Sunday, December 20, 2009

What Makes Yammer Different?

Yammer Logo

I have started test driving Yammer. For the last six months, I have been using Twitter and getting great rewards from using it. So naturally a similar application that is tailored more for use in a corporate environment would spark my interest. Thus, I have created an account and convinced a few of my teammates to do the same.

It is a microblogging application like Twitter and is a fantastic app for collaboration and knowledge sharing. So, what makes it different?

  • It is a social network for only members of your organization. Only staff within your organization can sign into your network (i.e. they must have company email address to sign in).

  • Groups can be set-up (e.g. the training and development department can have its own separate group within the organization's Yammer network).

  • You can go beyond the 140 character limit.

  • You can attach files (e.g. docs, presentations, etc.).

  • Detailed profiles for each member. This brings an important networking element. Like LinkedIn, it allows one to view a member's employment and educational background, skills, interests, contact information, etc. So much of networking is the ability to know who you are interacting with and what they bring to the table.

What Yammer does not have:

  • There is no search feature for member profiles. At least not yet that I can see. Hopefully they will develop that ability. Being able to search for staff with a specific expertise would add a great deal of efficiency in using it for networking.

  • It does not have a TweetChat or TweetGrid type app that allows using hashtags to have a synchronous chat among numerous members. I have searched for such an app and have had no luck. Maybe Yammer or a third party will create one soon. If you do know of one, please let me know.

I am not promoting Yammer over Twitter, quite the contrary. Twitter is one of my most cherished apps and Yammer is quickly winning me over too. However, I will use Yammer to network and collaborate within my organization because it is tailored for the corporate environment. When it comes to networking with the greater e-learning world and then some, Twitter is my app for that.

If there is anything I missed in regards to what makes Yammer different, good or bad, please add a comment and let me know. Thanks.

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