Much Hyped Google Wave is here, but where are the surfers?


Google Wave – The term has been trending on twitter for quite some time now. Twitter trends have become symbolic with what’s hot and what people world over (specifically on the Internet) are constantly talking about.


Generally, if anything has the name ‘Google’ in it, it is bound to create a buzz and a positive one at that. What is surprising with ‘Google Wave’ as a trend is the very definition of how the trend has been defined?

“Google sent out a limited number of invitations to their new communication/collaboration tool, and people are RTing jokes about the scarcity of the invites or just begging for one.”  (twitter )

It is now a well known fact, that Google Wave is being pushed as the next big thing on the Internet which can provide all your online needs at one place, especially when it comes to Social Networking. I have been at the so called ‘lucky’ to have received a Google Wave invite to play around with and unlike many, I was really impressed even with the limited edition beta version.

The interface is neat and easy to use. With some features in the pipeline, it can serve as an amazing content sharing as well as a content aggregator tool.

But from what I gather , one of the strongest premise on which Google Wave has been built is to integrate and aggregate the online user’s social media/network needs.

And here is where Google has lost it IMHO. With invitations limited and restricted, the social part of the WAVE is not getting met.

Google has always utilized the limited invite tactic quite well till now to generate the right kind of buzz.  Eg: Gmail. The simplicity of Gmail with a ‘Only By Invitation’ made Gmail the must have when it was launched.

But, with Google Wave the onus had to be on making everyone connect fast and explore the intricacies of WAVE. But, then even with the power users gaining their Google Wave invite, they are not able to do much with very limited contacts in their contact menu.

Until and unless there is a healthy network of people in your WAVE account, there isn’t much of ‘Social’ angle to it.

Like so many people, I was all crazy to get my hands on the high WAVE that is Google, but when I did get it, I am now figuring out what to do with it with hardly 8 people in my Contact list.

How can anyone expect to run a closed/beta version of communication/collaboration tool?

As @maheshmurthy aptly put it,

Google Wave Catch-22: to function, it needs to spread fast in workgroups. But they’re scrounging on invites, so it won’t

What are your thoughts on the ‘Invite’ only strategy of Google Wave. Is it generating the right kind of Buzz or it is backfiring?

[This post has been written by Ankit Agarwal, an ERP Consultant by profession, a wannabe entrepreneur and stock market stalker by passion]

  1. Search Engine Queen says

    I got the wave invite and tried it. But didn’t managed to judge that for what specifically it is meant for… :P

  2. SEO Mantra says

    I am kinda skeptical about immediate success of Wave, apart from the “cutting edge” community…Gmail had a BIG plus that it offered a HUGE amount of storage space…was a genuine problem solver…wave is more like a solution in search of a problem!

  3. Ankit says

    @prateek u had me ROFL’ng by including the ‘Strategy’ and i think u know why considering i hv been a regular at ur blog for sometime:D

    Jokes apart, yes indeed.Viral marketing is something google has always relied on.And frankly, they have always gotten by it and gotten by real good.

    But, the whole point here is that it is a communication/collaboration tool.So, how do they expect to make #wave sticky when the user has limited features to work and even more limited users to share it with.
    Moreover, I swear by google products for their shear simplicity and ease and the ‘Help’ they provide.With wave even though, it is in early stages, they haven’t done a lot on the ‘Help’ front. The so called Dr.Wave has failed to impress me.

    BTW , I would have loved to give an invite if i had one!!
    Wish u ride the wave soon and hopefully add ur views here again

  4. Prats says

    I think it is a good strategy from the marketing standpoint. Google doesn’t invests too much into the marketing of products and relies on the “Oomph” Factor of the product to create user generated marketing.

    So the way I see it, through Google Wave and holding invites they are trying to create a have and have not kind of discussion. I know everyone in my Gtalk list and twitter friends who have Google Wave and I don’t.
    I don’t know what is it about, I have just seen some people tweeting from it in terms of utility. I have read about it and I know the moment someone gives me and invite I will subscribe immediately.

    So if we see it Google is investing on Viral Marketing through negative cash flows by delaying the growth phase of a new product.

    I am sure it would ride the wave once the new round of invites are issued.

  5. Ankit says

    lol…even i had this probelm..

    Try with the gmail id u signed in with.. it should be the same fr wave too:)

  6. Ankit says

    Hey Arun,

    Dint know u were on wave too!!

    add me at [email protected] :)

    1. Arun Prabhudesai says

      WTF…what is my wave ID…dont even know that… sounds ridiculous but true..spent 20 mins…seeing wave and did nothing..too early I guess..

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