Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Google Wave - E-mail's Replacement

Google Wave ScreenshotWe have seen a lot of companies try to invent "the new e-mail". The shortcomings of e-mail are already obvious to most: SPAM, inability for most to know if a message was received, SPAM, long lags between send and response, SPAM, etc. But all attempts to date have failed because e-mail simply matches best how we actually work - like an old paper letter. Now Google is taking its shot at the e-mail replacement trophy with Google Wave, a system that combines concepts from e-mail, instant messaging, group collaboration software, and social networking. I really didn't "get" Wave from all of the discussion online before, but now hands-on reviews are starting to appear and they make things a bit more clear. The latter link is worth a read, if you're not up for sitting through the 90 minute Google video.

Personally, I think Wave will NOT replace e-mail, but it may encourage enhancements to the old e-mail system to force it to compete. If so, it will still have been a worthwhile effort.


"Nick" said...

So, has anyone wondered if the people who named it were Firefly fans?

I know, they were referring to a voice file of some kind, but still...:)

Sean said...

I don't think that email will be replaced. I think it will just die and new paradigms will for messaging will arise. I think this is just one of those paradigm shifts.

The big problem is that it's depends on people buying into the Wave system. As much as they want it to be open sourced and able to live on your local server - I'm not sure they can get enough buy in to make it revolutionize email.

I think that it has the potential to become very popular in business where collaboration is a big thing. For instance I could see it working really well (and actually revolutionizing) in our newsroom. If and when it catches on in business then it has the potential for catching on in the non-business world. But that is a huge if.