Google Wave- Was it a hype for nothing?

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The day Google announced that they will give Google Wave invites to a few selected users, the heads of many went spinning.? Obviously, by all account it kind of feels good to be among the chosen few by the mighty Google to test their new unknown product, whether good or bad.? Those who have access can send invites to others but for some time there was no certainty that the person you have sent an invite to would get it. ?The invite only caused an air of exclusivity which made many people to want Google Wave so bad to the level of begging for it. Some went? as far as getting to ebay to buy their invites.

One unique thing with Google Wave is that the frustration does not end with search for the invitation. Once you get the Wave, trying to understand it or learning what it is all about is like going back to school to learn a new course. ?Probably Google knew this and that could explain why they had to produce a big volume of tutorial for the users.

Although by look of it Google Wave has some cool features, the real downside is that it is too complex and I doubt if it will live? up to the billing “replace email”? as many had expected it to during its launch. ?At the the time when many people are contented to use Google talk, Gmail and others ?telling them to forget about that and take a whole weekend to learn about Google Wave is a tall order indeed.

Personally I got my Google Wave invite like two and a half months ago. To be sure, it did not come that easy, I had to put several requests through Twitter and Facebook for any of my friends who had it to send me an invite. On top of that I had to participate in a certain blog with pure intention of winning an invite from the blogger.? ?I do comment in several blogs and therefore this one was not a big deal but now ?looking back I am like what was that all about. ?Anyway, within that period I have been asking myself one question constantly ?now what next?? Yes I have the Wave and a number of my friends and other contacts within my account do have it too but ?since then I have got only two people trying to communicate to me through Google Wave. One of them responding to my test Wave and actually confessing that she rarely uses it. All the Waves I send go unanswered, ?enough evidence that nobody is using the Wave at all.

So got bored but I wanted to know from some of my friends why they are not using the Google Wave.? David Mugo of hostkenya.net had this to say:

It was a little too complex for the common user and wasn?t really appealing enough for me to try and give it the extra effort

Next I asked Collins Alegwa of Deloitte and he had an interesting perspective on the whole thing:

I do not know a lot of people that have accounts or even want it. I think for now gtalk does what most people want with wave anyway ? because it’s not like we work on one doc collaboratively

On the issue of whether the hype was for nothing:

It’s that thing of forbidden fruit – if you introduce a product and you make it invitation only, and you put up videos about it and you hype it, that invitation-only bit gives the product an air of exclusivity, and then obviously everyone’s gonna want it just to be identified as, you know, one of the [few] people on wave

Although Google Wave idea might fail in the end analysis but there is one big lesson here for the marketers. The idea of the selected few causes a lot of curiosity on the overall population and if well deployed could help sell anything even the most crappy product of all time.

By the way I still have 21 invites left, if you don?t have one, holla

Google Wave

Google Wave

What is your opinion on the topic?
Kennedy Kachwanya
Lead Blogger at Kachwanya.com
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Kennedy Kachwanya is a technology blogger interested in mobile phones both smart and dumb, mobile apps, mobile money, social media, startups ecosystem and digital Savannah. New media must not forget the strength of old tech.
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