Social networks like Facebook and Twitter can be a tricky business in a ‘workplace’ environment. Sure, they’re great tools for communication, but – do you want co-workers to know who you hang out with? Or music you listen to? Or articles you ‘like’? How about that photo album from last week’s graduation party? You get the idea; some things are not meant for work.
If your organization is looking to increase online communications among staff, Yammer – “The Enterprise Social Network”, is a good choice.
Sign-up your domain by entering your work email address (valid company email addresses are required to access a private network). Within minutes, your company will have its very own little Facebook on the web.
Are you sure you want to go through with this? Just checking.
To get staff involved, they just enter their company email address, get verified and they’re in. (From what I could see, there is no way to create users in bulk, but the premium version has an ActiveDirectory tool.) If your staff knows how to use Facebook, they’ll have little problem picking this up. It has a ‘company feed’ like Facebook, where you can post status updates, and link to articles. You can also: add events, create polls, upload pictures and videos, and even share files.
A more ‘work’-like feature is the ability to create an org chart based on who reports to who. Also, if everyone registers and fills out their profile, you’ve got a nice Company Directory.
The ‘Premium’ version is $5 a user per month, with volume discounts available. Premium features include: ActiveDirectory Sync, SSO, SharePoint Integration, and Priority Support. You can view the full list here.
Will People Use It?
Possibly. For the tech-savvy, this is an ideal way to communicate; it eliminates email clutter and phone-tag. For those not comfortable with social networking, they won’t see the benefit – and that’s a problem.
For Yammer to be useful, participation is required, however, it doesn’t need to be everyone – especially at first. Encourage a few small work-groups to give it a try. If they get something out of it, word will spread.
Otherwise, if you tell people “it’s like Facebook, but for work”, that might get some people interested.