Several months ago, Google released Google Wave, which was described as the next big thing in online communication. An online collaboration tool, it was heralded by techno-pundits as a replacement for email, instant messaging and social networking. Even Google hinted that the current mix of technologies that people use for online communication (email, instant messaging and social networking) is outdated and ready for a new paradigm.
This was just another example of the tired “email is dead” meme. Those of us who work in the email world know the truth – that email is alive and thriving as the primary communication medium for almost everyone in today’s connected world.
Interestingly, a few days ago, Google announced that they were adding email notifications to Wave. So the tool that was supposed to replace email is now relying on it to keep people engaged. This sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Facebook relies on email notifications too. In fact, they are one of the largest senders of email. Twitter does it too.
Don’t get me wrong. Google Wave is an amazing tool and a great innovation by those crafty engineers at Google. It may very well change the online communication space and revolutionize the way people talk, collaborate and share information. But will it replace email? Not anytime soon.