We have one question for you right off the bat- how many of you are still using Google Wave or Google Buzz? Have both services flopped? Back in August, we wrote about 3 reasons why Wave wouldn’t flop. Has it? What about Buzz?
My personal take on Buzz and Wave is that Buzz is a flop, and is useless in its current form, while Wave is useful, but for limited purposes. Read on, though, for how Google can save both services from irrelevancy.
Photo by lotospin.
Is that the sound of crickets chirping in Wave and Buzz? I have no use for Buzz, as I have no "real life" friends using it. Even if I did, they would get drowned out by users with many followers, since Buzz floats an item to the top every time someone comments on it. I find Wave to be somewhat useful, but only because I write for this blog and use it to collaborate on some matters.
Am I the typical user? Could Buzz and Wave be headed the way of other products that Google has abandoned? It might seem odd to write about the death of products that are so young. Wave, after all, is still in what Google is calling a "preview" stage, and Buzz was only released in February.
It may be early, but Google needs to take some steps to capture the minds and hearts of users. How can it do so?
Google Needs to Merge Buzz and Wave
Google needs to merge Buzz and Wave into one product – BuzzWave (or whatever Google would call it). Yes, they serve different purposes, with Wave being more of a collaboration tool, and Buzz serving as a discussion platform. As it is, though, users already have too many islands to which they must row, in order to participate online. Merging them would make it easier for users of both to participate, and remove any dilution of the services. It isn’t too hard, either, to envision how the two services could be melded into the Mother of All Tools:
- When a user posts a buzzwave, Google could allow the user to mark it as editable by others, or not editable. If the former, it would work much like a Wave currently works. If the latter, it would be similar to Buzz.
- A BuzzWave entry then would need to be clearly marked as collaborative or not.
- Google could combine the best features of each – the collaborative features of Wave (when needed), along with the discussion-spurring goodness of Buzz.
- This new BuzzWave would need a basic interface, so as not to drive away casual users.
- Advanced features still should be available under the hood, for those who want to dig deeper.
- BuzzWave would need to present users with an easy method of inviting friends to participate in a particular discussion/collaboration.
Would changes like this spur you to use "Buzzwave" (or whatever Google would call it)? How else could Google save these two services?