People have options aplenty when connecting with people online. Email, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace (yes, it still exists), Skype, blogs, photo galleries, instant message applications and Google Wave, the impetus of this post. People who happen to use all of these tools tend to use each one for something different – besides the overall reason of communication.
In my experience, people like and need to have their worlds divided into multiple categories: work, family and social life. Within each of these divisions, there are more separations: book clubs, sports teams, children’s play dates, longtime friends, new friends, guy friends, girl friends, online acquaintances, mentors etc. The list is endless. But the point of the list is that it shows people are inherently dividing up parts of life. Google Wave was trying to bring everything together and, in my opinion, that might have made people uncomfortable.
As convenient as it might be to have multiple ways of communicating in one place, we already have that idea with computers or handheld smart phones. While it is a great idea for Google to recycle parts of Google Wave as they figure out how to redevelop their ideas, it was time for the official Google Wave to go. People have already personalized ways to pull their different worlds together without meshing them together. And, in most cases I’m guessing it’s without the use or creation of a high tech program. It might just consist of having a system or order of communication amongst the different groups.
Overall, I completely understand what Google Wave was trying to do and I am impressed by what it looked like. I just think that what they developed can work better in separate communities as an intranet of sorts for the time being. Pulling everyone’s online communities together might be a little too much too soon. Your thoughts?
More on the end of Google Wave:
Erica Gordon is currently interning at Clear Verve and works part-time at a Milwaukee area nonprofit. She recently received her Communication MA from Marquette University. Follow Erica on Twitter @erica_g.