About a year after its introduction, Google Wave is washing out.
"...Wave has not seen the user adoption we would have liked. We don’t plan to continue developing Wave as a standalone product, but we will maintain the site at least through the end of the year and extend the technology for use in other Google projects." -Official Google Blog 8/04/2010
Google Wave introduced exciting in-browser possibilities including drag and drop file sharing between desktop and browser, really-real time sharing (to the point of character by character type), playback features, along with countless robots to better enhance and expand Wave's performance.
Personally, I was incredibly excited about the steps forward Google was making with their in-browser technology. Wave seemed to be the next step in synchronous digital communications. However, my optimism was capped by my experience with Pownce about a year and a half ago.
Pownce was a social networking/micro-blogging platform that ran publicly for about a year. Like many other, I fell in love with the Pownce interface and joined the strongest digital social network I have ever been a part of. When Pownce shut down in December 2008 the digital space for this social network was lost. As a group, we have looked for a new space, but have not yet found an interface that catches our attention and hearts.
After my experience with Pownce, I approached Google Wave with hesitation. While excited about the possibilities, I worried about Wave reaching a critical mass. Unfortunately, I guess I was right about this one. I would have loved to see what Wave could have done with a critical number of engaged users.
But I'm still encouraged in what is to come. The good people at Google have all the pieces for some of the most exciting in-browser applications I've ever seen. I look forward to see where they go next.