Twitter? No, Yammer

Many of my colleagues at NIST have begun using a service called Yammer. It is similar to Twitter (microblogging) in that you follow and have followers, but does not limit users to 140 characters. Users can upload attachments to share, in addition to hyperlinks. More importantly, it is restricted by Domain. So, NIST has a group and only those with a @nist.gov email address extension can join and post there.

It is a great tool for keeping up with what is happening across an agency, and it is free. Users can create internal groups within NIST’s group for their offices/divisions as well. I keep a page open with the “feed” running and have already heard about meetings that may help with our work, conferences that my colleagues are attending or presenting at, and more.

Personally, I find this far more valuable than Twitter.

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Mary Davie

Thanks very much for sharing. Am always interested in new tools that can support workgroups, esp with security features.

Jaime L. Maynard

Thanks! We have found it surprisingly useful, especially because it is restricted. It can be used outside a firewall so has the benefit of Twitter – eg my office chief can post from her upcoming conference in the UK – but I only see posts from those connected to me. It can be done from a cell phone, just like Twitter, as well.

Lauren Modeen

Thanks Jaime! I am looking into Yammer for my company, a professional services firm so it’s great to hear your thoughts. This one is definitely in the embryo stage so I am glad to hear it is working for you.

Jaime L. Maynard

I was skeptical at first (and still am about Twitter) but am being slowly converted. It has more tools too, such as organization charts, to show how you are connected to your followers/those you’re following.

Adriel Hampton

I believe Steve Radick and Mark Drapeau have extensive experience with Yammer. Twitter has a totally different purpose, which is growing networks outside of your primary.

Jaime L. Maynard

Unfortunately, Twitter doesn’t market itself that way. I’m unconvinced it has a sound purpose that would benefit government (but the jury is still out). However, I think Yammer *may*.

I am not surprised Mark has experience with Yammer. He is quite active in the web 2.0 realm! I figured many in government would not be and migth not know of yammer.

Kevin Gunn

There’s also a FireFox add-in for Yammer…
Yammer’s great for team/organization-based collaboration and communication in a somewhat private fashion (though I wouldn’t consider it completely non-public).

Twitter’s strength is its broad reach and openness. Use Twitter to communicate and connect widely…generally outside your immediate team/org.

AJ Malik

Hopefully, Yammer is reducing the amount of emails going back and forth, between your colleagues, which is one of Yammer’s true benefits.