Huh. I was just beginning to explore Google Wave and now apparently it has already crashed on the lonely shore of Software User Indifference. But what will be the fate of Google Buzz? (Razib explores the question.)

At this time in my personal IT/Computer development Google Wave is the opposite of what I’ve been moving towards. I want documents that are plain text, marked up but preferably with minimal makrup. Google Wave scares me and annoys me and call me crazy but I’m not happy with a document that someone else can edit while I’m working on it. Not that there is not a place for such shenanigans, I just don’t see it replacing email and wikis for me. (In fact, wikis dont even replace wikis for me).

Check out Razib’s post for discussion on Buzz. The fact that it enhances/uses mail may be irrelevant to me because I scrape my email from gmail and read it with alpine, a text-based email client from the mid 20th century.


  1. #1 Jonas Huckestein
    February 11, 2010

    Hi Greg,

    IMHO Wave and Buzz address two very different problems and audiences.

    Wave targets Enterprise software like MS Exchange/Sharepoint. Keep in mind that Google has released it in a very early state of development so that coders could start building applications on top of it. That way in one or maybe two years there will be enough developers to feed the Wave Enterprise market.

    Buzz on the other hand clearly targets Twitter/Facebook and the consumer market.

    And lastly, but that’s very imho, at my startup we use Wave for just about everything :)

    Cheers, Jonas

  2. #2 Mike Haubrich, FCD
    February 11, 2010

    I think it is a move towards a facebook type of application, but may run into problems if it is limited to gmail users.

    I noticed that Yahoo is trying the same thing.

    I hear social networking is populare with the kids, and may replace rock and roll music as the Devil’s way of tempting them into sex and drugs.

  3. #3 MPL
    February 12, 2010

    You know, I’m struck by how simple most of the real successes in electronic communications have been, and how the complicated ones get all the press. The biggest successes—phones, TV, email, the web—are basically just pipes that take data from here and dump it there, and the basics are easy to pick up for most users.

    All of these things got complicated, but in a layered sort of way. Phones got phone menus and voice mail bolted on, email learned attachments, html. The web grew into an everything platform. SMS and Twitter are still growing.

    On the other hand, plenty of other systems start trying to do everything, and don’t get very far. Outlook has a horrible do-everything architecture, essentially what the web would have been, if it had been designed by Microsoft.

    Programmers and marketers (for different reasons) always want to make The Everything Software, that does everything you’d ever want. But I think both users and downstream developers want determinism even more. Nothing does everything, but I damn well want my stuff to do what is expected, and not to do things that aren’t expected. Privacy concerns are one example of people hating unpredictability: don’t share things I don’t expect you to share! Developers like predictable systems too: attachments, MIME, and html email are built on top of a text-only 7-bit ASCII architecture.

    (Sorry for the long comment, I didn’t have time to make it short)

  4. #4 marilove
    February 12, 2010

    My friends and I used Google Wave briefly, until we had to move on to something else due to its incessant crashing. We play Dungeon’s and Dragons and one of our players is hearing impaired (nearly completely deaf). We set up two laptops, with one of our players (who can hear and type well) translating the important bits of the game to our hearing impaired friend.

    Aside from the constant crashing, it worked rather well. Oh well.