Several weeks ago, I questioned whether tech geeks were out of touch with the rest of the world. From having no "real world" friends with Twitter accounts, to having family members who could care less about the tech over which I get excited, I pondered whether we tech geeks lived in a different reality. One example of the type of tech that only tech geeks might love is Google Wave. Wave is Google’s next generation e-mail/instant messaging/collaboration/social media tool. As the Google Operating System blog explains, a "wave is equal parts conversation and document, where people can communicate and work together with richly formatted text, photos, videos, maps, and more." For a thorough explanation of Wave, check out Mashable’s Complete Guide to Google Wave. But is Wave something only a tech geek could love?
Photo by jmayer1129. Google has not released Wave to the public yet, so the answer to this question is open to some speculation. But based upon the information that HAS been released, I don’t think Wave will be limited to just us tech geeks. I see three groups of people that will use Wave:
1. The tech savvy
I don’t need to expand upon this. You can admit it – Google Wave will be new and shiny, and you’re already looking forward to trying it out and using it, if you haven’t been fortunate enough to sample it yet.
2. Businesses that rely upon collaboration
Perhaps businesses won’t flock to it immediately, but the lure of Wave will be hard to resist. Need to collaborate on that document or mark up that proposal? Do it in real time with Wave. Since Wave will be Open Source, network admins need not worry about sharing confidential information outside of a network. Businesses can run Wave on their own servers, without transmitting any information to Google.
3. Social users
With so many types of information able to be shared on Wave, it is hard to see Wave not being used as a social media tool. Think of how we’ve moved from e-mail, to instant messaging, to texting, to Twittering. It’s not hard to imagine social users gravitating towards Wave as the "next big thing." If I were the CEO of one of the currently popular social media sites, I’d be casting a wary eye towards Wave. Google Wave might not gain massive acceptance and use initially, but over time it is hard to imagine it being limited to just a niche audience, given that it has the power of Google behind it. If it does gain widespread acceptance, I think that these three user bases will lead the way. How about you? Can you think of other types of users that will embrace Wave? Or am I wrong, and Wave will be used only by us Tech geeks?