OUW Reviews: New Social Tools that Improve Collaboration

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Current economic conditions have marketers working with less, which means they’re collaborating more, reports MarketingVox, citing a survey of senior-level marketers that was conducted by Marketing Management Analytics (MMA) and the Association of National Advertisers (ANA).

The majority of survey participants say they’re expected to drive more sales while working with decreased budgets. As a result, one-third of respondents report increasing collaboration with finance and research for greater emphasis on best practices accountability.

For marketers, collaborating on how to do more with less may become the norm, especially with survey respondents saying they aren’t expecting budget increases next year. So, what tools are out there that help you – the results-driven marketer – do more with less?

Let’s take a look at two new social startups that debuted at TechCrunch50 in San Francisco. Both offer ideas for improving collaboration.

SocialWok (TechCrunch50 Demo Pit Winner)
What is it: Similar to FriendFeed, this social network contains features that simplify sharing and accessing documents and events from Google apps by placing them in a single stream.

Pros: This impressive social network enhances productivity by simplifying how you interact with popular Google apps. SocialWok addresses many of the issues users face when working with Google apps; for example, you can see your Google Calendar events, YouTube video and various documents from Google Docs in one stream. It’s also compatible with Google Wave, which is still in Beta testing.
Besides improving productivity and collaboration, this network is convenient. You use the same Google credentials that log you in to Google Docs to access SocialWok. Also, you can access SocialWok from your i-Phone, Android and Blackberry smartphones. This all-in-one resource for real-time communication and document sharing is the additional social layer that’s missing for popular Google apps.

Cons: SocialWok competes with Google Wave, which means early adoption is key if SocialWok is to stand a chance when Google launches its collaboration platform later this year. Also, TechCrunch makes a great point about document security, which is that you are limited in how many groups you can create in order to be more selective about document sharing.

Official Oneupweb Review: Oneup Thumbs-Up! (Fills a legitimate gap in collaboration by improving social sharing within Google Apps.)

Hark! (TechCrunch50 finalist)
What is it: Share links from a webpage without using email, Twitter or other services with this browser plugin.

Pros: Your friends receive a notice, called a “flare,” when links you find interesting are distributed. You can discuss those flares in a chat room. If everyone in your company installed this plug-in you could share interesting thoughts about relevant links.

Cons: Panelists at TechCrunch50 brought up a valid point that this plug-in doesn’t offer anything new. With all the similar competing tools, it will boil down to preference. Hark! isn’t off to a great start in capturing early momentum for their product. Users can add their name to a list to eventually receive an email when Hark! is available.

Official Oneupweb Review: Oneup Thumbs-Sideways, Leaning Down! (It doesn’t solve any existing problem with collaboration that other tools haven’t addressed. Giving it a complete thumbs down feels wrong though, since I can’t even access the service.)

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