Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Why Wave Failed

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the exciting-thursday-morning dept.

Google 350

Florian Wardell submitted a little discussion piece about Why Wave Failed. He blames marketing and the staged rollout. Personally I think that what killed it was that I should have transparently been able to see my gmail inside wave. Requiring a separate window guarantees that I wouldn't use it regularly. Had I been able to read my regular mail in the same UI, I might have been tempted to use it more.

cancel ×

350 comments

Incoming sopssa/SquarePixel/odies trolling ... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33149664)

sopssa = SquarePixel = odies. Three sockpuppets, one stupid troll. Remember it moderators!

Peace out!

I Guess I Don't Exist Then ... (5, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#33149670)

Whatever the reason for Wave’s failure is, the fact remains: There are two types of people, the ones that love Wave, and the ones that don’t know what it is.

Well, I guess I don't exist then. I tried Wave, I understand that it's supposed to be a collaboration tool more than just a glorified IM Client. And I don't love it -- I don't hate it, either. If it cost money I would hate it. But since it's open source and free I kind of view it as a solution to a problem I don't have. My coworkers and I played around with it for a day, noticed some tiny problems with arrival times of messages and the like (things that would probably be ironed out) but after that small amount of time, I grew bored of it and didn't consider it a viable or necessary communication channel. Of course, I'm not trying to write code with someone on the other side of the world either.

Personally I think that what killed it was that I should have transparently been able to see my gmail inside wave. Requiring a separate window guarantees that I wouldn't use it regularly.

Well, to counter that, I personally found it to be too confusing and not intuitive enough. Adding in my e-mail would have just made it an indiscernible mess. GMail is already busy enough, I'm not going to be able to consume that inside Wave. Doing one thing really well is often more valuable to me than doing a lot of things really well and trying to cram them into one experience ... this UI bloat really wears on me.

Meanwhile, we’ll have to include Wave to Google’s increasing list flops: The Nexus One, Google Answers, Google Checkout, Google Viewer, the Knol, Orkut, Wave, and Buzz.

Fail early, fail often, right? I feel bad for Novel's Pulse and SAP's Cloudave which I think were built up to interact with Wave but at the same time I don't think it was forced on them nor do either of them have to stop working on that product if Google is dropping out of the game (open source is great!). Google's failures are far less painful to me than another company's failures so I'll gladly tolerate them ... maybe even appreciate them because they'll get something right one of these days (look at Android going nuts [slashdot.org] ).

Re:I Guess I Don't Exist Then ... (1, Funny)

chill (34294) | more than 3 years ago | (#33149848)

Well, I guess I don't exist then.

I knew it! You're a bot, aren't you?

Re:I Guess I Don't Exist Then ... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33149896)

Meanwhile, we’ll have to include Wave to Google’s increasing list flops, (such as) Google Checkout

Google Checkout is (was?) only available in three countries, not even close physically to one another. How can that NOT fail?

Re:I Guess I Don't Exist Then ... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33150064)

Google checkout is still alive and well. It is how you pay for apps in the Android Marketplace (though admittedly, some apps allow you to enter codes that you purchase to register software if google checkout isn't available in the country the user lives in)

Re:I Guess I Don't Exist Then ... (2, Insightful)

tophermeyer (1573841) | more than 3 years ago | (#33150174)

Wait, so you're saying that every unsuccessful idea explored by an innovating tech company is a flop? Sure Google has explored some business areas that have not panned out, but that's just how innovation works. Do you have any idea how much money Microsoft blows through in R&D for products that never make it to market? I don't, but I'm betting they consider it a pretty typical business expense.

Checkout was deployed in a limited area to evaluate interest and real world functionality. Google determined that it was not worth pursuing and dropped it. Not every idea is going to hit it big.

Look at Gmail. How long did it stay in Beta? How many options were made available in Labs? Some hit it big, some did not. That's how innovation works. Google has just been successful enough with their hits to be able to live through their misses.

Re:I Guess I Don't Exist Then ... (1)

tophermeyer (1573841) | more than 3 years ago | (#33150194)

Self reply, I replied to the wrong post. Sorry please don't hate me!

Re:I Guess I Don't Exist Then ... (3, Informative)

markov_chain (202465) | more than 3 years ago | (#33149898)

I wouldn't say Nexus One was a flop - it accomplished exactly what it was supposed to; just look at all the SnapDragon-based phones it spawned.

Re:I Guess I Don't Exist Then ... (4, Insightful)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#33150160)

As of July 2010, Alexa traffic ranked Orkut 65th in the world; the website currently has more than 100 million active users worldwide

Orkut doesn't sound like a flop to me either. It may not be popular in the US, but that really doesn't make it a flop.

Re:I Guess I Don't Exist Then ... (2, Interesting)

HermMunster (972336) | more than 3 years ago | (#33149908)

Bottom line for me was that it was far to slow.

Re:I Guess I Don't Exist Then ... (4, Funny)

imakemusic (1164993) | more than 3 years ago | (#33150062)

It took so long to render that I never saw the bottom line.

Re:I Guess I Don't Exist Then ... (4, Insightful)

cgenman (325138) | more than 3 years ago | (#33149924)

Why wave failed: Because it didn't do anything. It was a glorified chat box. Document collaboration is neat, but you've been able to do that with Google Docs and others for years. Realtime document collaboration? I can think of some times when that would be neat, but most documents have one owner. Besides, you would need to be able to edit MS Office documents realtime for that to be useful. It the "innovations" you bring to the table are drag 'n drop and live typing updating, it might be time to throw in the towel.

I'm glad Google has released a ton of things that haven't caught on. The things that has caught on, like Google Voice or maps or Android, has become incredibly useful. And there are parts of the world where Orkut is essential. But Wave was one of those failed experiments. It just didn't push far enough.

Re:I Guess I Don't Exist Then ... (4, Interesting)

pudge (3605) | more than 3 years ago | (#33149976)

Yeah, eldavojohn, I knew what it was and tried and never thought of a reason why I would want to spend time trying it again. I didn't even play around with it for a day ... maybe 15 minutes, got bored, moved on, never looked back.

I suspect most people who tried it did similarly.

The thing about putting Gmail inside it is that then it might have given someone a reason to use it. As it stood, most people had no reason to use it.

It was a busy and complicated solution to a problem almost no one had.

Re:I Guess I Don't Exist Then ... (4, Interesting)

DancesWithBlowTorch (809750) | more than 3 years ago | (#33150076)

after that small amount of time, I grew bored of it and didn't consider it a viable or necessary communication channel. Of course, I'm not trying to write code with someone on the other side of the world either.

Just recently, I was trying to write code (Matlab code, and the resulting academic paper in LaTeX) with someone on the other end of the continent, so we gave Wave a try. Within minutes I realised that it's useless even for this, the task it was seemingly built for.

The reason: It's a sandbox. If you write code, you like to be able to save it, and compile it. To do either of the two you have to, literally, select, copy and paste your code from the wave into your IDE / text editor / local file system. That of course breaks the whole "keep everything in sync in one place in the cloud" idea.

So I guess there is one, and only one use case for wave: If you want to write unformatted text in collaboration with others, for the sole purpose of notetaking and, eventually, printing it on a piece of scrap paper. I guess there are not that many people out there in the world who actually need this sort of functionality. For everyone else, Wave is a hassle.

Now here's what would be awesome: If I could share a window in my text editor / IDE with someone else on the planet, edit a piece of source together in real time, and still be able to save and compile directly from within the software. Oh, wait... [sourceforge.net]

Mozilla's Bespin (3, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#33150224)

Now here's what would be awesome: If I could share a window in my text editor / IDE with someone else on the planet, edit a piece of source together in real time, and still be able to save and compile directly from within the software. Oh, wait... [sourceforge.net]

DancesWithBlowTorch, keep an eye on Mozilla's Bespin [mozillalabs.com] . I've used the very basic skeleton project they had and think they're on track but it's coming along [slashdot.org] and will hopefully firm up once HTML5 support and standards become common place. I don't know how fluid it will become with real time updates but imagine editing your code anytime from any browser that is HTML 5 compliant and your collaborators seeing that. Not sure how many languages they plan on incorporating but when it's done, your source will exist and be compiled in the cloud. Maybe not ideal for a business but for open source collaboration ... really neat!

Re:I Guess I Don't Exist Then ... (2, Interesting)

Jozza The Wick (1805012) | more than 3 years ago | (#33150090)

How about those that don't see the point? It didn't seem to fill a need that couldn't be met with other technologies. There's also the critical mass effect that benefits or hinders all social media tools - how many people do you know that are using it, and is it compelling enough to switch, and have others switch with you?

Nexus One is a flop? (2, Informative)

AltairDusk (1757788) | more than 3 years ago | (#33150220)

The marketing maybe. The phone itself is an excellent piece of hardware, the only thing that even slightly tempts me away from my N1 right now is a Droid X and with Motorola seemingly in the anti custom-ROM camp I refuse to support them.

I still think Google gave up too soon there, if enough consumers realized that buying the phone yourself then getting a plan without the phone subsidy built in is ultimately cheaper more carriers would be forced to offer those types of plans. It saddens me that I may have to purchase my next Android phone through the carrier and locked.

It was an email application?! (2, Insightful)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 3 years ago | (#33149672)

I thought Wave was some sort of surfing app or something physicists used for their QED experiments.

Re:It was an email application?! (4, Informative)

Low Ranked Craig (1327799) | more than 3 years ago | (#33149850)

Here's a good demonstration of wave: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xcxF9oz9Cu0 [youtube.com]

Re:It was an email application?! (1)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | more than 3 years ago | (#33150210)

I see why it failed now.

Wait... (0, Offtopic)

honestmonkey (819408) | more than 3 years ago | (#33149676)

So, what is "Wave"? Oh, I see...

He blames marketing ... (2, Insightful)

foobsr (693224) | more than 3 years ago | (#33149680)

.. he is probably right. I never heard of the thing before now (though I probably would not have been interested).

CC.

I've Heard of It a Few Times (5, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#33149786)

.. he is probably right. I never heard of the thing before now (though I probably would not have been interested).

CC.

I'm [slashdot.org] not [slashdot.org] quite [slashdot.org] sure [slashdot.org] what [slashdot.org] you're [slashdot.org] talking [slashdot.org] about [slashdot.org] we've [slashdot.org] covered [slashdot.org] it [slashdot.org] a few times [slashdot.org] .

Re:I've Heard of It a Few Times (5, Funny)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#33150006)

Read that aloud in your best Shatneresque cadence :-)

Re:He blames marketing ... (1)

Phreakiture (547094) | more than 3 years ago | (#33150192)

I heard of it, but never got a clear sense of WTF it is. Without that, I had no reason to be interested. If you don't catch my interest somehow, then your marketing has failed.

Irony (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33149696)

Requiring a separate window guarantees that I wouldn't use it regularly.

Funny, I feel the same way about websites whose style sheets involve great big floating things that don't go away when I scroll down. :)

(Serves me right for reading TFA...)

Re:Irony (2, Informative)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#33149800)

I stopped reading the article when I saw that.

Subliminal messaging (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33149966)

Insightful is the fact that the comment gets moderated according to it's first word. Let's see if this works...

Re:Subliminal messaging (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33150020)

Underrated!

Re:Subliminal messaging (5, Interesting)

Abstrackt (609015) | more than 3 years ago | (#33150024)

Insightful is the fact that the comment gets moderated according to it's first word. Let's see if this works...

Interesting, your theory appears correct.

Re:Subliminal messaging (5, Funny)

EdZ (755139) | more than 3 years ago | (#33150242)

Funny, I never noticed that happening before.

Re:Subliminal messaging (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33150066)

Troll harder!

Oh, wait...

Er (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33149710)

Wave Wave goodbye?

It's simple: Performance (5, Insightful)

Admodieus (918728) | more than 3 years ago | (#33149712)

The poor performance of Wave when it first debuted quickly killed any hype it had going. Everybody was eager to try it out, then realized it ran like a dog in pretty much everything except Chrome (and even sometimes in Chrome, too.) That and the fact that it was a standalone app - I wanted to be able to work with my Google Docs, share items from my Reader, and work on emails from within Wave, spreading information between all three if I desired.

Re:It's simple: Performance (1)

gweilo8888 (921799) | more than 3 years ago | (#33149808)

Got it in one. These are the exact reasons I didn't end up using it myself, despite being a relatively early adopter. I don't think any of the folks I referred ended up using it, either.

Re:It's simple: Performance (1)

schlesinm (934723) | more than 3 years ago | (#33149862)

Same here. Everytime I had Wave open in Firefox, it would slow down my browser and my system. That was the main reason why I stayed away after initially playing with it. The other reason, is I couldn't find a decent reason to use it. I have IM and email and couldn't see what was to be gained by fusing them together in Wave.

Re:It's simple: Performance (3, Interesting)

IICV (652597) | more than 3 years ago | (#33150050)

I tried it once.

It seemed to interact horrifically with Flashblock - the windows just did nothing, I couldn't view any of the tutorials, IIRC I couldn't even click on half of the links. It basically looked like a bunch of funkily cut up frames.

I whitelisted the Wave website (I assumed it was the root of whatever page I was looking at right then) and it still didn't work. I wasn't about to disable Flashblock for some website that didn't do anything and whose purpose I honestly didn't understand, so I said "screw this" and looked at pictures of cats with bad grammar.

The moral of this story? Cats are funny. Oh and also don't be an idiot and use Flash for every little thing.

Save Wave (5, Funny)

curtix7 (1429475) | more than 3 years ago | (#33149730)

There should be a movement to save it if for no other reason than it rhymes.

Re:Save Wave (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#33149930)

Or make it ISS-friendly. Relaunch it as "Star Wave".

Re:Save Wave (1)

JustOK (667959) | more than 3 years ago | (#33149938)

Wave bye bye has a certain charm 'tho

Already? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33149734)

Hasn't it been out of an invite only state for less than 2 months? Certainly hasn't been around for much more than a year, if that. How the hell can someone claim it's already failed?

Re:Already? (3, Insightful)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 3 years ago | (#33149884)

Because Google is abandoning it.

Re:Already? (2, Funny)

JustOK (667959) | more than 3 years ago | (#33149952)

but has netcraft confirmed it?

Re:Already? (4, Insightful)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 3 years ago | (#33149914)

I think the problem is that it was in a restrictive invite state too long.

People would get access, realize they only had 2-3 contacts that also had access, and then return to communication methods that were more accessible. I tried Wave for a little, but I basically only knew one other person that had it. I think I stopped bothering after a week.

GMail, on the other hand, could survive for a long period of heavy invite restrictions because it was fundamentally designed to communicate with other email users. So it didn't matter much if your friends had gmail, as long as they had ANY email access, GMail was an improvement in your ability to communicate with your friends.

I blame (the lack of) security options (4, Interesting)

AtariDatacenter (31657) | more than 3 years ago | (#33149738)

Google Wave was only useful to me if I could trust 100% of the participants in the Wave. Yes, yes, there is a roll-back to undo damage. Not good enough.

If I had a group of Internet participants, that absolutely wasn't the case. There was no in-between. Either you trusted someone and they could do almost anything, or you didn't. And damage was extremely easy to do. There wasn't anything else that I could find, like moderator pre-approval.

Public groups were too much trouble under Google wave. A group of students collaborating on a private assignment? Not so much.

Re:I blame (the lack of) security options (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33150042)

Google added access control for Wave in January this year.

http://googlewave.blogspot.com/2010/01/new-features-read-only-and-restore.html

Failed because it was stupid (3, Interesting)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 3 years ago | (#33149744)

When I first saw reports and demos of Wave, my reaction was basically "wtf is this crap?" When some of the younger people at my last job (web hosting company) started using it and I saw it "in action," that basically just solidified my initial impression. I couldn't figure out what it was really for (in a "solution to a problem" sense) or why I would want to use it.

It seems to be just an extreme conclusion of an ADHD society. It gives too much too quickly, all jumbled up and mixed together. Maybe I'm just old fashioned, but I like my IM being separate from my email, and maybe its OK to use LDAP to pre-populate my contacts, but that's just about where I draw the line.

I suspect that I'm far from being the only person who also though Wave was pretty much just the worst idea ever and that using it would cause brain hemorrhages. No amount of marketing or alternate release schedules is going to make up for the fact that Wave was just insanely stupid and never should have seen the light of day in the first place.

Tag this story good riddance and be done with it.

Re:Failed because it was stupid (1)

TheStatsMan (1763322) | more than 3 years ago | (#33150080)

tl;dr Google Wave failed because it was a glorified chat room.

It was gimmicky to begin with (1)

TwiztidK (1723954) | more than 3 years ago | (#33149746)

I got Wave during the beta, as did many of my friends, and we all thought it was pretty nifty. After a few weeks, it had pretty much lost its allure and almost none of us were using it because the majority of the people we communicated with didn't use it.

The really problem with Wave was definitely marketing. If I asked a random, "normal" person if they used Google Wave, their answer would be "Huh? What's that?" No one knew about it.

Re:It was gimmicky to begin with (1)

arb phd slp (1144717) | more than 3 years ago | (#33149950)

I don't think marketing could have saved it, though, since even the people who did know about it didn't like it. The masses are slow to adopt new tools unless they have a clear utility and relevance to everyday tasks (and sometimes not even then). I knew a lot of people who had Wave accounts and none of us used it because it didn't do anything useful for us. Reading through the comments to this article, I see a lot of Slashdotters who concluded the same thing. And we're the tech-savvy, early-adopting crowd.

Marketing might have gotten more people to sign up, but that just would have led to even more unused Wave logins.

Re:It was gimmicky to begin with (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#33150196)

The really problem with Wave was definitely marketing. If I asked a random, "normal" person if they used Google Wave, their answer would be "Huh? What's that?" No one knew about it.

I think it went beyond that.

Last year one of my co-workers had an invite to Google Wave. So, being a nice guy, he gave our group a presentation on it to tell us about it.

Almost everybody at the table was left going "OK, it's got wavelets, but what would I actually *do* with it?". Nobody ever really did explain to me what it would be useful for. In the end, we stopped looking at it since it was a new, revolutionary technology which didn't do anything we needed.

If things were reversed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33149752)

If Google had integrated Wave into Gmail so that you could link to waves, like attachments or something, it would have been much more popular as people could try it out painlessly without trying out a whole new website. On the other side of things Buzz should not have been integrated into Gmail. If they had reversed their decisions on these two things it might have turned out different in both cases.

It just boggles me what a monumental screwup Buzz was. Just as Facebook was garnering large amounts of discontent among it's users, Google releases their competitor with a giant privacy fuckup. If someone at Google had had more of a clue they could have stolen a chunk of users looking for an alternative to Facebook.

Google needs to fully open source it (4, Insightful)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 3 years ago | (#33149758)

Google needs to release the source code to their client. I think if it were available as a reference implementation to be tweaked and forked for free that it could be turned into something very useful, especially in corporate settings.

Re:Google needs to fully open source it (1)

Chatterton (228704) | more than 3 years ago | (#33150082)

I loved Google wave. But what killed Wave for me is no that there is no client. The server could be open source, but without a client it is not so much useful.

Solution in need of a (perceived) problem (4, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#33149762)

Why did email become so successful? It solved a problem that seemed real to most people: the ability to send text over long distances very quickly and without paying a lot.

What problem did Wave solve? None of the problems Wave solved were perceived as problems by most people, so nobody saw Wave as a "killer app."

Re:Solution in need of a (perceived) problem (1)

pkbarbiedoll (851110) | more than 3 years ago | (#33149872)

Bingo.

Re:Solution in need of a (perceived) problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33149964)

That's perverse, I've never considered Google Wave to be the killer of Bingo!

Re:Solution in need of a (perceived) problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33149882)

Problem: I want to organize information around a narrow subject and a small number of people. There is already a Facebook group and a standalone website and forum, but those solutions do not meet all of our information requirements, which means that we lose people who could have otherwise contributed to our cause.

Solution: Wiki, Etherpad, Google Wave, etc...

But they don't really work well enough. They are too complicated to administrate or to complicated to use or too slow or too confusing.

Re:Solution in need of a (perceived) problem (1)

joh (27088) | more than 3 years ago | (#33150040)

Problem: I want to organize information around a narrow subject and a small number of people. There is already a Facebook group and a standalone website and forum, but those solutions do not meet all of our information requirements, which means that we lose people who could have otherwise contributed to our cause.

Solution: Wiki, Etherpad, Google Wave, etc...

But they don't really work well enough. They are too complicated to administrate or to complicated to use or too slow or too confusing.

I've found that a minimal Wiki site (with CamelCase links) works best. You can't do much and it may be ugly, but what you can do is extremely easy and fast.

Re:Solution in need of a (perceived) problem (1)

alen (225700) | more than 3 years ago | (#33150136)

twitter and hashtags and lists

there is a hashtag for almost everything. as an example #sqlhelp is used by SQL Server admins to communicate together and help answer quick questions. easier and faster than google wave
#srvadv or something like that is used by the NYC subway to communicate train delays

twitter unlike wave works very nicely on iphones and android phones

Re:Solution in need of a (perceived) problem (1)

ColdGrits (204506) | more than 3 years ago | (#33150022)

Absolutely!
Wave offered absolutely nothing that we can't already do in many different (and more efficient) ways.

I got in right near the start, played around, found it pretty pointless and noted it offered nothing new.
Nobody was able to come up with anything it could offer that doesn't already exist.

No wonder it failed.

All I knew (3, Insightful)

JumperCable (673155) | more than 3 years ago | (#33149766)

All I knew was that is was called Google Wave, was being hyped and I needed an invite to use it.

Why should it be a big surprise this thing never got wide spread adoption?

Re:All I knew (3, Insightful)

WankersRevenge (452399) | more than 3 years ago | (#33150018)

google: you're gonna love this new product. it's gonna change your life.
me: what does it do?

google: it's so damn sweet. the way you look at the world will altered for good. you'll never turn back.
me: what does it do?

google: there's email and chat organized in this cool way which is just amazing.
me: what does it do?

google: it streamlines communication in this effective way that will alter the way you work
me: what does it do?

google: you really need to try it to get a full grasp of the mind blowing innovation
me: what the fuck does it do?

google: er, have an invite.
me: sure, fine, whatever.

Re:All I knew (1)

ZeroExistenZ (721849) | more than 3 years ago | (#33150104)

was being hyped and I needed an invite to use it. Why should it be a big surprise this thing never got wide spread adoption

People used to ebay gmail invites. It took a long time before gmail invites got further out as "only employees" or "family of employees".

But ofcourse, thats why gmail is not wide spread adopted.

They tried to recreate the same momentum, but the software wasn't ready; I've used wave but it was a horrid mess to start with. So after trying to write documentation and an analysis with colleagues trying the "replay" functionality and collaboration options. But it soon became frustration.

Online people complained it felt like they were on an island: you needed other wave-using people to actually get down with it. So google opened up the system and threw invites like a pedophile at children but it never really caught on.

Re:All I knew (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33150214)

All I knew was that is was called Google Wave, was being hyped and I needed an invite to use it.

Indeed.

There was no easy explanation what Wave actually was, just bullshit bingo material. Although not in itself a show-stopper, the fact that you also needed an invite likely killed it.

Why bother finding out what it is when I don't have an invite? Why bother getting an invite when I don't even know what it is? Killed by catch 22.

Dang... (0)

eagee (1308589) | more than 3 years ago | (#33149794)

I liked Wave, I'm still using it >..

Frontend vs. Protocol... (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#33149806)

The aspect of Google's wave rollout that I found baffling was their more or less complete inability to conceptually separate(at least in their marketing messages, which is bad, possibly in some of their internal thinking, which would be worse) the specific "Google wave" webapp they had created; frankly a rather rough and somewhat niche-y thing, from the wave protocol, which had considerably greater potential to power a variety of frontend activities in a standardized way that would allow for productive interaction between them.

The closest analogy that I can think of offfhand would be if XMPP had been introduced by releasing a Pidgin fork named "XMPP" and offering no particularly interesting benefits aside from instant messaging over XMPP rather than Oscar or IRC or whatever. The world would have greeted it with a collective "meh." As it is, though, XMPP is capable of running all sorts of more or less real time communication scenarios behind the scenes, basic chat being a small subset of that. Similarly, Wave the protocol is quite powerful and interesting, "Wave" the webapp is kind of blah.

Wave could still catch on (1)

h00manist (800926) | more than 3 years ago | (#33149812)

Many things take time and a second or third effort to catch on. Microsoft has failed at many things initially, but they never give up. They do use many unfair advantages, but they also are persistent.

Re:Wave could still catch on (2, Interesting)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | more than 3 years ago | (#33150000)

Thing is, though... Google DOES seem to give up on its failures. Hell, it even seems to give up on some of its minor successes.

It almost seems like Google has attention deficit disorder. Apart from Gmail and its base search business, almost everything else they have that's successful seems to have been bought from someone else after it already was a hit.

It's all your fault (3, Funny)

liquiddark (719647) | more than 3 years ago | (#33149822)

Personally I found Wave invaluable for any number of creative applications - gaming, writing, taking notes for projects, planning various activities. I blame its failure on all you jerks for not taking a second look.

Re:It's all your fault (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33149854)

Blame google for not believing in their service/product. They are the ones that killed it.

It's a real shame (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33149828)

The technology behind it was an impressive bit of coding. I think the problem was that a lot of people just didn't understand what they were supposed to do with it...either that, or they were just already too comfortable with the collaboration tools they currently use and didn't want to have to learn a new one.

Had it.. (2, Insightful)

drumcat (1659893) | more than 3 years ago | (#33149846)

Had it augmented my email, I'd probably have looked closer. Instead, it tried to replace it. I have too much invested in my email addresses to supplant them simply. Most people do, too.

Gmail integration (1)

Nick Fel (1320709) | more than 3 years ago | (#33149852)

I should have transparently been able to see my gmail inside wave. Requiring a separate window guarantees that I wouldn't use it regularly. Had I been able to read my regular mail in the same UI, I might have been tempted to use it more.

This is why Buzz has been so popular. Oh wait...

Solution in search of a problem (3, Insightful)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 3 years ago | (#33149856)

The main problem with this was that it solved problems that nobody was having. If I needed Wave, I would have used it, and found the time to learn it. But, no. I heard from new converts that this new software was great, would change my life, put hair on my bald spot, etc., but I've heard plenty of similar cries of pleasure from other early adopters (myspace, friendster, etc) and never trusted them, and it turned out I was right. Plus, it ties you too closely to Google.

Re:Solution in search of a problem (1)

The Famous Brett Wat (12688) | more than 3 years ago | (#33150166)

Not only was it a solution in need of a problem, but the whole user interface left me baffled as to what it actually did. It's a nasty example of attempting user friendliness by giving things cutesy names, while giving the user absolutely no insight into what the things do. They made exactly the same mistake with Buzz, only worse, because they dropped that right into Gmail with everything turned on and automatically buzzing everything. At least with Buzz I actually managed to figure out what it was and how to use it, and thereby conclude that I didn't want or need it (although I wouldn't have nuked it to oblivion if they'd made it unobtrusive in the first place). With Wave, I still don't know what it does, how to use it, or whether it would actually be of any use to me in any conceivable circumstance. I tried and failed, so how well can the folks who don't live and breathe technology have fared?

You put your gmail in my wave! (1)

pkbarbiedoll (851110) | more than 3 years ago | (#33149866)

I prefer to keep gmail a separate, standalone app. Fine if Google wants to integrate sepraately under other apps (as long as they aren't sharing my personal info a la facebook).

Integration in Gmail was necessary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33149916)

It was obvious Wave should have been integrated directly in Gmail just like Buzz was! I proposed it months ago as a feature to be added.

The one reason all my friends did not use it was that they had to open a new window for something they did not see the use for. If if had been integrated in Gmail, it would have been much more easier for non-geeks to take it up.

Another reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33149940)

I usually don't care one way or another about google, but the way they mishandled the "Buzz" roll-out convinced me I'd never want anything with them to do, other than for handling my de-coookied, de-scripted and de-trackered searches, and a few mailing list subscriptions. I'm sure I'm not alone, and when you manage to spread that feeling among those who should be among your primary adopters, you're pretty much screwed.

Invitation strategy. (4, Insightful)

SirGarlon (845873) | more than 3 years ago | (#33149948)

After a year, was there anyone who wanted to try out Wave who had not gotten an invite?

Yes. I would have downloaded it the first week if it weren't for that "invitation" gimmick. I had a specific use case in mind and a specific group of people to use it with, but I realized I probably couldn't get my collaborators (non-IT people) to watch the 1-hour video (hell I could not sit through all of that), and to try to explain to them "you need an invitation to download this" would have resulted in blank looks at best. I figured I'd just wait till Google did something to make adoption easier.

I could have probably networked and asked someone for an invitation, but that is rather missing the point that I don't feel I should have to beg for an invitation to try out Google's new software. If they had wanted me to try it, they could have, you know, tried not preventing me.

Not much of a loss (0, Redundant)

tiredoompa (1860384) | more than 3 years ago | (#33149956)

Cry me a river, Google.

Cool Technology with no practical use (1)

pdxaaron (777522) | more than 3 years ago | (#33149958)

When Google couldn't figure out a functional use for Wave, and kind of threw it out for the public to find a use for it, the writing was on the wall.

Real time typing... Awesome you get to watch people hunt and peck, correct spelling, rethink what they are writing, etc etc. Does any of that help their communication? No.

Drag and drop files. Useful, but no auto-verisioning / checkin checkout makes it no more useful than emailing the file.

Open to develop widgets. Awesome, now I can add 25 different choose your own adventure bots to add into your wave. Still widget writers can't find a functional use.

People talking about it being great for communication that needs to be more formal than IM, yet more real-time than email, and more dynamic than a wiki. So there is a use. How much of people's daily communication would fall into this category? I don't think the percentage of most people's daily communication that could fall into this category made it worth their time to learn wave.

New Technology with no practical application may be cool but it's not technology.

The main problem (2, Insightful)

Heshler (1191623) | more than 3 years ago | (#33149962)

Unintuitive editing. I tried it a few times, and kept ruining waves with new sections or comments that I couldn't delete, and I had trouble keeping things organized. If the product had been easier to learn without instruction manuals, I would be using it a lot, but as it stands I don't have the patience to learn it and get anyone I want to collaborate to learn it too. It was just too much effort.

Solution in search of a problem. (1)

VShael (62735) | more than 3 years ago | (#33149990)

I never ever understood what the point of Wave was. What was it supposed to do? How was it supposed to be used, in a way that would amuse me, or make my life better?

Not only did I not know, but none of the people I normally deal with over gmail knew either.

The Very Name (0)

camperdave (969942) | more than 3 years ago | (#33150002)

The very name "Wave" indicates something transitory in nature. I used to be with a cable broadband ISP called Wave until they were bought out by Shaw@Home. Also, in the 80s there was a one hit wonder band called "Katrina and the Waves"

collaboration (1)

Twillerror (536681) | more than 3 years ago | (#33150004)

Is a tough problem. Humans have only solved it in really one way....the meeting.

Sure we love to hate them, but more collaboration can happen in 15 minutes of face to face then in hours of email or some app like this.

Nothing gets done in a meeting, but I've always found that things get done after them. We all pray for the day when we can pop in and out of some app like this and come to conclusions, blah blah. Not going to happen.

I'd rather google make the best damn screen sharing app that every was. Meetings can be remote with a good speakerphone/mic+speakers and a good screen sharer. Any other tool is probably going to fall short. A shared desktop can do just about anything.

If you are all physically together with a desktop and a whiteboard even better.

What would be really cool is a real physical white board that could replicate over the wire. SmartBoards are getting there, but they typically use projectors and pressure sensors. I want to draw on a board with a real marker...and have the other side show it as pixels. Please someone put a bunch of big old LEDs side by side and make them drawable on...if they can magically erase the pen ink that would be great :) Where is all the damn nanotech.

Okay I've rambled enough.

Obvious (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#33150008)

After the initial swell of interest, it's usage fell into a trough and was never able to gain enough crest to break out into rolling acceptance.

Wave failed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33150014)

... not because of any of that, but because as an email client it sucked, as an instant messaging client it sucked, and as a collaborative editing tool, well, wikis are much better.

My 2 cents.

I've tried very hard to like it, as I absolutely believe that email, instant messaging, collaborative editing, etc. need to evolve. And I can totally see them converge. But wave just didn't do it.

My view (2, Insightful)

mordejai (702496) | more than 3 years ago | (#33150044)

Wave failed for basic marketing reasons. Essentially, it was impossible to explain Google's vision of Wave in an elevator. If, instead, they had marketed as "21st century email", it would have had a better chance (it still has). Also, they built an impressive platform that allowed essentially anything... and forgot to put in the basics (for example, an integrated, easy to use version of a mailing list) Marketing essentially to Google geeks only didn't help either. Did you see any promotion of Wave in Google sites? (like the one for Chrome in the hompage when using IE) Also, account type proliferation is BAD. I already have enough trouble explaining to people that they don't need a _Gmail_ account to use Google services, just a _Google_ account. Now we had these addresses that _looked like_ emails, but weren't. And you still required a google account to get one. In a nutshell, Google should have done what it did with Gmail: do one thing and do it right. Solve a pain point. Only AFTER that has taken off, reveal the whole amazing plataform that powers it.

And thus they fail because... (1)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | more than 3 years ago | (#33150048)

1) They couldn't explain what it was easily, and therefore couldn't sell it.
2) It solved problems that were already solved (Collaboration software! Gosh, how original!)
3) Interface was an afterthought, not the product's primary driver, as it MUST be for any consumer software product (Note. Repeat the word "Apple" three times before you flame).

Google is getting more Microsofty by the day, although Microsoft's MO is usually to solve problems you don't have in a way you can't use very easily (e.g. Azure) for big business so that the peons are forced to use it (and hate it) anyway.

Wasn't even an effective IM to start... (2, Interesting)

bradgoodman (964302) | more than 3 years ago | (#33150054)

I loved the idea and promise of Wave. I tried using it as a collaborative communication tool for my group - which was spread out across several buildings - and two continents.

The biggest problem was that it was more of a "message board" than an "instant messenger". The major failing was that it was indeed built into the web browser. It wasn't the type of IM that would give you a pop-up when someone said something. So for that, we used other IMs (Crappy Microsoft one, I think) - in my current company, we use Skype a lot.

No one had the discipline, temperate, or screen real estate to devote to wave - when what we really needed it for was occasional real-time conversations with a large dispersed group.

RPGs (1)

soupforare (542403) | more than 3 years ago | (#33150060)

I know people had been using wave with success for playing RPGs. It's a hell of a lot faster than PBEM, and more accessible for most than IRC. Other than that, it was a solution looking for a problem.

I agree. (1)

NoBozo99 (836289) | more than 3 years ago | (#33150086)

I was probably one of the first people to get an invite. The problem? I didn't know anyone else that was using wave, so I didn't have anyone to collaborate with! If they had made it something that was available to gmail users I would have had other people to interact with.

The other problem was that they brought it out too early.

Fantastic - Wave!! (1)

udippel (562132) | more than 3 years ago | (#33150094)

I really tried it out, followed the development, and found it absolutely phantastic! - Except of for me. Serious. I hope and wish it will come back; but not as an 'outside' thingy like Wave was; yet-another-comm-application. When I saw the movies on Youtube, I was sure, that the death knell of email was close. When I started using it, everything had to be set up from scratch. I couldn't just drag and drop all my mails, any mail, around the globe to any of my contacts. I am running a number of mail servers, and this thing, Wave, wouldn't work with them.
In a nutshell, I guess Wave was just premature, like many inventions. Leonardo and the helicopter spring into mind. Though I have my contacts, my archives of close to 100.00 mails, my servers; and hell freezes over before I start another system, empty, from scratch.

Keep trying Google, it's the right thing. Now it only needs to fully integrate, work, migrate.

smart phones killed wave (1)

alen (225700) | more than 3 years ago | (#33150102)

the idea behind wave was that kids would sit in front of a computer all day chatting. about the time it came out smart phones started to become popular and people use them more than PC's now.

then there were the usual Google mistakes

no trust. i'm not downloading and giving facebook passwords to some guy advertising a facebook plugin who's only a screen name
no links to outside social sites. just like buzz only pulled info from twitter made it worthless
hard to find people. i like google reader but it's a PITA to find people to follow. why can't google link it to facebook or twitter to scan for friends?

google makes some cool software but sometimes it seems like the combine apple's walled garden with the work of OCD kids. they code it to version .8 or barely 1.0. release it to the wild as open source and then forget about it and expect others to make it better. meanwhile the engineers who coded it have moved on to the next cool thing and don't want to work on it since it's old news. or lock it to only interact with google services where you can't find anyone else using it. and with google's management culture you will never get the engineers to revisit an old project unless it's a huge revenue opportunity.

A problem Wave uniquely solved (1)

uncadonna (85026) | more than 3 years ago | (#33150128)

I run a closed mailing list on a controversial topic (climate change) with a history of the opposing camp stealing and publishing private emails (that some of you may know about). Participants on the list are sophisticated about physical climatology and/or climate policy but have varying and sometimes low sophistication about computing. Almost certainly some of them spend some time getting email on compromised machines. We would like to be able to have private conversations among members of the list about projects and initiatives of various sorts. Some of these may be projects that people opposed to us who have demonstrated a lack of respect for privacy may be interested in spying on. The solution I came up with was to announce waves on the mailing list; google handles the security and shows who is subscribing to the message. It isn't perfect. If list member A is hacked they can subscribe to private conversation X. But we can see that A is participating, decide whether this is the sort of topic A would follow, and listen for comments of the sort A would make. If it's suspicious, direct contact to A would follow. And of course, we can up the security if we want to. But this level of security has suited us well. Forum technology can provide some amount of this but as far as I know doesn't show who's listening. I'm not sure if this sort of thing was a design criterion, but we could send an invite to the mailing list and members could see it. This was a major added convenience. This doesn't work that way on Google docs. I know of nothing comparable in any other communication platform. Does anyone? Nobody liked the Wave interface much, but we put up with it for its benefits in this direction. I'm sure that Wave would have been more successful in our group had there been more attention paid to design. This confirms what many people are already speculating. But still it offered us unique benefits that no other system provides. Some of the whiz-bang features have proven useful, but it was the security of knowing who was reading that provided the major advantage for us. I may need to code up such functionality myself if nobody can suggest an alternative.

Easy (1)

Yunzil (181064) | more than 3 years ago | (#33150138)

Nobody actually knew what it was.

Couldn't get an invite (1)

harmonise (1484057) | more than 3 years ago | (#33150240)

Wave failed for me because I couldn't get an invite and then promptly forgot about it. There's nothing like hyping something and then making sure it's not available to kill off a product.

why wave failed for me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33150254)

The staged roll-out did hurt slightly, it was hard to get traction early on when so few of my contacts were in Wave at all. But the biggest reason it failed for me was that the interface was so atrociously lethargic. The second reason it failed for me was that Wave lived in its own little island tab.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...