For a couple of months in 2009 Google Wave was really hot. Almost like Gmail in 2004. People were begging for invites. Apparently this is now over. Visits – at least in the US – have dropped significantly. I expect in other countries the picture will be similar.
Me personally, I think the service follows a great idea. It wants to make communication more realtime and collaborative. It brings together Mail, IM, collaboration and even docs and such. But that might be where it goes wrong. Google Wave tries to bundle a lot of use case in one product.I just don’t see the one beneficial use case yet. I tried working/collaborating on a wave with 2 to far more than 50 people. The more people the bigger the mess. There is too much noise. If you are stressed using Twitter, Google Wave will freak you out.
I am hopeful that Google will find a use case for Google Wave. Then it might even replace basecamp for our internal collaboration. Until then we stick with what works.
Even in a small team like ours I have found that it takes quite some time to introduce new products and use them efficiently. Socialcast – our great collaboration/communication tool – is a good example for that. It took us 2-3 months to put it to good use. People needed to get used to integrating it in their daily work routine. Every new product introduction will take the same effort. Change is a process not an event.