The telephone would eventually reach incredible usage rates and most people today could not imagine a world without the devices that are both a blessing and a curse in our lives. But what about those first few brave souls who bought into the technology and paid to have phones installed? Were they ahead of their time or just more gullible than most?
I’ve been thinking about this more lately as I signed up for and tried to use Google Wave. I’m talking, but no one can hear me — much like I suspect those first few telephone users felt. If Mr. Bell were on Wave, I can’t help but think his message would be, “Mr. Watson, I’m on Google Wave. Come here, I want you! Watson? Mr. Watson? Is anyone else even on this blasted thing?”
OK, so maybe that’s more how I’m feeling than Bell would. He’d probably find a way to make Wave useful, either with Google’s technology or by inventing his own. But for me, and for many others, it seems Wave is just a novelty at best and a flop at worst.
I’ve tried to make it useful. I’ve shared invites to get more people signed up. I’ve found people signed up and tried to start collaborative projects with them. Most failed to lead to anything more than collaborating on the idea that we should be collaborating.
I understand from his blog posts about it that Chris Brogan is probably one of the biggest power users of Wave, and he seems to like it. But the original premise of Wave somehow becoming an e-mail killer just isn’t materializing for most of us.
I have Gmail, Google Docs, Google Calendar and Google Buzz. I use them all. They seem to make sense — even Buzz, although it seems to puzzle a lot of people. My point is that with all the tremendous Google products that allow me to collaborate with others and to communicate effectively while managing my tasks efficiently,why do I need Google Wave?
Perhaps some day I’ll use Wave more. Until then, I’m considering just dumping it altogether. I still check in every day with it to see if anyone wants to collaborate with me. Unfortunately, I’m only hearing a dial tone. How about you?
(Image courtesy of Wikipedia.)