Google’s Wave: All things to all users?

It’s most often called a communication and collaboration tool. Google says it’s email if it were invented today, the Christian Science Monitor reports. The Wall Street Journal says “it blends elements of email, wikis, instant messaging and social networking.” Computerworld zooms in on the social-networking part and cites the view of one analyst saying it will present Facebook with serious competition. Computerworld exhibits both predictable skepticism and realism where it says that Wave will be dealing with the “problem of ‘good enough’…. People think whatever network they’re using now is good enough so why bother switching and making sure all their friends and family members switch, as well?” Why realism? Social Web users tend to add tools more than switch to them for the very reason that, if all their friends are in one service (such as MySpace or Facebook), they’re unlikely to leave – it’s hard to get all your friends and relatives to move on en masse.

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