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Thursday, August 5, 2010

The End is Nigh For Google Wave

I fondly remember receiving my invite to Google Wave, having craftily used my social networking prowess to connect myself with someone in an earlier timezone who would then pass along one of his treasured invites and I would wear it as a badge of geek cred. I, was one of the lucky few (hundred thousand) who were invited to the game during the first wave of invites, and it felt good. I talked it up amongst my colleagues and guarded my invites, choosing carefully who I would allow into the wonder that was Wave. I did so to: (a) keep the club to a select few trusted friends and (b) make sure the invites where in the hands of others who would also take great care in choosing who they would invite. Those early days were good and we used Wave to collaborate on such things as where to go for lunch and as a back channel for office bitching sessions and Dilbert cartoons. The funny thing is that my initial select few eventually choose new career paths and the one tool that had kept us all together while we worked within feet of each other quickly fizzled to the point where I can't recall the last time I have logged in, it's been months. As we put distance between us we reverted back to e-mail and text messages and Wave no longer became relevant.

It seems as though Wave failed to ride the... no I'll not go there. Wave failed to capture the attention of the masses the way that gmail did, using the very same tactics that Google used to launch that product with much success. In a blog post yesterday on the Official Google BlogUrs Hölzle, Senior Vice President, Operations & Google Fellow wrote "...Wave has not seen the user adoption we would have liked. We don’t plan to continue developing Wave as a standalone product, but we will maintain the site at least through the end of the year and extend the technology for use in other Google projects." 

Perhaps we will see the features we loved in Google Wave in the rumored new Google social network "Google Me" as it was referred to by Kevin Rose of Digg fame when he let the cat out of the bag on This Week in Tech and via twitter. One has got to think that Kevin has credible sources and I'll be anxiously awaiting my opportunity to snag me one of those invites!