still trying to understand Wave’s platform, and the more I play with it I feel like I’m in a collaborative Gmails with apps (or I don’t know how to described it well yet)

    About your advices – you can’t control (and that’s the most annoying thing ever) who’s your new Wave friends, whether you invited them or not, they can reach you (no delete, block, nothing)

    And, cause there’s no setting, I’m always online :-

  32. I think you are majorly mistaken on your review of Wave:

    1. When anyone updates a Wave that you are participating in, it does pop to the top of the page.

    2. Wave will make everyone 10 times more productive than Email, Facebook, Twitter and Frienfeed. Basically it's going to be one place to monitor updates and response to all your online activities.

    3. The killer app in Wave are the public Waves. Basically this is much better than Disqus and Friendfeed to keep track of all your online activities. Basically it makes all your online activities much more relevant by them not just disappearing in the web, but you storing, monitoring, updating, creating all your online activities through waves.

    Try it again..

  33. Same old Scobie, Picking sides again. And i feel for you man. Well sleep tonight wake up and try to have fresher perspective. Ideas that wave brings to the table are radical, for example i want to brain storm a new photshoot with my team, i create a wave and invite them team, one guy scourges youtube for the videos of the location, other guy does the mapping for the whole trip, another one booking reservations for hotels and more, i create my own custom maps from google earth coordinates and on top we are reviewing the previous pics from an earlier photoshoot. I have tried many things, twitter teams, blog updates, emails, but none of them can do all the media at the same time in a single data stream which can played back and if i wanted to i can add others and pass on the ideas with out any hassle. Wave is going to be a compliment for Google Docs and can jump start the age old email system. My Two cents, and My team did all these in couple hours. Any other format, it wouldn’t be this easy.

  34. I think you have a point, but we use Google Chat to do exactly what you are talking about (to talk about a spreadsheet). By the way, I HAVE put notes for people “live” into Google Docs. After they type “OK” we delete the note. I'm not sure that Google Wave really brings much to the table for work collaboration.

  35. I already had public “waves” in FriendFeed, which work well in a lot of scenarios. I don't get what Google Wave brings to the table for that scenario that we didn't already have.

  36. This blog post can be a public wave for example, by copying a simply Javascript code in the HTML source code or installing a Google Wave wordpress plugin.

    Now imagine having that wave in your wave client simply showing up to the top of your “list of blog posts that you follow”, click on an updated wave and it jumps you directly to the new content.

    I predict that Wave Clients will soon be the RSS/comment reader of choice, and the blog publisher of choice for most people. Want to post a new entry on your blog? Simply create a new wave, then monitor all comments inside of it, done deal.

    That wiki collaboration function of wave does not have to be everywhere. Comments are edited by commenters, while the blog post can be written by one or several bloggers according to the creator of that blog post. And obviously you need to login to your blog using a remote WordPress login process.

  37. Yep, its good for some business document stuff with added features, gadgets, extensions etc. Its not an overhype, but people are trying to drop its level just because its something from Google!

  38. Gotcha ;) well I have to agree with my friend Igor Schwarzmann on this point: props for talking about wave that quickly and telling us, what your first impression has been.

    No doubt that matters quite a lot!

    Well, I also use Google Chat, Skype or any other IM to talk about stuff on the web. The interesting thing is to get the conversation in a close relation to the stuff we talk about.

    That is the reason you use friedfeed, isn't it? You have the conversation directly related to the content you talk about, and not somewhere on an IM tool, where it will disappear after a couple of seconds ;)

    So you have a kind of persistance and presence on Goolge Wave – compared to the google docs and google chat combo, you have mentioned before.

    Thanks a lot Robert for pushing the conversation into a direction that makes us think about the real value of it – I still think, that Wave has more added value, than you argue here in the comments at the moment, but that is also just an impression and time will tell ;)

    Looking forward to see you at the Gillmor Gang :)

  39. Spot on Robert!

    I think it has huge potential in groups but there is no way this could scale … at least the way it is just now.

  40. Robert
    I had similar impressions. I was using and hacking little bit with the dev sandbox. I felt it was too confusing for conversations but I do see a lot of power coming in the form of robots and gadgets. I wrote a little about liaise and google wave as a sample. http://bit.ly/q6MHZ

  41. So what you are saying is that Wave is a great collaboration tool between small teams that has been overhyped as a social networking tool? That's how I am reading it, and I'd agree with that wholeheartedly!

  42. Socialwok allows you to passively share a wave with co-workers. Imagine a wave as part of a feed, you can either ignore it or jump in. You can even comment on the wave without joining in. Socialwok helps make the a wave less like email and a little more productive http://socialwok.com

  43. Socialwok allows you to passively share a wave with co-workers. Imagine a wave as part of a feed, you can either ignore it or jump in. You can even comment on the wave without joining in. Socialwok helps make the a wave less like email and a little more productive http://socialwok.com

  44. Scobe I think you’re to harsh. The extensions look very promising. Also I was thinking it would be great to have a BBC Beginner French wave and use the voice extension to practice the BBC lessons with others. Anyone can go into their own wave and limit the noise. Also it is Preview so changes will come. They’ll come up with something to contain the noise and make it way more user friendly to complete with Twitter. It can’t right now because there is too much and Twitter grew from simplicity of use.

    I have 8 available invites, the first eight to email just your email to worldlifesite@gmail.com will get them.

  45. I couldn't agree more. This will end up being YAFGI — Yet Another Failed Google Initiative.

    I like email. It lets me decide who is important when I should read their emails. I don't want to see them typing in real time. If I want an instant reply I'll IM the person. The only possible use I see for Google Wave is collaborative document creation — like for school or work. That's it. That being said, better options exist already for collaboration.

  46. I never thought of wave as a conversational tool like a twitter, but instead as a collaboration tool between colleagues working on things. you seem to be disappointed because its not something i think it was never meant to be.

  47. You’re an idiot. Wave is not even close to email and twitter combined.

    This is going to replace forums and OSS is going to fly forward with this kind of dev tool.

    I dont want email after seeing this!

  48. I think a problem here is that you are detached from being an “average” user. It seems to me that the way you use various web services marks you out as as a special case user and as such many of your opinions are only relevant to other special case users.

  49. Hype or no hype, I want to get my hands on the open source version of the Wave server so we can use it for completely different purposes… more as soon as it is released…

  50. It might be hard to imagine but this will be a killer feature for the first social networks to snatch it up and assimilate it. Another place wave will be a killer app? Online gaming networks. Think about how much more connected those 10+ million World of Warcraft players will be using an application like this.

    I think it takes forums to a whole new level and it's an evolutionary step they've needed for quite some time.

  51. I definitely agree with you on this one. It doesn't add anything but feature adds to things we already do. Unfortunately those feature adds hinder productivity and don't even really create a cohesive conversation.

    Like you said I think Google Wave will take off with the fact that developers can use it as a platform for other things. I plan on doing some work with a few apps using the wave api. Certainly not a Twitter killer. The only real innovation is what they did on the developers end. There are some amazing innovations with the construction of the app itself.

    I just don't see it being widely used and advantageous for the general public.

    Thanks for the accurate review :)

    Chris Lorenz
    New Media Developer
    Pacific Dental Services
    http://www.pacificdentalservices.com/blog

  52. “Twitter is also public, so I can repurpose everything.”

    When i got into the GoogleWave Developer Sandbox this was the first thing I realized. It compartmentalizes information just like things have been before the advent of Twitter.

  53. Is there any security?? How do you keep the creeps out, i.e. those that would destroy all of the content and also all of our favorite Viagra and poker dealers?

  54. I was just going to walk away and not say anything, but this post made me angry. A lot of work has gone into this program, and to diss it as overhyped after a few hours or less is extremely disrespectful. As is comparing it to FF or Twitter. And talking first impressions with software is BS unless you’re talking about a freebie iPhone app. And down in the comments, you seem to be working pretty hard to discredit Wave. I wouldn’t have a problem with this hatchet-job if a least a week had gone by, but you can’t have had more than a few hours to check it out.

  55. I think you're trying to use it for a fairly unique reason, that isn't really well supported yet. It's still very early days as the wave team keep emphasising.

    Productivity is a human limitation, not a technical one. Wave gives you access to much more realtime information but it's really up to the person to make sure they're on track and using any tool effectively.

    I'd say give it some time to grow :)

  56. My question is this: did google ask for this much hype and promote it? Or did a wave of nerds like yourself just do what you usually do and get yourself all excited over the next thing that comes out from hot company X? I honestly don't know bc I don't waste my time reading the daily headlines or blogs. Nonetheless, thanks for your insight. i'm sure I'll give it a go at some point regardless. cheers.

  57. tl;dr: AHHH I'M SO POPULAR TOO MANY PEOPLE ARE IM-ING ME ON WAVE AND I'M DROWNNNNIINGG

    ALSO THIS ISN'T TWITTER WTF

    Thanks for clarifying for us that email-like systems don't replace Twitter, and that having to many open chats sucks. Brilliant observations.

  58. Reading all the comments, get a sense of those that painfully want this to be the new messiah, and those that are less fanboyish. The key question is “What did Google say it would be?” Then gauge whether they succeeded or failed rather than just attack Robert for not thinking it was the best thing since sliced bread.

  59. NO, the whole unproductivity thing is false. Wave is backward compatible, means you can always configure a wave to act like normal email. On the other hand, I guess it will save more time when you use the IM feature with live typing because you will not type unnecessarily when the other person changes the topic…. you will hit lesser backspaces… but if you want to do the IM chat the old way, you can always hide the live-typing thing and waste time doing backspace (if you prefer)

  60. I think even IM fails if you put way too many people into the conversation. For that matter anything will fail and be less productive. Imagine 10's of twitter updates every second if you are following thousands. Groups helped and so will folders in wave.

    I agree with Sebastian here that the comparison of wave with twitter/facebook/friendfeed is not correct. Judging it for something it is not would surely not lead to a positive response.

  61. Thanks for the blow-by-blow on how this works. I read other reviews but didn't realize, as you said, it would be so noisy. And more importantly, how will Google Wave fit in with the other social networking sites, which have slowly become business apps — that oh, by the way, have the capability to deliver on productivity. Collaborating on projects… Google Wave is there but when one is not collaborating, then what?

    Thanks again.

  62. I agree that by all the hype Google Wave should be set to cure cancer and promote world peace. I hope it is decent for collaboration as it could be an invaluable tool for small and/or sparse companies trying to stay up to speed on a project. Can't wait to try it out thanks for the review!

  63. Good to know that the Scoble contraindicator is alive and well. Certainly Google Wave is a tool for the way some of us have been attempting to work for a while now, but have been frustrated because the current tools don't do what we need. While not everything about Wave will become commonplace, lots of it will.

    Just like it took 2+ years for a critical mass of people to understand Twitter and create all kinds of use cases for it, we'll see something similar with Google Wave.

  64. it sounds like you didn't have any idea of what to expect- look I think it's revolutionary and like someone said already it took us a while to understand how to use Twitter and Wikis but you'd be laughed at if someone said: “what the hell is the point of a Wiki anyway?”

    you either had an over inflated opinion of Wave before you used it, or you went in thinking “it better jump out at me as completely revolutionary or it sucks”. Get over yourself man

  65. I’ve been on the developer sandbox for quite a few months. We’ve been very worried about how much noise wave would create when it went to the public, and both Google and API developers have done a lot of back and forth on how to solve this problem. Although a lot of apps seem to just generate noise (changing your letters into huge multicolored bold font for example) some have made progress in the way of: moving all ‘important’ data into one controled wave/blip, sending wave updates to your e-mail.

    However, the final word on the whole thing was this: Google wave has a learning curve. That’s right, when people first use it they tend to try to use it as an e-mail or IM replacement. This is WRONG, and it isn’t anywhere near where the power of wave lies.

    Don’t write it off just yet, when we get the federation of APIs working more closely together, and we get this puppy embedded on more sites, then you’ll see how great it really is. :)

  66. its interesting you say that, because I was hoping that it would be similar to twitter yet with a little more flair and finesse, It is hard to beat twitter because of the exact reasons you mentioned, the public nature of twitter makes it extremely useful and easy to repurpose, but more than anything twitter literally allows me to unify so much of my social network so that regardless of where I am or what I am doing I can quickly communicate and to me that is key to maintaining my network. Regardless I will be interested to see how it matures.

  67. Dude, you’re overhyped. In what, a few hours, you’re ready to render your oh-so-important verdict on a new technology? Get over yourself.

  68. Not only did it not deserve the hype (of course, I wouldn’t know because I’m not cool enough for Google), but for those of us who could have actually benefitted from the group collaboration aspects, and who manage disparate teams of freelancers every single day… well, let’s just say those of us who do that and would be big champions of what it *could* do were left out.

    And why? I don’t understand the arbitrary 100k number. That’s enough to “know someone” who has an invite, but you maybe didn’t. That’s a bummer. And it’s a real bummer when you know people who got one, send a “nomination” and even that isn’t getting to you. To lump on, you see people getting them and not using them, or panning it and moving on.

    Why not have a set number of users per session or per hour and let all of us try it? At least Microsoft let everyone play with Windows 7, and that’s no trivial matter. This isn’t even 37signals grade yet, but somehow we’re supposed to take it on faith that it’s so amazing…

    Anyway, as a person who could have spent more time with his kids today instead of messing about with other collaboration tools, perhaps I’m just being a crank. But this sort of insidious elitism is becoming the defining characteristic of the valley. For those of us outside that little bubble, it feels crappy.

    1. He’s also the only one who thought following 30,000 people on twitter was a good idea. Your life can become infiniately more productive and you’ll “get smarter” if you don’t read the biggest noise on the internet.

  69. Just did a quick search through the comments and I didn't see any references to the enterprise or to Microsoft Sharepoint. When I saw the original Google Wave intro video moths ago, Sharepoint was the first thing that came to mind. Google Wave isn't designed for public use. It's for use in the enterprise. And it's a Sharepoint killer

  70. Twitter does not help productivity. Neither does Friendfeed. Nor does Facebook.

    The only productivity-inducing technology are those of a different software generation: email and IM.

    Maybe you should get your basic facts straight (from someone who lives a non-hype life), before you go ranting about things.

    –Kyle

  71. You completely misunderstood the use cases for this platform. It is a realtime collaborative publishing tool. You and Louis are edge cases. Wave is not intended to replace Twitter or FriendFeed, which are more about individuals broadcasting to the masses, marketing themselves, amassing followers, curating egos, etc.

    1. Scott you’re right!

      Robert, you should take a look at my extremely messy Lotus Notes enterprise installation, clogged by hundreds of emails with hilarious subjects like “Re: Rif: R: Fwd: Rif: Re: Artwork XYZ”. You would understand for sure how more effective and ordered could be a Wave in these situations, where all the replies are listed inside the same thread, where thanks to the playback you can rewind the wave, and where actions are extremely flexible.

  72. I agree that real-time edits can be distracting. But from the original Google Wave screencast you're told you can disable IM-like real-time character updates. I believe Google experimented with this feature to see what its potential value might be.

    So far I'm still “on my own” with my Wave account, as apparently I'm the only one in my contacts who already has a Wave account. So I'll still have to be “overwhelmed” by massive parallel edits :-)

    Olivier Biot

  73. Apparently, you don't or don't want to understand what is Google Wave. That is your decision, but why the hell are you pushing other people away from it? As a blogger you shouldn't do this.

    You wrote an absolutely tunnel-visioned and upset post about something great new thing.

    Maybe you just want some more visitors with this unfair post. But i think you should stop posting crap!!!

  74. Em still waitin to surf on it…lets see hw high the reality is gonna scoop..instead, once the wave rolls, indiscriminate loiterin in it must bring some more amendments which might eventually suit a class of surfers..the question is how lucid, glib and informative the sail is gonna be…

  75. Your review misses the point. The Wave GUI is a reference implementation. Its only purpose is to have some application to demonstrate the protocol on. So the reference app is not Google Wave, it’s only a demo.

    The Wave infrastructure is going to be utilized for something actually useful by the API developers and users. This use is yet to be find.

    So there is no overhype, because not the GUI is hyped, but rather the protocol.

  76. It seems like there's a fundamental misunderstanding about the nature of this new platform.

    Google Wave is not trying to be Twitter, Facebook, FriendFeed, etc.; it is not attempting to replace them. They are towers in the city of social networking residing on the continent of collaborative publishing, which is only one of the many “continents” that Wave is attempting to be the ground that they can be connected by.

    The above is a fairly poor metaphor that can't bear much scrutiny, but I say it because I know of no other way to express how big and overarching that Wave is; how much it can do.

    I think it's going to take some time to fully understand its potential. Announcements that say it is useless or doesn't bring anything new to the table seem to me to be fairly myopic.

    Consider its usage purely as a translation machine, or as a way to keep ongoing track of a subject using a Wave as a “feed reader plus”, where not only can you include RSS feeds but have it be bot-populated by Tweets, blog posts and more that match keyword criteria–including ones that are foreign languages, thanks to its translator (I understand that there is a search engine that largely already does this. However, you can now use have a bot populate your wave with that engine's output and then do things with *it*).

    So give it some time. There's going to be some mind-blowing uses of this thing to come in the coming weeks, months and years.

  77. I reviewed Wave back in August and came to much the same conclusions:
    http://tommorris.org/blog/2009/08/08#When:15:50:47

    The whole thing is so stupid. I mean, it's supposed to be an e-mail killer. As I said in the review, every dumb phone on the market has POP3/IMAP/SMTP support. Everything talks e-mail. The only problem with e-mail is some people are too stupid to use it correctly. Well, I have a simple solution to that: stop talking to them. E-mail, if everyone does it right, is quicker and more flexible than Wave.

  78. Documents are also becoming more rich media intensive than Google Docs can handle well. For strictly text based editing, Google Docs rocks.

    You've made an important point in pointing out that wave is great tech for developers to leverage. I'd love to see collaborative media editing or music recording done using wave state.

    Wave is much more than a text editor, it's a way for groups of people to manipulate data together.

  79. I haven't used the product but I did watch the initial demo when it was announced. I totally agree with Scoble on this one. The Google Wave developers described Wave akin to “email had it been invented today as opposed to 40 years ago.” THEY and no one else created the initial comparisons to email.

    From what I have seen so far, if Wave is aimed at replacing email, it will fail. I do see use-cases in niche scenarios for tight groups working on projects that have tons of real-time activity streams. However, other than that, the product appears way too noisy to be an effective replacement for email.

    Email succeeded – and has continued to succeed several decades hence – because it is SIMPLE.

    In contrast, just staring at screen-shots of Wave gives me a headache due to visual pollution and noise. That is a very bad sign.

  80. Sorry, mate, but you really need to get out of that Twitter/FriendFeed loop you got stuck in a year and a half ago.
    Of couirse it's not a Twitter killer, it never was intended for it.

    And I really thought you would realise what you're looking at. This app is still developing, for developers and people to deliver input to the team. What is it that you have actually seen?
    To call this “review” premature is an understatement. Rather give some useful input on the forums or other channels, that would be real contr4ibution.

  81. Interesting observation. Quite possibly the most negative review of Google Wave that I have come across. But may also be the most practical one.
    Anyway, I am still waiting for an invite.

  82. I'm confused, why compare it with Twitter or Facebook? Google position it as “modern email”, isn't that what this is? I also don't see the “staying on top” part either, this isn't a race – is it? Why do I care that I've not replied to everything yet, I can get to in my own time. Isn't a well considered response better than a fast one?

    It seems we've gotten overhyped on one aspect – the “real time” aspect, that's not what this is (though it does demo well). this is “Google Docs” for email – the point is the message doesn't “bounce and fork”, I send a wave to a couple of people and all the conversation stays in the wave – I don't get a forked set of responses. This is the powerful part. The “real time” aspect is actually born of necessity – I might reply when someone else is replying, as forks aren't allowed the developers have two choices: “lock” a wave, or make it “real time”, they chose the latter. (Actually “locking” wouldn't work anyway – imagine someone opened a wave to reply then got distracted, how long would the wave be locked for?)

    Probably we'll all need to learn some discipline: don't create too many waves, keep the conversation in a wave, and don't add too many participants. But committees have been paralyzed by these conversational problems long before anyone even invented email!

    The developer aspects seem the most exciting, and I'm sure integration with Twitter et al will help put Google Wave into it's proper context (which is probably more like email than anything else). My worry is wave spam, and wave malware – it's bound to happen and could swamp the system really easily.

    So is it “overhyped”? Well I think too much attention has been paid to the “real time” aspect, which is a necessity of its “non-bouncing” nature, and not really a feature in itself.

  83. Using a tool in a stupid way and then complaining the tool itself is stupid is absolutely useless information. This is just like how you used Twitter, following thousands of people and then complaining that it's become useless to you. Classic PEBKAC error.

    Anyone who was expecting something other than email 2.0 was misinformed. Sure, you could use email a bit like Twitter, for instance, but all your friends would get angry at you for cluttering their inbox. Just use Twitter. Don't use a hammer as a screwdriver.

    And on that note, unsubscribed. Scoble hasn't said anything useful for months if not years.

    1. So much agreed here. If there is anything overhyped, it is this guy called Scoble..Just trying a flame bait on the very users who make him his livelihood..huh

  84. I think you only tried to find the negative things in it in order to attract attention by going against the current.

    I don’t really get much noise from the IM.. and the good thing about e-mail is that the noise I get I can organize it and ignore what I’m not interested in … I imagine that if you’re a teenager things might be different.

  85. And if you are expecting 'email 2.0', prepare to be disappointed. It's a bloated, web-based mess that eats system resources. It'll never replace e-mail, because it'll never have the sheer choice of different clients. With e-mail, I can choose between Thunderbird or Outlook or mutt or Mac OS X's Mail app or Evolution or KMail. I use mutt and it works great. But if I want to use Wave, I currently have to use it in my browser. Every device I have that's capable of connecting to the net has an e-mail client of some variety. Only those capable of running a full desktop web browser can currently use Wave.

    You may as well say Facebook is 'email 2.0'.

  86. “Currently”. Google have released an open-source Wave server and the
    protocol, and a command-line Wave client.

    The whole structure of the Wave system is federated too, just like
    email.

    As many people can write clients as want to, it's just early days now.

  87. Here is my take but from a business and project managment perspective. In project-based industries such as construction, engineering, etc, it is important to bring into one place all the conversation about a particular topic, as an information capsule that can be passed around, and has a complete history of what has happened. The capsule or wave history if you want is the important bit, and not synchronous / realtime collaboration (although cool). In the teamworking system we developed at http://kalexo.com, we call these “threads”.

    However, there are some serious problems with the wave approach if you want to use it for project management. The first being that you need to add accountability eg make sure someone is responsible for driving the work forward (Kalexo uses a soccer ball metaphor for that). And second, you need to priotize waves and set deadlines etc.

    So it is pretty clear to me that waves won’t make much inroad into the project management space – it does only part of what is required, and focuses on the wrong angle (real-time collaboration).

  88. I know. I watched the videos and read the docs. But the difference is that Wave is competing with e-mail, which is already everywhere. As I said, every device and platform has a mail client, and on most platforms you have a pretty wide choice of mail client.

    E-mail is already trained into people, along with a whole stack of architecture that is built aroud it: boring things like mailing lists, authentication, directory services, LDAP, corporate VPNs, anti-spam/anti-virus, attachment handling and so on. We've got stacks of logic around it. And it's damn simple: you can write an app that reads mail from POP3/IMAP in about five or six lines in a high-level scripting language like Perl, Python or Ruby. All the niche uses that e-mail has gotten will never get moved over to Wave. There's not a compelling reason for someone like me to rewrite all the crufty little scripts that run just fine on top of e-mail.

  89. Inertia and the network effect is a problem with getting anything off
    the ground. Email has the advantage of coming from the earliest days
    of the Internet, so it started ubiquitous and has only grown from there.

    I very much doubt it's going to go away either. Doesn't mean it's not
    a flawed technology, coming as it does from the era when everyone
    trusted each other and spoofing and spam weren't problems.

    That's the mission statement of Wave, to build an e-mail system from
    the ground up with today's technology. Necessarily it's more complex.
    At the start it's probably going to be buggy, slow and have a rubbish
    ecosystem. Doesn't mean it's not worth having a go, and I've still got
    gmail while I wait.

  90. Good to read this perspective. I tend to get overexcited about new things and forget that [in general] I can get overwhelmed with too much going on all at once. I'll keep this in mind and use it for close connections or more serious collaborations only.

  91. … and I remember well that when email was introduced for the first time at my University in the early '90s, it was criticised for the lack of productivity from its users. Email became work, rather than the conduit for work.

    Once the hype dies down, this will become a truely powerful communication and collaboration platform. I'm particularly excited about its potential within the enterprise.

  92. I have to agree with others that I don’t consider Google Wave in the same category as these other services or social networks you speak of. I think of it more of a small time business tool where you can collaborate with co-workers or researchers. I think the biggest advantage will be it’s price tag (free) and the developer plugins that stream into it. It can be a publishing tool as well. I probably won’t use it for personal use but purely business use. The translational plugin is fairly neat. I don’t care if I can do this already in the browser. I’m looking for something I can bring more real time without much effort. You know, have it all in one place and work with my colleagues in a group setting. Unlike IM your left in more of a chat only situation. In some cases it can be video chat but the dynamics of it are limited to what the client will support.

    I do agree the app is overhyped. Let’s hope it gets launched soon so we can stop the madness.

  93. Yeah! There isn't much you can do at the moment. And with lack of your friends on Google Wave, its not that easy to experience it fully. I would really wish that Google Wave be available for Google Apps for Domains too.

  94. I personally agree with Robert here, its way way over-hyped. Frankly i don't have an invite and haven't really tried to ask anyone to get me in yet. Lets wait till all the bugs get tested, the hype to sizzle out – then the truth will be revealed.

    I was never too excited about wave (not to knock on google) anyway..Lets see how it evolves. Appreciate your honesty about wave Robert and this time i really don't feel this was a marketing strategy, or as someone put it “A post just to get clicks, etc. etc.”

  95. If any kind of killer at all, it could be a Facebook IM killer. Not a Facebook killer. Facebook IM killer. Becausue you can chat real time with many friends and it's fairly easy to do.
    But why would people switch from Facebook (or Friendfeed) to Wave if they have all their friends already in other places? Haven't figured it out yet. Still trying.
    And btw, Google — please add Wave to Google Docs! This is a real world scenario where it could be helpful.

  96. Your article is very biased with a tone of “I wish I had thought of this, but because I’m a general failure instead I’ll just criticize the shit out of it”
    You completely miss the point my friend!
    If I was you I’d take this post off the net, it ridiculous!

  97. WEAK Strawman Arguement Robert. You should have written “My advice” at the top, then followed it. You assume the very things you tell others not to, then you shoot it down. Duh.

    It's such a big idea, I think the folks at Google were smart in opening it up to the Developer community to beat it up and get their help on figuring out specific applications to make it manageable, relevant and productive.

    So now, you've beat it up a little. How WOULD you use it to be productive?

    John Coonen

  98. I don't believe Google over-hyped it at all. I think it's a big idea that needs more than community input; it needs community engagement (time and resources) to work together on developing app's for a big idea.

    It was presented as a revolutionary idea that needs community input to work. “Over-hyped” I would save for stuff like the Segway, the GM Chevy Volt and most of the James bond movies in the last 20 years.

    - John Coonen

  99. I don't believe Google over-hyped it at all. I think it's a big idea that needs more than community input; it needs community engagement (time and resources) to work together on developing app's for a big idea.

    It was presented as a revolutionary idea that needs community input to work. “Over-hyped” I would save for stuff like the Segway, the GM Chevy Volt and most of the James bond movies in the last 20 years.

    - John Coonen

  100. “It's more like email and IM getting together and having a baby.”

    Wasn't that the initial idea though? At least the impression I got from watching the original demo, was that this was a way to refresh the email system and bring it more into the future. I could be completely wrong in that respect as i've not had chance to use Wave yet. I imagined using it like I use email, but with the added functionality of integrating chat if the other person is online, threaded conversations and the ease of sharing content. Since email is generally only used with either individuals or smaller groups of people I wouldn't imagine noise being an issue.

    Could it be that people are over-hyping it themselves by trying to compare with other social networks? Should we actually be comparing it against email/im and what avantages/disadvantages it has over that system?

  101. Completely agree with this post.

    Yes, Email is currently everywhere and very ingrained in everything we do. But does that mean we HAVE to keep using email forever? Do we want to keep using email forever? Technology is getting better and better yet email is pretty much the same as it always was.

    Of course, noone would expect the system can be changed overnight and everyone weened off into something new. It would take years to evolve into a new system, but that doesn't mean it can't or shouldn't happen. Personally I like the idea that someone is actually giving this a go and seeing what they can do. The guys at Wave had an idea, and aren't afraid to go for it and see what happens. Personally, I welcome the idea of a new communication system to take over from email. Will it work? Who knows. This is after all just the beginning. It's a preview and a first release. Many many things can change and evolve, and people will develop for the platform and help to mould it into something better.

  102. Completely agree with this post.

    Yes, Email is currently everywhere and very ingrained in everything we do. But does that mean we HAVE to keep using email forever? Do we want to keep using email forever? Technology is getting better and better yet email is pretty much the same as it always was.

    Of course, noone would expect the system can be changed overnight and everyone weened off into something new. It would take years to evolve into a new system, but that doesn't mean it can't or shouldn't happen. Personally I like the idea that someone is actually giving this a go and seeing what they can do. The guys at Wave had an idea, and aren't afraid to go for it and see what happens. Personally, I welcome the idea of a new communication system to take over from email. Will it work? Who knows. This is after all just the beginning. It's a preview and a first release. Many many things can change and evolve, and people will develop for the platform and help to mould it into something better.

  103. I think the point that a lot of people are missing about Wave is that it is meant to (some day) give people a single repository for all of their online conversations.

    For those who talk about “too much noise” what about the fact that I often get overwhelmed because I have to constantly visit Gmail, Twitter, Facebook, FriendFeed, IM, etc, etc? If I comment on blogs or in a bulletin board, I also have to remember to keep checking to see if anyone has commented back to me. Wave is not meant to supplement all of the disparate services. It's meant to integrate them!

    It may take a while, but I welcome the day that I can post on someone's Facebook wall, send someone else an email, post a tweet, and comment on some obscure blog, and then be able to track ALL responses IN ONE PLACE while chatting live with my Mom (and also see that someone just commented on that Flickr photo I just posted). It all matters on how you use it.

    I fear Robert that you try to have too many conversations and see this as yet another service to add to the overload. Again, my hope is that it will someday integrate them. I know it's a huge paradigm shift – and it may never come to pass. But it is an evolution that I think needs to happen.

  104. I think the point that a lot of people are missing about Wave is that it is meant to (some day) give people a single repository for all of their online conversations.

    For those who talk about “too much noise” what about the fact that I often get overwhelmed because I have to constantly visit Gmail, Twitter, Facebook, FriendFeed, IM, etc, etc? If I comment on blogs or in a bulletin board, I also have to remember to keep checking to see if anyone has commented back to me. Wave is not meant to supplement all of the disparate services. It's meant to integrate them!

    It may take a while, but I welcome the day that I can post on someone's Facebook wall, send someone else an email, post a tweet, and comment on some obscure blog, and then be able to track ALL responses IN ONE PLACE while chatting live with my Mom (and also see that someone just commented on that Flickr photo I just posted). It all matters on how you use it.

    I fear Robert that you try to have too many conversations and see this as yet another service to add to the overload. Again, my hope is that it will someday integrate them. I know it's a huge paradigm shift – and it may never come to pass. But it is an evolution that I think needs to happen.

  105. I totally disagree with the premise of this article. I don’t see why Google Wave would be compared to Twitter or Facebook. To me it’s an enhanced email / wiki / google docs product. If it works as described, it will be exteremely useful to me. Currently I colloborate with collegues either with a Google Document or by a series of back and forth email responses. Neither solution is ideal.

    With Google Docs, it’s difficult to discuss points within the document without people adding their name followed by their comment (and often some highlights so you can notice the comment) to certain sections under discussion. The result is a colourful mess that has to be hand edited out, which means that information is now harder to get to (need to look in history).

    With email tennis as you put it, you’re constantly trying to maintain the document as some people will write replies in one place while others will reply based on the last email and so on. The end result is often long threads of emails with comments totally unstructured and very difficult to go back and consult.

    Google Wave seems to be a solution to this problem and probably many other similar use cases. I don’t see at all what it has to do with twitter or facebook where you’re simply broadcasting and not really collaborating on a document.

  106. I’d be interested to know what incredibly productive task you were attempting to accomplish with ‘everyone’. Twitter and Friendfeed are great and fun tools but they’re the Kopi Luwak of the day-to-day life of average knowledge workers – unless you’re an enthusiast no on knows (or really cares) what you’re talking about.

    Wave isn’t the Twitter killer – it is the Outlook/Exchange & Office killer. Google Apps offers a very compelling story for knowledge workers to make the move, but it isn’t enough – for ‘email is email’ is often the case against change. Change is a difficult sale. Wave changes the discussion entirely and provides another spearhead for Google to drive through the heart of MSFT in the enterprise.

    Wave must be applied to a specific task (or set of tasks) to be useful – a specific task with specific people. Do you email, IM, collaborate on docs, and make decisions with ‘everyone’?

    Google Wave offers the speed, flexibility, and freedom of collaboration we all enjoy online to the knowledge worker of the enterprise who still suffers at the hands of the Cruel King – Outlook. For all the hype around Google Apps, MSFT’s war chest is as strong as they come. Wave + Apps provides David his stone.

  107. I think we are mixing the Google Wave client with the Google Wave Service.

    Google Wave is a mix of different protocols to enable real-time collaboration. The current Google Wave Client is Google's window into using that service.

    In the future there may be lots of different clients that are based on Google Wave. E.g., instead of the current Wikipedia text entry box there may be a much richer edit-tool based on Google Wave where editors can invite their collaborators, see proposed changes in real-time, add translation bots.

    Or imagine Google Docs enriched with Google Wave: invite participants that do not have a google docs account, replay the discussion that led to a specific bit of text.

  108. I agree with a lot of the comments already posted – you seem to be comparing Google Wave to other things when really it’s a whole new animal. The whole point is that you have to learn how to work differently. So, naturally your productivity is pretty low now.

  109. If one can shut off the IM capability, or at least pretend not to be at one's desk at any given moment, it would cut down on a lot of real time overload, but I'm concerned about spammers crashing their waves on everyone's beach.

    The natural result of Twitter rules would be that, if you don't follow your followers back, the best of them will unfollow as they approach their 2000 follow limit because they'd be otherwise boxed in. IMHO one is not using Twitter properly if one doesn't follow back everyone he cares about keeping as followers.

    So I would disagree that Robert misused Twitter before he got “overloaded” and then started to use Twitter properly when he unfollowed everyone.

    If Pepsi did that, it would hurt their brand. They follow everyone as we have to as well (the 60% that aren't outright spammers). @UnitedAirlines is only following 1200 of 36000 potential customers back and that may be a huge mistake. Do they really think that the dissed people are going to think “We understand. United needs to see everything those 1200 VIPs write.”

    Who actually tries to read their Twitter river (not a stream after you follow 100+)? If one wants to read a selected stream, there are plenty of filter apps for that or one can open a new account, make it look respectable enough not to be blocked, and then follow the select group of ppl you want to keep track of.

  110. I think you may be overreacting about the overhype. It’s obvious everyone is excited about using Wave right now, and it sounds like most of the topics are about Wave itself, so I’m sure the overuse and overstimulation will end once everyone gets used to using the service.

  111. Somebody had to use the metaphor first of a wave “crashing” against a rocky shore. ;-)

    For this reason alone, I took his “negativity” with a grain of salt. If I were Google I would be absolutely thrilled with this blog post (and the Louis Gray post here http://www.louisgray.com/live/2009/10/google-wa… + the Jacinta and Jesse post here http://www.freelancesocialmedia.com/google-wave….

    Oscar Wilde said “The only thing worse than being talked about is NOT being talked about”. Robert would be persona non grata at Google only if he completely *ignored* this launch.

    This is dream coverage…at least with the long and lively comment section.

  112. “See, the first thing you notice is that you can see people chatting live in Google Wave. That’s really cool if you are working on something together, like a spreadsheet or a Word document.”

    I think that is the primary use case for Wave. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to bootstrap collaboration in a new collaborative service like Wave.

    It requires a critical mass of your collaborative team to agree to migrate to the new service. It also means you need to abandon what can be years of content and start with a blank slate or for the new service to provide power import facilities. At the moment, it appears Wave requires the former: starting from a blank slate. I personally was surprised the initial public alpha did not include better integration (at least a one way import) with Google Apps Premier for access to GMail, Contacts, Docs, and Sites.

    New collaborative tools need powerful export facilities as well. They must recognize that even if a collaborative team successfully migrates and adopts a new service, it still needs to provide the resulting content to consumers outside of the service in traditional formats (eg. Microsoft Office, PDF, Web Pages, EMail, etc.)

    Wave's underlying XMPP-based technology looks promising, but for Wave to be successful, it needs to address the adoption logistics.

  113. Precisely as I warned http://twitter.com/silverton/statuses/4511270631 You're welcome. ;-) Other funny observation: it appears that you've gradually become gatekeeper to the Mercilessly Ready For Prime Time world, Robert, rather than the envoy into the Look What Might Possibly Be Cool In the Future world that was sort of your roots. Am I wrong? Not criticizing, just noticing. ;-) If accurate at all, wonder if was intentional (legitimate loss of patience with all the “yeah it COULD be” crowd) or something else. Thanks as always for the relentless discovery leadership.

  114. Of course in Scoble-speak this means hurry use it because it will be bigger than Scoble predicted..:)

    Who pigves there email address to everyone besides Scoble?

    Other products growing bigger than Scoble's mind view point:

    Android Mobile OS Platform

  115. I always understood wave as an addition, replacement maybe to e-mail and as that it was always pitched by google. Use it with friends, coworkers etc. – but not with everyone.

    So, taking it from that point – do you give your phone number or e-mail address to everyone? Do you have email chit-chats with everyone on the internet about topics nobody cares (like for example about what kind of service email is, like you do it now on wave)? Woudn´t you get overwhelmed by all the incoming e-mail responses? Do you reply to every incoming spam mail?

    Why do you use a service for the wrong things or overexpect and therefore overhype a service and then complain, that it does not deliver what you expected? I don´t get it …

  116. As you point out above Robert, the innovation that can take place using the Wave API is worth looking at. Especially worth looking at for a narrow set of use cases, as noted by Sebastian. It'll be super-uber powerful for a small set of apps like rapid focus grouping, robot guided structured collaboration that's a step up from Google Docs and as a small trusted group content basin, eg for organizing and viewing funny youtube videos – you can have a mini reddit clone in a Wave. Because it can hook into the rest of the web it'll also be ideal for certain commenting systems, new forms of blog/content posting that permit a few or many to edit/contribute, and as a public-facing wiki-ish depositorium powered by a combination of apps/robots/widgets.

    Google knows that Wave is no big app killer at the moment. They are risking this uber-early release in order to foster as much API innovation as fast as possible. The real story here is this very aggressive developer/prosumer strategy. Google is betting that Wave can power a narrow class of new productivity/comm apps. Rather than building all of those out, they are hoping to tap the power of the masses, a trend driven by convergence and compressed product cycles that should continue.

  117. This isn’t a consumer product, this is Google’s answer to Microsoft’s SharePoint Team Services for small group collaboration.

  118. You always draw more attention to yourself when you find fault. So no one out there sees the extreme beauty in late-entering a multi-threaded conversations and being able to hit a PLAY button to witness how it unfolded rather than playing the “scroll” game?

  119. It seems impossible to invent something new anymore, because people want to know what application it's intended to kill or compete with. Geez.

  120. It seems impossible to invent something new anymore, because people want to know what application it's intended to kill or compete with. Geez.

  121. Critics of Wave should be required to state up front that they are lifelong Google haters, just so we understand their vitriol.

  122. Critics of Wave should be required to state up front that they are lifelong Google haters, just so we understand their vitriol.

  123. What a shame you got selected to try WAVE….I would have loved to had the opportunity because I really LIKE Google and appreciate their efforts! Some people don’t get it!

  124. Let me give you an example of how I am going to use wave, so you are not confused about what makes it so revolutionary (at least to me). I am in a band, when were all together with time to spare we were writing songs all the time, having a really great thing going on, but then life happened and we all got busy as we started to have more demanding jobs (music is something that we are not banking on to supply us with enough money to live). For the past year we haven’t had much luck finding time after work to get together and play and write music. First of all because we live across town from each other and one of us is only on a bike, and second to really get a good session going it takes consistence, it has to be happening regularly. Google wave will allow us to all be working on the same project looking at the same things, we can post videos and sound clips of ideas pictures or scans of written music, response is fast enough and hopefully the creative process will flow nicely over each wave. We can go back and make notes and change parts of the song because its always a work in progress, and best of all no information gets forgotten when we all take a brake from looking at it, even if its dead for a month we can come right back into it and start right where we left off. Each time we want to work on a new song we just start a new wave. Now this is just one of the ways I will use wave. Hell I am thinking about how great it would be for collaborating on a screen play or anything else like that. This is not some stupid twitter thing (utterly useless to most of the population) or FriendFeed(even more useless). This is going to be a VERY powerful tool for me, and I’m guessing most people will find their own use for it.

  125. you’re such a fucking hypocrite. It’s unbelievable. Didn’t like my comment about you being the only one to realize following 30,000 people wasn’t smart. Free speech on the net, but not on old Scoble’s blog LOL. I think the only people who follow you, are people who are just as dumb as you are.

    You know why so many people hate you? Cause you’re a parasite infesting the tech world with mindless drivel. What really irritates me is that it’s so self-serving, you make me want to vomit.

    Scoble for CTO of the USA, HAHAHA. Now that would be dumb.

  126. I just watched an over an hour long presentation on Wave, as I’m a developer of social media websites. It’s junk. Unlike most of you all, I’m aware that only us this small, closed group of nerds will ever appreciate or care about this thing. For the average person, Wave is just way too overwhelming. When confronted with overwhelming things, a person will do one of two things: try to understand it, or write it off. Trust me, no one is going to bother with the former.

  127. Testing is making it seem like machine guns…. People are logging in and expecting something that “is better than” or “is like”, your not going to find that. In real life people are usually only communicating with a small group of individuals and there is usually a definitive reason or goal for the communication. Right now you don’t have that because everyone you know can’t use Google Wave…. so there’s nothing to communicate about other than wave development or testing a couple of the example plug-ins. There are no real word tests you can do, unless you persuade some people to help… at first everyone would just jump in… Use your imagination when thinking about what you can develop for people you know or people you do business with…. not random people talking about nothing… however controlled correctly it will bring forums to the next level I think the best mindset to have for an application for google wave is 1-5 participants.. not 40-500 like we’re seeing with the test… and of course those waves are going to be brought to their knees…

  128. What a stupid comment, who said Wave was meant to compete with Twitter or FriendFeed? Why in your retarded mind everything has to resemble Twitter or Facebook or some other new generation web tool?

    Or instead, why don’t you try using Twitter for collaboration purposes? It’s stupid, it’s not what the tool was meant to do.

  129. Can’t we just slowly enhance things already known. I think Google Wave is too much of everything. It consumes loads of time, maybe better spend with family or people you can look in the eye.

  130. I think Google would rather Wave be an email killer than a Twitter killer.

    If email were new and you exchanged email addresses with everyone you could, and then everyone proceeded to sit at their computers and just send random emails for several hours, it would be completely overwhelming too. (Wait–did I just describe an office?)

  131. It's a shame to see so much dismissing of Wave based on the frontend, when the backend is the interesting part. The frontend isn't trying to be an upgrade to email or Twitter, but perhaps the backend is trying to be an upgrade to HTTP?

  132. Sorry Mr S, you're usually always on the money with stuff, but I think, as has already been said, you are coming to it from completely the wrong angle. It is NOT supposed to be a public social networking/discussion tool like Twitter or Friendfeed. If anything it's the private messaging/groups part of Facebook, and you're not supposed to be involved in hundreds of waves (conversations) at once. It's for REAL people who only communicate with, say, 100 people, and not all the time. Think how your parents, for instance, who aren't an Internet celebrity like you, currently use e-mail.

    Watch the demo video from Google I/O when they first introduced the product – *that* is how it is supposed to be used (as it stands).

  133. You don't have to watch them type in real time if you don't want to. The reason they included that is because they've learnt from analysing IM conversations that they take a lot longer than they need to because one person types their message, then sends, then the other person receives, reads, writes their response, sends (while the first person has to wait for a while), and vice versa. The idea of showing the live typing of the other people in the wave, assuming you happen to be viewing it at exactly the same time as they are editing/adding to it, is to simply speed up conversations. Try it and you will discover how well this works.

    It's not just document collaboration, it's updating websites (you can paste a wave into any web page using a widget, and it will auto-update whenever the wave is updated). Robert could write each of his blog posts as a wave from his wave client (Google aren't the only people providing these, by the way – it's an open protocol so anyone can), and edit them if necessary. Replies/comments could come in as part of the wave too, so he can manage all of them in one piece of software, along with any other public conversations on the web that he's been participating that are also part of a wave, as well as his privates one with his family, friends etc., maybe with some cool tech PR peeps, or whatever.

    Also there is the wave playback/review facility which I don't think I've seen anywhere else done in the same way (literally works like playing a YouTube video, but not in the confines of a stream of video/audio – instead all of the updates that have been made, so you can step through them, like you might when you're debugging code).

    There's also the whole concept of wavelets, which are the updates within a wave – info at http://www.waveprotocol.org/presentations – and waves and wavelets each individually belong on a server, like a web page, or a Google Doc. This means companies can run their own wave server, just like they currently run their own mail servers, but now all communications within a particular conversation are managed/grouped/linked all together (as a wave), instead of disjointed individual e-mails that get messy etc. and mangled between different e-mail systems.

  134. Google actually said in their demo at Google I/O (where they first showed the product to the public) it is supposed to be modernised e-mail. Nothing about Twitter.

  135. Google wave is to complex and overhyped. There are simular trys to create this kind of software in the 90´t witth the same result: not practical for public use.
    Cheers,
    Marc

  136. It is great that we are talking about it and debating what it is and what it could be vs what we thought it would be. Interestingly, having reread my initial post, I don't think I came off negative. I said it was innovative and very good for a first try. But I cautioned it could get busy, and that is the part that is being bounced around the Web. I like Wave, but I am more looking forward to it being a utility instead of a place to talk about itself.

  137. Being an edge case is fine, especially if it means you can stress the system.

    When I wrote what I did, I was careful to suggest that Wave is being compared most to e-mail, and that's how I addressed it. I don't believe it's a replacement for any social network.

  138. You
    enjoy the super-Scoble-Multi-Life™
    You're some kind of communication powerplant,
    You truly are a super-human-aggregator.

    Me
    I find it hard to keep up with mail & chat & social
    networks (unlike you I'm rather picky > just 30
    friend of Facebook) so I welcome aggregation within
    this select group very much. It seems natural to me.

  139. You
    enjoy the super-Scoble-Multi-Life™
    you are a communication powerplant. a super-human-aggregator, a wave.

    Me
    I find it hard to keep up with mail & chat & social networks.
    (unlike you I'm rather picky > just 30 Facebook friends)

    So
    Since I'm not you I welcome aggregation within this select
    group very much, it seems natural.

  140. I think that's why the majority of the world isn't “in” yet, and Wave will continue to change as they build the service to the point they want it to be at for a public release. The public doesn't have access right now, only a bunch of nerds really do. Google will leverage the power of that community so that they can have a lot of great features built on its API before they go public. The rest of the world will probably build the things on top of it that “communicate what it's good for.”

  141. Since when has IM been productive? Rather than, say, an irritating way for other people to distract you? I'm probably using it wrong.

    And Twitter/Friendfeed/Facebook/et cetera *can* improve productivity, if you have the willpower restrict yourself to a couple of minutes out of every hour (something which, unfortunately, I do not possess). Scientific research suggests that two-minute breaks every hour can significantly improve concentration.

  142. All the niche uses that e-mail has gotten will never get moved over to Wave.

    Inventing your niche uses required a certain ingenuity innately present in the human brain. It's still there. Re-engage this quality to produce a new solution to the problem using the tools available. You will be amazed at what you come up with.

  143. Honestly I don’t agree with this article at all. At the developer preview it was touted as a mix between email and im with the purpose of being a communication and collaborative tool.

    Obviously it isn’t going to pose any threat to Facebook or any other social network. Not yet at least anyway as you have pointed out with it’s various kinks and so forth.

    Another point is…….isn’t this only a beta? I may have misunderstood but isn’t this time between now and when they release it to the public supposed to be used by the Google Wave team and independent developers alike to improve it for when it is ‘done’? How can you be so underwhelmed by an application in its early beta stages?

  144. At least Google is trying to advance communications and not stifling it… like Microsoft who continues to utilize Word as their Outlook rendering engine. Communication technology is evolving on the Internet – and experiments like this are great for encouraging invention!

  145. Although I thought your article was more thoughtful and balanced, you still seemed to emphasize the communication aspects (e-mail) over the publishing aspects. Despite Lars' assertion I don't see Wave replacing email either. IM with notification filtering might consolidate and simplify the direct messaging app space. I do think Wave could replace Wikis and apps like PowerPoint though my inclination is to let it evolve into something not tied to old metaphors. My impression is that the realtime communication functionality will direct and serve as commentary on the publishing process and that the recorder will eventually be used primarily as a presentation playback engine for the content being produced and not as a conversation playback engine.

    There's nothing wrong with being an edge case unless you don't realize it.

  146. Will I be able to use Google Wave in any way to increase the ranking of my business on the Google search engine

  147. I think no matter how good it is there is no way it could live up to the hype it has received. I do not have it yet but I am sure I will like it based on the videos that are out. Thanks for updating us anyway.

  148. wow, thanks for this blog post – so I don’t have to go around anymore chasing free invites when in fact, there’s no real benefit over what I already have.

    I think it’s over hyped by bloggers and the media.

  149. The crash of overhype? What Happened to Open Social?

    I would be alot happier if Google focused on products which weren't aimed at building huge distribution channels for adsense…

  150. Have you tried the replay feature?

    Have you been able to drag in any file and share it?

    Have you dragged in your Twitter feed?

  151. Since always.

    It's been used by programmers for a very long time as a quick way to communicate about issues – why do you think IRC was so popular and still exists? AIM, XMPP, etc. are just modern versions of that, and now New Media-ites have joined the ranks of those that use it for work-related purposes.

    Twitter/Facebook/Friendfeed absolutely does not. There's no arguing this point – they do not contribute valuable, productive data or resources.

    –Kyle

  152. Fair enough on IM, I guess I'm the exception.

    But on Twitter/Facebook/Friendfeed: There *is* arguing that point. Like this. And then there's the fact that it can be excellent in marketing, even if you can't work it into production. Et cetera.

  153. What we have here may be the Deflationary spiraling vortex of Cannibalized manic enthusiasm. Are we just beginning to question the marketing lies we wanted to believe?

    yes Google is still god with a little gee.

  154. Kudos for not being yet another google kiss ass. Just got my account and my initial impression is that Wave is NOT intuitive and is certainly NOT efficient. Seeing others type in real time sucks on many levels. Wave boils down to little more than multi-user IM. the biggest flaw is that it’s yet another closed network. Perhaps they’ll change this at some point but right now you can not send anything to anyone who doesn’t have a Wabe account. You can’t email them, you can’t IM them. That is fucking asinine.

    BTW, the above opinion is in response to Google’s claim of Wave as a replacement for email. I do see potential as a collaboration tool utilized inside a company. However, that is an entirely different market from the one they claim to be focused on.

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