Intersecting Minds: Education, Business and Technology at the North Carolina State Jenkins Graduate School of Management

Google Wave | October 12, 2009

Last week Google rolled out their highly anticipated communication tool, Google Wave. In short, the service is designed to revolutionize how we interact with each other online. TechCrunch is all over the story. Key graphs:

The Wall Street Journal has a long article about this today, noting “The End of the Email Era.” But most of that article is spent focusing on how Twitter and Facebook, which is to say, status updates and the streams, are replacing our need for much of what email has provided in the past. Only very briefly do they mention Wave. And I think that overlooks something…

I think we want the option to communicate in real-time at will, but also the ability to communicate at our leisure at times. I would consider this to be a desire for a “passive-agressive” method of communication.

The whole article is really worth a read for its look at the evolution of online communication and what role Google Wave might play in that process. I really believe that this could have a major impact on how corporations deal with internal communication. There’s simply too much information to be absorbed passively (via e-mail), especially because more and more people are managing cross-functionally. Receiving quick notes from multiple business units can easily lead to information overload, especially as the e-mails pile up. It becomes very difficult to distinguish between what’s important and what’s not.

Business moves so quickly now that effective managers need to have the flexibility to answer problems actively or passively, as necessary. Imagine if you, as a manager, had the ability to sort through what needed to be addressed and what could be put on the shelf in one screen. Once Google works out the kinks in Wave, I could see many companies adopting it.

For the time being though, Google has only invited 100,000 users to try Wave. In order to get access, we have to wait for one of the original invitees to invite us. Consequently, #GoogleWave and #GoogleWaveInvite are now huge trending topics on Twitter as people clamor to get their invite.

And as an avid online communicator, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t getting a little caught up in the hype. If anyone out there is already using Wave, please let me know because I would love an invite.


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