My wave account is now a month old. I have about 20 fellow waving friends. We don’t use it. As far as I can tell they don’t use it either. In fact, who does use it, other than the development team who built it? I never remember to check it and it doesn’t flag activity to me via email, which I’m sure is deliberate and would be tautological in the eyes of the wave creators.
I was talking to a software friend based in California at the start of this week. She has people developing software in pretty much all the major centres in the world. I asked whether she either used, or intended to use Google Wave and she didn’t. Not because it may not be the best thing since sliced bread, but primarily because she already had processes and systems in place which worked perfectly well and which were embedded into her teams.
Of course that presumes that she had concluded what it was that Google Wave does, and when I asked she waffled a bit but basically said “collaboration”. That’s a big space, but it seems to be where most people place Google Wave when thinking about mapping it into their world.
It is generally a big ask to have all your teams switch working practices, especially core traits like how they communicate with peers and document that communication. Contemplating such a switch generally requires a backdrop of discontinuous change or profound dysfunction, to make it worthwhile, and I guess Google may claim ground as agents of discontinuous change with Wave. I’m not convinced though.
I’ll keep my account of course, but until I find a need it remains a Faberge egg. A fascinating, if useless, enigma.