I’ve been a pretty big believer in moving services to the cloud, and moving to Google wherever possible. I always figured that their reliability was always going to be greater than mine, and whenever something had a service outage, people generally tend to react more favorably to “It’s a Google problem” than “the server is down.”
Today’s news that Google Wave will no longer be developed came as a bit of a surprise, but also wasn’t completely unexpected. The service didn’t quite pan out (in my opinion, it was because it was never really explained and very difficult for a novice user to get into) and they decided to pull the plug. Makes perfect sense. But I spent at least a little time trying to get my faculty to buy into the idea that maybe we could transfer some of our information-disseminating meetings to Wave, and then tried to get them all to play along with dissecting the finale of LOST in a Wave. I even won a Google mousepad by sitting in on a Wave session at ISTE2010!
So much for that.
I suppose that a lot of the features in cancelled Google projects — aside from Wave, Notebook and Etherpad come to mind — get rolled into Google Docs, but it’s hard enough getting people to adopt new tools without then having to worry about how long the service (and my data) will be available.
So what to do? I’m personally making sure that cloud services that I use also post to sites and resources that I have control over — this Posterous blog, for example, auto-posts to my self-hosted blog. I suppose I could also try out Anthologize to further safeguard my blog. Most of my Flickr photos are also on my computer. I’m not advocating ditching cloud services, but if Google is willing to freely pull the plug on things, others are, too.