Friday, June 5, 2009

Google Wave: Initial thoughts

The announcement of Google Wave last week has generated a lot of buzz on the web. By combining email, IM and wiki in a real time collaboration platform, Google Wave has the potential to be the next game changing killer app, drastically changing the way we communicate. I've read a number of reviews in the past few days, and it's been interesting to see many different opinions and predictions around this hot topic. After digesting much information, some of my initial thoughts around Google Wave are as follows:

  • Synchronous vs asynchronous communication. Will Google Wave eliminate the need for unproductive meetings? The email/IM/wiki mashup in real time will potentially change corporate cultures by introducing new workflows and change the very definition of meetings. It will be harder to hide behind endless email threads and meeting requests. However, it will also introduce new challenges to time management and project management, becoming a potential for constant distraction. What will this do to employers'/individuals' expectations for "always on, always real time" communications?
  • Forums, social networks and collaboration software. What will be Google Wave's impact to companies/products such as Lithium, Jive, Facebook, and SharePoint? The freedom to unlock content from isolated platforms and bring them into the Wave will be liberating for end users, but how will social media and collaboration platform vendors differentiate themselves and survive the tidal wave? Can you survive without being a part of the developer ecosystem?
  • Interpersonal communication vs. mass communication. Social media and collaboration technologies continue to erode the line between interpersonal communication and mass communication. It appears that Google Wave will continue to blur this line as well. What will be some of the privacy and content ownership issues resulting from this new way to communicate?
As we hear more about Google Wave in the next few months, I am sure more conversations will be created around the impacts of Google Wave. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Leave a comment below if you'd like to share your thoughts/blogs on Google Wave.

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