Friday, 2 July 2010

In This Heat...

You see, I've been wondering, for a while now, and used this as a spark for my once-every-ever-so-long post here, why Google Wave is such a failure and nobody ever uses it, no, checks it even.

My boyfriend and I (hereforth refered to as 'us' or 'we') have been avid users of said Wave facility for a while now, initially inspired by my Google fangirl-ism, which I am somehow notorious for among certain crowds (such as said-boyfriend, whose 'bro' is some kind of ├╝ber-hotshot-Macintosh-employee). And, several well-known failings of The Wave notwithstanding (such as its surprisingly low info-stamina, which has forced us to switch Waves several times until now), it's been very good to use so far.

And I still stare at others, especially ones who had access to it from the Beta stage, because... well, they don't use it. And, yes, I perfectly understand how the fact that it was 'closed' when it first started out, and one was only able to Wave with one's acquaintances if they happened to be lucky enough to have access to it at that point - a failure kind of explained through Metcalfe's law - impeded it.

Not having people to Wave with, they got used to 'not checking it', the way they check other things, like it is a somewhat regular thing to check one's email now - made increasingly easier with so many things out there which notify you if you have a new email - but I supposed that this would cease to be an issue since they implemented an email-notification-when-a-Wave-is-updated feature. So, well, there's no doubt, now, that someone may try to use it and not be seen by their Wave-ees, or that any Wave might disappear into obscurity and be forgotten.

And, yes, many everyday needs don't make use of a good amount of its features, but, then again, it would be much better if, say, my mother didn't forward all those emails that simply contain links to pages that... well, would. But, then again, my mother doesn't have Google Wave (partly since I have been careful not to introduce her to it, now that I could, say, invite her there).

Which brings us to something else. You see, gmail (which my mom now has, thanks to... well, yours truly, once again) was once an invite-only kind of email. And I looked at it sideways for a while, way-back-when, due to its Beta status, which lasted for a long, long time too - long enough to allow me, not only to see it for the non-problem which it was (since I normally have a quasi-allergy to anything beta and avoid it as much as I can), but to get used to it enough to fail to realize it when, after many-a-year, it was actually over.

But gradually, after a friend pestered me enough (while I was reading for my first Undergraduate degree, which meant that... well, I had enough spare time to be pester-prone), I got myself a gmail address, and even failed to realize that... it stopped calling itself Beta, for a while before I actually did. Throughout all of this time, however, I used my gmail, since I could interact with others, whether they had gmail themselves or not.

I think that it would be a good idea to have the ability to view one's actual (sad, sad, simple) emails from a Wave client, as well as the ability to see actual Waves, from other Wave users (and, no, with this I don't refer to the ability of adding any email address to your Wave, and send them nieh-nieh notifications of what they're missing and what they'll be able to see if they get themselves Google Wave). One page to rule them all, one page to bind them, and don't you drop it into Mordor, because asked for it and I want it.

Therefore, I postulate that the current failure of the Wave may lie right there: one can't send an actual wave to someone without this facility, even with limited capabilities, and a call to 'join Google Wave to see more' or something (invitations, anyone?). And, well, the capability of receiving and reading one's actual 'simple' emails, even with... a check-box which we would have to check, or something, for this. This would be the only way for The Wave to re-become what email would be like if it was invented today.

1 comment:

Mel said...

UPDATE:
The date is March 27, 2011. My boyf is in the army, and we still use Wave, mostly so that I can inform him that... I miss him, for a difference, whenever I have a computer handy, pretty much, and so I can share the odd link or info tidbit or whatever when I don't have him handy or reachable by web or phone or whatnot, in case it escapes me until I actually do come into contact with him.
Oh, and Wave actually 'belongs' to the Apache Software Foundation - which makes some sense, if you think about it, seeing as it's a patchy client, really.
Plus, from what I've heard (well, 'read', to be frank), Google is thinking of / planning to incorporate some of Wave's features into Google Docs. Which is a good thing, since I mostly use Google Docs when I need something like that (offline support, I get from Open Office, but only when I really, really need such, since it pretty much sux). But it's also a bad thing, since that won't have the ease of use and the practicality of Wave.