TEXT OF COMMENTARY
TESS VIGELAND: This week, in its latest attempt to be included in every part of our waking lives, Google rolled out it’s next big idea. It’s called Google Wave, dude. The search-engine giant is billing Wave as a personal communication and collaboration tool.
Only, as commentator John Moe tells us, not everyone gets to ride this Wave.
John Moe: Dear Google,
Can you see me? I’m waving at you. Will you Wave back? This week, you sent out the first batch of invitations to join your new service, Google Wave. They went to your closest friends. Apparently, I’m not among your closest friends. And those friends were granted invites to share with their friends. And then the online mania began. Invites were showing up on eBay with bids near $160, and over something intangible.
It’s not like when the new PlayStation comes out and manufacturing can’t keep up with demand and everything slows down. You invented this scarcity, Google, so we would want to be a part of Wave. Well, it worked.
Google Wave, according to you, is what e-mail would look like if it were imagined today. It would integrate all the ways I connect with people electronically — e-mail, social media, instant messaging, wikis — all in one giant command center on a browser on my computer. The communication tool of tomorrow! So what does that mean?
I wish I knew. I’ve read countless articles about it, watched an hour-long presentation by your developers. I’ve devoted myself to understanding you. And I still don’t know really how Wave works or what it does. Maybe it’s a completely useless solution to a problem we don’t have. I still want in.
Now, late last night, I got an e-mail from my friend Julio and he has an extra invite. It might take a few days, but he thinks he can pass my name along to you guys and have it work. So you don’t love me, but Julio said I can tag along to your party. OK, I said. Because even though you hurt me, Google, and shunned me, maybe Wave is really fantastic, more than just hype. The next Google Search instead of the next Google most-of-the-other-things-you-make.
And if not, if Wave is just some big dumb flop, I want to be a part of it anyway.
OK. Keep in touch. Call. Or just Wave.
Vigeland: John Moe is a producer for American Public Media.
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