Google rolled out, or at least talked about Google Wave today - what might be the basis for their next generation email and chat platform. See that kaleidoscope to the left for a visual. Yuck.
The idea as I've been reading it is to merge all forms of online communication into one very busy, noisy screen which is sure to drive me crazy.
I like email better than phones. You can send me a message and I get to answer when I want. I use IM and texting but don't want to be tethered to them, especially IM. Maybe not especially IM since I leave my phone in my car on purpose, often.
On top of that, I often don't log into IM when I'm online - like right now. No offense but I'm trying to do 4 things at once already. I don't need you hitting me up. My IM is kind of like my cell - I'm not logged into IM right now and I wouldn't answer my cell if it rang right now.
Gmail already has built in chat so if someone has my email address, they can ping me or bink me or whatever, whenever they want. I'm not a fan of where this is going.