There was a time before Larry Page took over the reins at Google where everything and anything flew. It just went. If it could be engineered, Google sought it out. One of the most highly visible products was Wave, which was supposed to change the entire world forever. It was like e-mail, but it wasn’t. It was super e-mail. But as I read about it in Google’s extensive ad campaign, including a spread in Time magazine, I realized that I didn’t get the appeal at all. And apparently, neither did anyone else, because Google has been slowly killing it for the past year and a half and soon it will be dead.
So take a Gmail thread, but then allow real-time interaction between replies and the addition of stuff like polls and maps. That’s Google Wave. Or it was. They looked very similar and felt very similar. As the threads grew and collaborators added, it tended to slow down dramatically. When a dedicated web forum didn’t quite work for us, we turned to Wave in our earliest days to keep our podcast rosters organized until this past summer. Google Wave has now gone read-only, so we can now only view two years’ worth of content, rather than actively participate in them. Come April 1st, it will all be gone.
We salute you Google Wave, for being the tool that no one, even us, never really understood the point of.