Blogs, sites, social networks, profiles, waves, channels… the level of content I consume, create and comment upon can sometimes feel incredibly overwhelming. Many things compete for my attention every day (including projects for my clients… and they have a built-in advantage in the attention-grabbing realm since their completion fuels my ability to pay attention to ANYTHING else.
Recently, I saw some conversation on Twitter about a Google Wave invite which reminded me I hadn’t logged into Wave in awhile. I made a mental note that I needed to do that… and finally did, three days later. I discovered it had been 7 weeks (since mid-October) since I’d “waved.”
OK, so life has gone on. Babies have been born (though thankfully no more in my house), business has proceeded. But there were two conversations/waves that ended in questions to me. Questions that had been waiting 7 long weeks for an answer. Ouch. Hate that… they were just hanging out there, lonely and useless… kind of like a single shoe without a mate. And that, for me, sums up my Wave experience to date. Without a mechanism to tell me something has happened, activity has occurred, SOMEONE WANTS MY ATTENTION, Wave feels like one half of a really great pair of shoes. Love the look, stylish, classy, hip! Feels great on… can see myself wearing them out and about… Goes with most anything… nearly perfect pair of shoes. Except I only have one of them.
My “new shoe” looks great, but without the mate of notification functionality it’s not very practical to actually wear (use). In the hyper-connected world that I live and work within, a better way to connect holds much promise and a definite allure. But I think Wave will never be the medium of choice unless it finds a way to successfully draw attention to what is happening in a user’s personal universe in real-time. Most social-media thinkers I know (I use the term loosely, I know them through social media) agree, as do I, that the channels in social media will change and evolve. The expectation of real-time availability, connectivity and interactivity between people, brands, information and applications will not change… only grow.
Wave feels like it is missing this key component for any new connectivity channel. If it’s me missing something… tell me what you think! Oh, and I have invites… if you want to test-drive it yourself, let me know in the comments.