When I woke up this morning and caught up on all of my e-news in the tech sector, I could not believe my eyes. Google is stopping development of Wave immediately, although they claim it will continue to be part of other Google projects. My company is not the size of Google, and most likely, yours is not either. So while there may be other big picture company and political reasons for this move that I will never know of, I selfishly think about how much I have been employing social collaboration in everything I promote as a VP of Product and Technology. When asked to speak to companies about the future of process and BPM, I evangelize that if you are not thinking social collaboration, then your eyes are not looking at the right horizon.
It is a valid argument that social collaboration tools are still in a place of purgatory (caught been being a vital technology for younger people and an “IT outcast” in the technology portfolios of older CIOs). But despite the lack of immediate traction of social technologies in the workspace, it is inevitable that social will be part of everyone’s IT stack. Alexander Wolfe compares this to how the iPhone is now part and parcel with how all of us conduct business daily.
I understand that with every new technological wave, it is often commonplace that the early tide breakers serve the purposes of clearing the proverbial path, so that the rest of the market can forge ahead. But in my opinion, Google Wave had more of a chance to be part of a corporate social strategy than FaceBook and Twitter does today. To me, it had more relevance for conducting productive project work and bringing together dynamic work teams (compared to simply finding out through other social techs that someone is going on a trip to Spain).
I will not stop preaching social to my customers and partners….nor will I stop employing it as part of my BPM solutions. But I will definitely spend the weekend rethinking my social “sermon” to ensure I am focusing on the core concepts of social and less on any one specific social technology (in the case that another social technology falls to the wayside).
VP Product and Technology