SOURCE: Chookka

September 23, 2014 11:38 ET

Introducing Chookka, the Simple Conversation Tool That Solves Email Inbox Confusion for Small Business and Home Users

The Communication Tool Marries the Privacy of Email and Flexibility of Social Media for Increased Productivity

CAMBRIDGE, MA--(Marketwired - Sep 23, 2014) - Chookka (www.chookka.com), a platform that complements existing email solutions while simplifying and organizing digital communication for individuals and business users, today announced their open beta release. An experienced team of Computer Science Ph.D.s who sold their last company Teragram to SAS Institute is behind Chookka, which was partly funded by the National Science Foundation. As email software is an old but pervasive technology, having been around for over fifty years, users struggle to find, share and keep track of emails relating to projects, topics or people, wasting time and productivity. At the same time social media networks are now used by 67% of Americans over the age of 12 according to a recent study by Edison Research. By integrating the best of email (sharing files, images, videos, and creating groups, subgroups) and social media (using # and @) and introducing the '&,' the first symbol to designate a conversation, the Chookka platform is a simple yet powerful tool for conversations that any email user can benefit from.

"Chookka solves the problem of inbox overload, reducing time lost processing and searching for emails. Using concepts from social media and introducing a new symbol '&' for conversations, Chookka works seamlessly alongside people's existing email solution to improve productivity," says Chookka co-founder, Yves Schabes.

With Chookka, people communicate by creating conversations, or chookkas, around specific topics, keeping them organized. If the topic grows into new thoughts or ideas, new sub-conversations or sub-chookkas can be created. Friends, colleagues, clients, or any group the user needs to regularly communicate with can be invited to join, they will only see the conversations they are invited to, and at any time can post a private message. With Chookka, the user can immediately access all shared files for a conversation in one place. So not only can the user view files in each post, they can also see all files that have ever been shared to that conversation, and quickly scroll through them. Instead of replacing an email program, Chookka works alongside it. Chookka provides real-time email alerts whenever a new message is posted in a Chookka conversation. The user can reply by email and it will be posted to the corresponding conversation in Chookka. When a chain of emails becomes unmanageable in email, simply forward that chain of emails to Chookka.com and a new conversation is created with all messages and attachments. Other features of Chookka include real-time private or group chat and search.

The problem Chookka addresses is email inbox overload and lost productivity. The average person spends 28 percent of our workweek or 13 hours a week reading and responding to email according to a report from the McKinsey Global Institute. A study in 2007 revealed that a group of Microsoft workers took, on average, 15 minutes to return to serious mental tasks after responding to incoming email or instant messages. And according to David E. Meyer, Director of the Brain, Cognition and Action Laboratory at the University of Michigan, when people attempt to complete many tasks at one time, "or [alternate] rapidly between them, errors go way up and it takes far longer -- often double the time or more -- to get the jobs done than if they were done sequentially." This is largely because "the brain is compelled to restart and refocus." By providing a system to keep conversations organized so all communication is contextual, Chookka reduces time wasted from going through emails in your inbox.

About Chookka
Chookka, a product of LavaRipples LLC, is a simple yet powerful conversation tool (web and coming soon for mobile) that solves the problem of email confusion. Like a private social network around each of your conversation topics, Chookka helps people to communicate more efficiently with friends, co-workers and customers.

Cambridge-based LavaRipples LLC was co-founded by Emmanuel Roche, Yves Schabes and Tao Meng, a team with extensive experience at bringing innovative software technologies to market. Emmanuel Roche, Yves Schabes and Tao Meng are all Ph.D.s in Computer Science from the University of Paris 6, University of Pennsylvania and Peking University respectively, and authors of many international scientific publications and patents relating to computational linguistics, data mining and search. Mr. Roche and Mr. Schabes were also co-founders of Teragram Corporation, the leader in text analytics and multilingual natural language processing technologies, acquired by SAS Institute in 2008. Mr. Tao Meng was previously one of the engineers to implement the Tianwang Chinese Internet search engine and a scientist at the Chinese Academy of Science.