Has Google, with itslatest project,Google Wave, actually come up with the Next Big Thing in online communication, or is it yet another Googler vanity exercise?Waveis acombination of email, instant messaging and a real-time wiki— plus open architecture and APIs. Or as creators Lars and Jens Rasmussen and Stephanie Hannon put it, “what email would be if it were invented today.”
For now, Google is rolling out Wave as a developer preview and will launch to the public later. The company is looking for 3,000 adventurous, early adopter developers to “tinker” with the system and figure out “what else can we do with this?”And that’s where I stumble.
Google has along historyof launching or buying projects, only to get bored and abandon them months or years later. With Wave, as with so many Google projects, the company seems to be flinging things against the wall to see what sticks. No real thought has been given to its future beyond, “Wouldn’t it be cool if…?” When asked about marketing Wave during thelaunch Q&A, the Google reps said “We really haven’t thought about that too much.” What about advertising? “We haven’t thought about that yet.” What about competition? “It’s not something we really thought a lot about.”So whathavethe Googlers thought about?
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