Thursday, August 05, 2010

Waving goodbye to Wave

Google recently announced that it was abandoning Wave, a multimedia social media collaboration tool. I'm sorry about this, as I thought it had great potential. That being said, I never used it, so perhaps I was typical. Pete Cashmere writes on CNN Tech:

Wave was perhaps the prototypical Google product: Technically advanced, incredibly ambitious and near-impossible to use.

Its demise is the canary in the coal mine for Google's social networking plans: Facebook is destined to build the Web's next wave, as Google continues to tread water.

Meanwhile, let's take a look at what is going on at Facebook and elsewhere, courtesy of EduDemic. I offer #6 (regarding Facebook) and #10 (regarding Twitter) especially for those hospitals and other companies who choose to block these media on their servers, in the hope they will consider how fruitless that is.

1. The average Facebook user has 130 friends.
2. More than 25 billion pieces of content (web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photo albums, etc.) is shared each month.
3. Over 300,000 users helped translate the site through the translations application.
4. More than 150 million people engage with Facebook on external websites every month.
5. Two-thirds of comScore’s U.S. Top 100 websites and half of comScore’s Global Top 100 websites have integrated with Facebook.
6. There are more than 100 million active users currently accessing Facebook through their mobile devices.

Over at Twitter:

1. Twitter’s web platform only accounts for a quarter of its users – 75% use third-party apps.
2. Twitter gets more than 300,000 new users every day.
3. There are currently 110 million users of Twitter’s services.
4. Twitter receives 180 million unique visits each month.
5. There are more than 600 million searches on Twitter every day.
6. Twitter started as a simple SMS-text service.
7. Over 60% of Twitter use is outside the U.S.
8. There are more than 50,000 third-party apps for Twitter.
9. Twitter has donated access to all of its tweets to the Library of Congress for research and preservation.
10. More than a third of users access Twitter via their mobile phone.


e-Patient Dave said...

Agreed about Wave. I'm a relatively gadgety guy, and when I can't figure out what something's even supposed to do, much less why anyone would want to do it, it generally too obtuse for any substantial market.

Anyway: Om Malik wrote an articulate existential post on his GigaOm blog about whether Google has in its being to be social. Well worth a read - as is the delightful Adam Rifkin piece he links to about pandas vs lobsters.

Unknown said...

Two Comments:
1. I have used GoogleWave in the past, but only in specific instances, such as at large meetings where quick yet silent communication on several issues is important. It's also a great way to communicate behind the scenes on a phone conference as you can chat with one of the other people and also simultaneously edit documents or notes you may be taking. I don't think it would ever catch on as a replacement for email, but I'm really quite sad to see Wave go.
2. As far as hospitals blocking Facebook, Twitter, etc. I do think it's a good idea, although annoying (as someone who works in a hospital). I can only imagine being at a hospital visiting a family member, and having a nurse or physician tell me they were going to get some kind of test result, only to find them on the computer checking Facebook. They could very well be on hold with the lab or radiologist or whomever, but just walking by and catching a glimpse of Facebook would cause me a great deal of anger and distress. Plus not using the computers for such things opens them up for those who need to look up medical information such as records or using UpToDate. I think this is especially important in teaching hospitals because what medical student would ask a physician to stop checking Facebook so she could look up the appropriate dosing of a drug or its side effects. It just would not happen. I don't mind if people check such sites on their phones, however, because it is less visible to patients and visitors, and doesn't use up computer space.

Anonymous said...

From Facebook:

Doc Emer: Too much hype when it started. It was good while it lasted. It could have worked.... oh, well...perhaps in another lifetime.


Timing is everything in tech product. It really is like catching a wave. Too early and you paddle like hell then drown. Too late, you're watching the winner ride the wave in. Too late and you're up against first mover advantage.

Now I've seen some of the Google positions on social networking, and I think they've got some real potential. The key when faced with first mover advantage is to find the potential that the first mover has missed, or is poorly positioned to exploit. Google certainly has the sophistication to do this, but it's complicated by social networking being a network business. You wouldn't buy a better phone if the price was that you couldn't call all the people you wanted.

So we'll see. I wouldn't count Google out of the game just because they have failed. Accepting failure is the secret success in the Internet Age. Fail early and often, then move on with any valuable IP rather than stubbornly pouring time into dead projects.

erock8 said...

Excellent article and support data. Much needed to move the dial in a traditional industry and pursuade hospitals to embrace social marketing. Thank you.