Editor's Note: Ming Yong is co-founder of Socialwok, a a feed-based group collaboration application for enterprises that integrates with Google Apps. With Socialwok, Google Apps users can create their own private social network to share Google Docs, Calendars and Spreadsheets in feeds for their domains. Ming and his team built Socialwok on Google App Engine for Java, Google Web Toolkit and Google GData APIs.

James Hollow is President of Alien-Eye, a rapidly growing creative marketing agency based in Tokyo and a Socialwok customer. Depending on the project, Alien-Eye works with a network of production partners outside the company and thus a lot of Alien-Eye projects depend on successful collaboration between different distributed small teams.

Thanks to Ming and James for sharing their story.

Ming Yong:
My colleagues and I are big fans of social networking sites and of Google Apps – we use the social feed to keep connected with all our friends around the world and Google Apps as our messaging and collaboration platform. However, we wanted to be able to share information across Google Apps in a more detailed way. So we created Socialwok (http://socialwok.com) to bring enterprise feed-based sharing to the Google Apps platform.

We launched Socialwok for Google Apps in September 2009 at
Techcrunch 50, where we won the Techcrunch demopit award. Since then, more than 4,000 organizations have signed up for Socialwok. We would like to share with you the story of one such organization, Alien-Eye.

Alien-Eye staff in Tokyo, using Socialwok

James Hollow:
Socialwok has really helped our teams collaborate on projects. Its feed-based group collaboration format is really intuitive, and is a great way to keep track of the conversations around any project or initiative. We create feeds to keep track of all our projects. Members of the Alien-Eye team working on different aspects of the project can post status updates on what they have done, share media files and different Google Apps like Google Docs and Google Calendar.

Given the large number of projects at Alien-Eye, we have many Google Docs as well as media files. Often, it can be very difficult to stay organized and get access to the necessary information. Socialwok's consolidated enterprise keyword search is incredibly handy; all the content on our Alien-Eye social network is indexed and the results are presented split by category. Socialwok even indexes across the different Google Apps file types like Google Docs, Google Spreadsheets and Google Presentations.

We also really like the mobility Socialwok affords us. Our strategists and producers spend a large portion of their time meeting our clients and partners in downtown Tokyo. With Socialwok's mobile web version, we have an intuitive interface to pick up project threads and feedback, and make decisions on the move. You just hop into the feed, post a comment, and the system syndicates it for you using email notifications and
Gmail instant messages.

This can save up to half a day on a single project timeline. Given the large number of projects that are running at Alien-Eye, we get significant productivity benefits from using Socialwok as our de facto project management system.

Socialwok also allows you to invite external collaborators to any feed. All communications on a project are then archived in a single location and can be referenced easily using keyword search or feed directory browsing. Some of our more progressive clients have already started using this functionality, with great results.

Ming Yong:
While Socialwok has become Alien-Eye's hub for internal communications and communication with some collaborators, most of their clients still have email-based work flows. The
Socialwok Gmail gadget integrates the Socialwok user's home feed into the Gmail interface. In addition, you can post to the project feed via keyword-based email addresses, and Socialwok will automatically post the message to the right place.

To try out Socialwok, go to
http://www.socialwok.com and log in using your Google Apps or Google account info.

Posted by Chris Kelly,
Google Apps Developer Marketing team