Tuesday, November 4, 2008

How Yammer Helps New Employees

Yesterday I started at my new company, Powered. My first day was mostly spent filling out paperwork, getting set up on my computer and meeting my new colleagues. However, one simple little tool is already helping me get up to speed 10x faster than normal - that tool is Yammer.

If you haven't heard of it, it's like Twitter but for the enterprise. If you haven't heard of Twitter, watch Common Craft's video so that you'll have a better understanding of why it's so powerful.

Along those lines, the reason Yammer is (and will continue to be) so helpful to me as a new employee is that:
  1. Almost everyone at Powered is already on
  2. Out of the 72 (out of 75) people that are on, almost all have a profile pic and a job title
  3. Once you sign up, you can go back in history to see what people have talked about
  4. I can immediately get a sense of who the internal subject matter experts are
  5. My boss (our CEO), our head of sales and our CFO are all on Yammer and they use it
In reference to point number 4 in the list above, I was able to look through my colleagues streams yesterday and find some valuable statistics that will help make my job as the CMO here immeasurably easier. I can also get a better sense of the culture, what people talk about, how they converse with one another and what they're reading.

This post is apropos given a guest post I recently co-authored with my friend, Joe Cascio, on Mashable. The title of the piece was Is the Enterprise Ready for Microblogging Tools Like Twitter and the focus was on the value of Twitter to business. Jumping in and being able to experience some of that value first hand is priceless.

Is your company using a microblogging tool? If so, let me know what your experience has been.


  1. I think the key here are the 72 people on Yammer. We are trying to use it internally and have started with a small group (marketing) but I think it will really help us out when we expand that into other areas.

    One major issue I have with Yammer though is the bugginess of the desktop app, every day (it seems) they are throwing out a patch which consequently slows down my system. Hoping this is temporary while they figure it all out.


  2. Totally agree. We tested this out at Mzinga and with only a few few people on board, the conversations were not as robust as they could have been.

    I've only just started using the desktop app which is a little fluky but I'm sure they will figure it out eventually.

  3. Aaron - if your Yamming, do you still have time to Tweet? Or do you keep both channels open whenever you're at your desk?


  4. We're testing it in a small way in our Public Affairs department, and appreciate the Groups function that enables us to have private conversations that aren't available to the whole company, in addition to the discussions that are open to everyone. I've developed a curriculum to help my colleagues learn how to take most advantage of Yammer. It's good for people at companies that aren't familiar with Twitter. http://social-media-university-global.org/curriculum/yammer/