Wave Goodbye to E-mail?

Late last year, getting a Google Wave invite was reminiscent of getting a Cabbage Patch Kid in 1983. It was the newest gizmo everyone just had to have. As a geek, I was one of the kids begging the loudest. Thankfully, one of our readers from across the pond (Paul Howard, thanks!) sent me an invite, and I cleared my schedule for the product that was going to change the way I communicate. Only, it didn’t.

I’ll admit, some of the reasons are not Google’s fault. First, off, it wasn’t even in beta yet. I also didn’t really have anything I wanted to communicate with anyone. Even with those two things in mind, I did expect it to be fun to experiment with. Quite frankly, it seemed more cumbersome than helpful.

In watching the demonstrations on the Google Web site, it seems apparent Google Wave was designed to solve some problems we’ve all faced in e-mail. Where I think Google may have gone wrong, however, is in trying to solve a problem with additional technology that really we’ve all learned to manage anyway. Sure, Google Wave allows conversations to take place in one section, so everyone can see what’s going on, but we’ve all solved that years ago with “reply all” and “forward”. Yes, Wave allows for embedded photos, videos and so on, but let’s be honest, we’ve all been attaching files and/or links for years.

Google Wave Screenshot

So what do you think? Am I off-base with my assessment? Is Google Wave changing the way you communicate? If so, I’d love to hear about it. You’ll have to send me an e-mail though (or comment here), because even though I got my Google version of the Cabbage Patch Kid, mine is still in the box.

Shawn is Associate Editor here at Linux Journal, and has been around Linux since the beginning. He has a passion for open source, and he loves to teach. He also drinks too much coffee, which often shows in his writing.

Load Disqus comments