Remember Google Wave, the collaborative workspace tool pushed by Google a few years back that (like most of the search behemoth’s social products) never really got traction? By the last death knell of Wave, Google was so over it that the email they sent out announcing that it would be shut down even misspelled the name of the product as “Google Wage.” Yikes.
Despite Wave’s lack of appeal as a commercial product, it did have some enthusiastic fans. It was one of those things where you either detested it or wouldn’t shut up about it. Admittedly, this reporter forced her entire blog staff in college to employ Wave as a productivity tool, much to the chagrin of the majority of staffers who oddly preferred frenzied Gchat messages and group emails. But it seems like we aren’t alone in our passion for Wave–in fact, our love for the product is small potatoes compared to the team at Rizzoma, who were literally so depressed by Wave’s closure that they moved to the Ukraine for two months to build an alternative.
“Our team loved the Wave. We’ve used it in our business and just for fun conversations. There was no way we could go back to email,” wrote Rizzoma UX visioner Daniil Kravtsov in an email to Betabeat. “When Google decided to shut the project down we had only one true way — to resurrect the great idea and continue its development.”
From mid-July to September 2011, the Rizzoma team worked, lived and hacked from Odessa, Ukraine on an online collaboration tool that could mirror the functionality of the Google product they missed so much. The result is a stylized real-time collaboration platform that offers many of the same features that Wave did, including real-time editing, polls and full-text search.
Mr. Kravtsov told us that Rizzoma has 3,000 active users and counting. “Will the earthlings treasure the [Wave] idea this time?” he asked. We’re not sure, but a Wave clone seemed too amusing to ignore.