Wednesday, I wrote about the potential for Google Wave to end up all wet if the rollout isn’t handled well:
An analyst friend of mine, with a less technical background, recently got an invite. He was pretty optimistic about Wave’s potential, but admitted that, as of now, his team had been able to do very little with the offering. There just wasn’t much there for the average end user yet, and if early users are turned off by being prompted by a blank canvas, it won’t matter how great that canvas really is because the word of mouth will be negative.
Well, tech blogger Robert Scoble has now kicked off the discontent with a scathing blog post that rather than replacing e-mail, IM and meetings, Google Wave gathers the worst elements of each:
… it’s a productivity sink if you are trying to just communicate with other people.
It also ignores the productivity gains that we’ve gotten from RSS feeds, Twitter, and FriendFeed.
What do I mean by that?
It is noisy, but the noise often happens way down in a wave deep in your inbox.
This is far far worse than email. (New email always shows up at the top of my inbox, where Google Wave can bring me new stuff deep down at the bottom of my inbox).
It’s far far worse than Twitter (where new stuff ALWAYS shows up at top). It’s even far worse than FriendFeed, which my friends always said was too noisy. At least there when you write a comment on an item it pops to the top of the page.
And, worse, when I look at my Google Wave page I see dozens of people all typing to me in real time. I don’t know where to look and keeping up with this real time noise is less like email, which is like tennis (hit one ball at a time) and more like dodging a machine gun of tennis balls. Much more mentally challenging.
Ouch. But Google’s Android faced early criticism too, and now (thanks in part to the developer community behind it) has won over many former critics. Google Wave’s handler just need to figure out the best way to manage the hype cycle before the service goes belly up due to criticisms like Scoble’s.