Google is getting ready to roll out Google Wave, and while it is unlikely that I’ll get an invite, I can still be remarkably interested in what could be a product that will solve some of the problems that I see in how to develop smaller communities of interests around colleges, friends, and others that are a more private and inviting environment than what currently exists as an option for people.
Since there will be a larger social networking component to this, it would be great if you could use Google Wave to sequester information based on who people are. A perfect example of this would be if I am looking for a job, or something else, I can keep that request from my co-workers and my boss, as noted over here on “Top 10 Reasons not to Friend your Boss” written yesterday.
Social networks are too randomized; we combine private with personal with public information into a big mash up on Facebook, MySpace and other social sites. There are a ton of things I now know that I didn’t really want to know. Being able to assign people to a framework that will allow better control over the information would be the biggest thing that Google Wave could bring to the street, and to people. That is really the reason why I want to play with it, and why I want to get my hands on it, how to segregate information into interest loops of public, private and personal. Any product that can bring that to market as a bolt on, or an addition to would truly see a huge bump in people using the system.
Of course, the problem to all this is going to be how the information is going to be used by the social networks themselves. Facebook has already had privacy issues, MySpace nearly had a melt down over the predator issues, and Google is Famous for Section 11 of its Terms of Service. Google has had to capitulate on Google Chrome and Section 11 of its terms of service once before. Google wave is most likely going to need similar changes if not a complete rewrite of the TOS.
This is what is going to make the system interesting, if anyone who gets one of those beta invites, if you want to throw one my way that would be awesome. I really want to take this system out for a spin.