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Will Google Wave reinvent the way we communicate digitally or fall flat?
Asked by adfm
Posted Sep 21 2009 01:27 PM
What's so revolutionary about Google Wave? Can somebody break down the features and benefits of the service in such a way as to convince the average user of its ability to change the way we communicate? If not, then do you think the lack of a clear elevator pitch, buggy implementation, or some other reason will cause folks to loose interest in the project? People keep referring to the Google I/O video, which runs about an hour. Is there an Ignite-style presentation I can refer people to?
Comment by adfm : Sep 30 2009 02:58 PM
I did find this abridged version of the 80+ minute Google Wave presentation. MUCH more viewable. I'll be pointing everyone asking me about Google Wave to this post.
Answered by kurtcagle
Posted Oct 02 2009 11:59 AM
Google Wave is a technology that is intended to create dynamically persistent conversations that can be embedded within web pages and similar web-enabled devices that work with the API. The core idea behind Wave drew its initial inspiration from mail conversations in GMail - at any given point in the give and take response of an email conversation you may have multiple participants, each of whom may be able to see some or perhaps all of the conversation (depending upon such factors as BCCs), and each of whom can also respond to the conversation at any point (creating a tree of different conversation threads.
Google has had both some notable hits and some significant misses over the years, but at least in this commentator's opinion, if they can solve the technical issues involved in making it work, Google Wave will most likely have a huge impact upon how we communicate. It represents a further shift away from the notion the social media is tied into applications or proprietary environments. Because the Google wave: protocol is an open standard (I believe with the IETF, which typically registers protocols), anyone can both develop and establish wave containers - even potential competitors such as Microsoft, Apple, or Adobe.
Similarly, since ultimately the only way for such interoperability to work is for an open authentication protocol to be used, it is very likely that this will further enhance the notion of distributed open identity, where you can access your own wave account from any wave client, regardless of both who hosts the page the client is in or who hosts the account.
Given the progress being made on the Wave Lists (where I follow if not regularly participate) I'd say that the likelihood that Google can pull it off is high, and once they have solved the thornier issues, its also likely that both commercial and private vendors, government entities and NGOs will follow suit. Since the communication protocol involves the use of XML messaging, it also raises the very real possibility that not all waves will be "rich text" but will in fact be able to carry XML payloads of any sort, this also suggests that not all waves need provide human messages ... they could carry data and instruction as well. Of course, the down side to this is that such data and instruction could also very well be malicious, which adds spam and hacking to the potential drawbacks of the technology that will need to be resolved before Google Wave goes live.
So while it may not reinvent communication, it could very well at least have the effect of significantly enhancing it. It will only fall flat if it fails to get out the gate, and even if it doesn't the likelihood that other competitors can see what they're trying to do will inspire alternative approaches.
Comment by tmo9d : Oct 02 2009 12:55 PM
I think that the future of web collaboration is decentralized and that Wave plays into this trend perfectly. It isn't that Wave in and of itself is going to be "the next big thing", I don't think it is. In fact, I think that the Wave interface is difficult to grasp and that what will end up being used by most people won't look like the current iteration of Wave. What's interesting about Wave is the idea of immediate collaboration on state using OT and the ability to have levels of hierarchy in the chain of a Wave conversation.
Google Wave, the application that you load in your browser, isn't the game changer. But the protocol and technology behind the application is the game changer, I could see more and more sites deciding that the Wave protocol provides a good foundation for collaborative interactivity. The test is going to be what sort of gadgets we see in the next few months. I've only been using it for a while, but I've already started to ask myself: "Why would I bother making a web site for this application, why not just write a Wave Gadget?"
It is still way too early to tell.
Answered by powersitedesign
Posted Nov 04 2009 04:09 PM
I will say this, I have been playing w/ Wave for a few weeks now and I am still learning the in's and out's of it's operation. In my opinion, it's going to take some "repackaging" before it get's rolled out to the masses. Don't get me wrong though, I am very impressed w/ what they have put together!
Answered by aferrate
Posted Nov 05 2009 10:00 AM
To answer the main question you've asked: Will Google Wave reinvent the way we communicate digitally or fall flat?
I think it's still too early to tell, but I think that there is a spectrum there, in terms of whether it fully reinvents online communication or falls flat. It may very well end up displacing some online communication platforms, but may not end up becoming a ubiquitous standard. Despite its ambitious goal, Google has definitely shaken things up a bit, and in my opinion has already changed the way we think about communicating with each other online.
Because Google Wave is actually a product (browser app), a platform (open APIs), and an open source network protocol, I think the "elevator" pitch depends on your audience. See Google Wave in a Nutshell.
Most people equate Google Wave with the product, which is still in its early stages. One thing to keep in mind is that Google Wave is a cutting edge HTML 5 app, and it is pushing the envelope in terms of what can be done in the browser. The app itself will improve no doubt, and it will become more widely supported as browsers catch up with the HTML 5 standard and browser performance improves.
I think as we've seen with Twitter, an ecosystem of applications and complementary services will emerge based on the Google Wave APIs and the network protocol (which by the way is based on XMPP).
Breaking down the features and benefits of Google Wave boil down to changing a user's perspective to view online communication as the creation of a 'document' in Google Wave. Conversations in a wave have no other equivalent, yet they share the same qualities as email, IM, wiki, and online documents. I remember when people didn't 'get' microblogging, and now it seems like a de facto part of online communication for many out there. So I think there's potential there.
The video posted on the other answer is pretty good at condensing the original Google Wave intro video. Of course, you could refer to my Introduction to Google Wave article as well. :-)
Comment by joncombridges : Nov 05 2009 10:35 AM
This snappy little YouTube video doesn't give the whole picture but provides an interesting "taste" IMHO..
Answered by Landoncorton
Posted Nov 02 2010 10:29 AM
I believe that G wave was a huge flop!
I think that there are too many ways to communicate already and new systems like this are just becoming part of the white noise. If you are a student of technology you will know that discovering something brand new is extremely difficult because its hard to get people to break old habits.
Best bet is to take something old and put a new fresh spin on it. That will make for better usability and for a better following.