So within a week all my invites have been sent out to my coworkers and friends. Within our agency we know have almost everybody on Google Wave. Which means I can already use it for a project.
People ‘wow’ when they see the live type and exclaim ‘Scary!’ when they see you typing in their Wavelet or blip. And everybody loves the fact that you easily can add someone to a wave. They are getting it and seeing the potential. And then they went back to their email because all their friends are on email. They were asking where the interface with ‘normal’ email was. Which indeed raises the question how Google Wave will content with the old email in the future. Something has to give in the interaction. And I don’t think that it can remain a closed garden.
The night before Wave’s big debut at the Google I/O conference in San Francisco, Lars Rasmussen laid in bed from 2:30 to 5 a.m.
It wasn’t restful sleep.
Being tested by hundreds of thousands. Two million on the waiting list but will apparently not hit prime time for another year:
This morning I got my Google Wave invite and started to Wave. The initial experience is confusing. You can edit everything which is cool but also slightly confusing. Where am I and where is everyone else in the thread. Email, chat, wiki all at the same time. Definitely a new paradigm in communication and will take some time using too. Most likely a day.
But the bigger question was what to do with my invites. Sure I got some geek friends who are clamoring for it but apart from those… My parents? They are still on dial-up. My girlfriend? She reads e-mail every 3 days and doesn’t even have a Facebook page. My co-workers. Hmm. Most of them don’t either read their email or only the first two lines. Not quite sure if Google Wave is what they want. Would they actually use it or would I just waste a precious invite. That started me pondering the question. What real need does Google Wave solve? The harder it became to think of people who really would be happy with Google Wave the more I realized that Google Wave is a hard sell. Sure it’s cool and modern and sexy. But necessary?
Let me get back to you on this.
“Email has a purpose and is evolved to fit this purpose well. It’s not going away any time soon, because while it’s not ideal, it’s almost infinitely more convenient than the paper-and-ink communications it replaced.”
“We all still use email, of course. But email was better suited to the way we used to use the Internet—logging off and on, checking our messages in bursts. Now, we are always connected, whether we are sitting at a desk or on a mobile phone. The always-on connection, in turn, has created a host of new ways to communicate that are much faster than email, and more fun.”
The End of the Email Era – WSJ.com http://bit.ly/1CPZ4Y
These are the numbers Google Wave is up against:
- “In August 2009, 276.9 million people used email across the U.S., several European countries, Australia and Brazil, according to Nielsen Co., up 21% from 229.2 million in August 2008. But the number of users on social-networking and other community sites jumped 31% to 301.5 million people.” • The End of the Email Era – WSJ.com http://bit.ly/1Ul3b
- In July 2009 Facebook had 250 million users. On September 15, 2009 they had more then 300 million users worldwide. • Facebook Crosses 300 Million Users. Techcrunch.com. http://bit.ly/2Wqc4P
- In Q2 2009 38.1 smart phones were sold worldwide. • Smart phones defy slowdown (Canalys press release: r2009081) http://bit.ly/1U4X4h
- October 2008 World of Warcraft reached 11 million subscribers. • Video Games Blogger http://bit.ly/1j4rpf
It will be interesting to see how Google Wave and email will exist next to each other. Even if Google creates gateways the systems are inherently so different that it will be interesting to find out if they can co-exist. Will you get two different kind of groups?. At one hand people who love email for the simpleness. Who love email for all the reasons that Google deems it’s broken. At the other hand the 24/7/365 group. Users who need the adrenaline of being always on, always connected, always part of what’s happening. These are different interaction styles.
Before Google Wave you had email. If you were adventurous you could add IM, FaceBook & Twitter. Each of them adding a bit more adrenaline. But each were different. Google Wave kinda combines everything in one tool which makes it all or nothing. You either Google Wave or you don’t. Doubt you can use Google Wave for just sending emails…
Got inspired for this by Christopher Skillman:
Some observations for Week 2.
- Apparently Google Wave users don’t use Twitter to talk about Google Wave. That’s understandable given the fact that Google Wave talks and tweets as much as Twitter does.
- Don’t really know if anybodies invites have been activated. On Twitter I’ve seen some messages come by which indicate they might not.
- The spam on Twitter about Google Waves is annoying to say the least.
- And of course there’s a plethora of Google Wave scams. And like lemmings people fall for it: http://www.tech65.org/2009/10/11/psa-beware-of-google-wave-scam-sites/
Status as of this moment: 100.000 initial invites + 800.000 potential second round invites + unknown number of people who Google ‘forgot’ to invite.