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Google's Wave rolls out
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oogle Wave “may be the hottest ticket in cyberspace,” said Alexei Oreskovic in Reuters. Starting today, Google is inviting 100,000 people to start using its real-time “hybrid messaging-social networking-online collaboration tool.” If Twitter is any indication, lots of people are “pleading for an invitation” to be a Wave tester. Google, of course, is well aware that “scarcity is a powerful marketing tool (remember the prized Gmail invitations a few years ago?)”

In fact, Wave is a bit like Gmail, said Michael Calore in Webmonkey, with a bit of Twitter, Facebook, and as-you-type instant messaging thrown in. That’s the beauty of Wave: It fairly successfully “marries” all the online collaboration and communication tools you use and puts them in one browser window. Wave is “still quite buggy,” though, so most people will have to wait until 2010.

Even with the kinks ironed out, “I’m still not entirely sure that it will take off,” said Rory Cellan-Jones in BBC News. Is there really a “critical mass of users” looking for “e-mail and instant messaging on steroids”? Without collaborators, after all, Wave is pretty useless. It’s easy to forget that “not every Google product is a winner—for every Gmail, there’s a Google Answers languishing in the outer reaches of cyberspace.”

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