You have reached the blog of Keith Elder. Thank you for visiting! Feel free to click the twitter icon to the right and follow me on twitter.

I Don’t Get The Hype – Google Wave is Discussion Forums Web 2.0

Posted by Keith Elder | Posted in Internet | Posted on 23-11-2009

I’ve been using Google Wave for several weeks now, and I just don’t get it.  All Google Wave appears to be is discussion forums Web 2.0’ified.  Oh, and then inverted.  What I mean by inverted is typically in a discussion forum you have to join in a discussion, usually by joining in on the site or whatever.  Think of it like at a party where some people are discussing topic X.  You want to participate so you walk over and join in.  With Wave, you are “pulled” over into the discussion (like an email forward). Both forums and wave have topics and then a bunch of threaded replies.  The horrible part of it all is making sense of where a user replies.  It is crazy hard to “follow” the discussion in Wave.  I used the term “discussion” there on purpose because that is all that is happening in Waves, I mean discussion forums, I mean Waves are people discussing something.

Someone could reply after a thread, but keeping track of what is read where is a nightmare.  Right now I’m calling Google Wave a “Wikussion”.  A hybrid of a Wiki and a discussion forum.  Basically there is nothing new here, just a twist on existing technologies.  If you haven’t seen Google Wave, here is a real live wave that is going on right now.  (Looks like a discussion forum to me too don’t worry).


Honestly, I don’t get it and I cannot see this killing email.  For starters how do I know I have a new wave to read? Email? Text? Check it constantly like Twitter or Facebook?  Sure to many people Wave is a new shiny toy but I’m looking for real world value. Right now I don’t see it.  Maybe things will change, but until it passes the “mother” test (which means my Mom is using it), this pretty much sums up Google Wave.


Maybe I’ll get to write one of those “I was wrong about Wave” blog posts down the road and I look forward to doing so if things change.  But right now I’m still waiting for the Tsunami to hit me.

Comments (2)

Sorry Michael, but it is not the same as knowing when you have new e-mail. When I get new e-mail and I am at work, Outlook puts up a fading little box in the corner of my screen. If I am not at my computer, I see the application go orange to draw my attention to it. Google wave doesn’t and can’t do those because Google are stuck in the browser and thus can’t give a rich experience. Google have tried to give a richer experience by forcing users to install Gears etc., but those are Kludges and will never give as rich an experience as a rich client.

Even if you did have to check your in-box to know if you have e-mail, it is just one place to check for messages. If you use Google Wave, you will have two places. I don’t have time to be continuously checking my Google Wave web site and that is why I stopped using it. Well, another reason that I stopped using it is because my friends stopped using it.

Wave is a new shiny toy but I’m looking for real world value

Write a comment