I am here to say what many of us were thinking but just haven’t said out loud — Google dropped the ball on Google Wave in such an enormous manner. When they recently pulled the plug on the Google Wave project, they took what could have been a tremendous tool to help people learn and teach and they threw it all away.

There was a lot of potential in the Google Wave concept. Businesses could use a platform that can seamlessly integrate e-mail, instant messaging, blogging, office productivity, and collaboration in a single tool. The unique aspects of Wave communications, combined with the fact that it was a cloud-based service that users could access from anywhere, gave the service promise.

Boles University Polymath David W. Boles and I were both members of Google Wave along with other people who have contributed to the Boles Blog Network.

We had a really good time communicating with one another and making plans, but to me it soon became apparent that the project was going nowhere. David put it quite well in that very article.

Did Google realize they really didn’t have a Blackboard or Basecamp killer and are letting Wave drown in dryness?

Did Google realize people want more administrative Wave control — like removing people from a Wave and making Waves private instead of public-by-default… because anyone you added could add someone else?

We bid you farewell, Google Wave — and we sincerely hope that something bigger and better will come along soon. Maybe even something that attempts to explain its existence or how to properly use it? I don’t think that’s asking too much.

6 Comments

  1. Excellent article, Gordon! I am still steamed at Google for giving us Wave and then quickly, and abjectly, abandoning it. After that mess, I decided not to try Buzz because why should I get burned again on another one of their public betas that might burn up in our hands again?

    Wave started so strong. Interest was high. I quickly used up my 30 invites. I asked for 30 more, got them from Google, and gave them away. I asked for another 30, got them from Google, and gave them away to our readers. I asked for 30 more… and was met with a creeping silence. Hmm….

    At one point, we had over 150 reader requests for access into the Wave beta — and we, AND GOOGLE, left them hanging in the lurch.

    The biggest problem with Wave was the inability to remove people from a Wave. You couldn’t control if someone added you to a Wave, either, and you could not leave a Wave if you wanted to…

    Add someone by mistake? Tough! They’re in you’re Wave forever. You can’t delete a Wave, though, so you would have to start a whole new Wave to get rid of those people you mistakenly added. What a silly mess.

    I added about five people to my invitation list by mistake and any of them could’ve handed out my Google Wave invites — I wrote to each of them and asked them not to use my invites, and I was lucky they were all grand about it and said, “no problem” — but golly… what a terrible danger from which one might never recover with lesser people in an inescapable loop…

      1. I hope they have something better in the works — but if that thing even has the whiff of Wave in it — nobody will go near it. We’re still healing from that heavy Wave burn. I thought Wave was supposed to be the new “Universal Inbox” for all Google stuff. Great idea. Would’ve loved it. Poor execution killed it, I guess…