Google has announced the latest casualties in the company’s ongoing push to phase out operations that don’t provide ‘opportunities’. Among those being shut down are would-be Wikipedia rival Knol and, as expected, Google Wave.
The decision to shut Google Wave comes after a few years of development that have failed to really turn the collaboration tool into anything truly popular. As someone who considers himself to be reasonably tech-savvy, I have to say I still don’t entirely see the point of Wave. I suspect it’s more useful than I realise, and that its usefulness has just been hidden. Anyway, Wave will become read-only in January and will be shut entirely in April.
Google is also taking the axe to Knol, which was supposed to allow people to come together to create authoritative articles. While shutting Knol, Google is also launching a new service, the WordPress-based Annotum, a kind of open access journal with NLM XML import/export. It’s interesting that Google has launched this via WordPress rather than its own Blogger system.