Bods has no clammer to Yammer

Published on 15 September 2008 in , , ,

So that was Yammer then. In the space of about four hours I’d joined, used and deleted my account – probably the fastest I’ve ever tired of a social media service.

Yammer for those that don’t know is business based microblogging – ala Twitter. In fact it is Twitter, with one distinction – it’s based around your employer. You join a network on the basis of your email address (which, err, yes, does mean you can just set one up on your own domain – I did with

Like Twitter you can follow people, or you can follow the herd – the whole lot of people in your organisation.

Which is frankly why I left so quickly. When I joined, there were just 17 people in from the BBC. By the time I left it was around 70. Yes, Yammer is on its climb up – the latest fad to hit the internet.

Perhaps I was too hasty, but already it was beginning to feel like an IRC chatroom (in fact Yammer uses Jabber as its backend) – loads of people not really talking much to each other. It was then I had a vision. And the vision was numbers.

The BBC is a huge place – 25,000 people or so it is claimed. Now true, not everyone will join Yammer, but imagine that a quarter did (it was estimated at one point that 11,000 were in the BBC network on Facebook, so it’s plausible). Then imagine trying to read all the updates from everyone there.

That’s the crux of the problem – actually I don’t want to read all the updates from everyone, because I’m not interested in everything that happens. Even updates from everyone in the 1,500 strong Future Media and Technology division would be too much for me. So you’ve got to filter. And you need tools for filtering. Good tools, because frankly I can’t be bothered searching for peoples names on the off-chance they’re on Yammer.

For employees of big companies, Yammer needs mini-networks – the ability for its users to split the whole into chunks, and then more chunks, then more chunks and so on. If I was Yammer, that would be top of my feature list.

Even then, would I go back? Well probably not. Hey, if I can’t put something work related on Twitter, then I’m not going to put it on a “closed” website that sits outside the BBC’s network. Selling Yammer for installation inside corporate firewalls? Now manybe that would be a more worthwhile�


  • David says:

    I had similar reservations, but actually, it works almost exactly the same way as Twitter: if you think of the ‘BBC Network’ as the equivalent of Twitter’s Public Timeline, then you’ll soon choose to filter updates to only those by people you follow. So just like on Twitter, except that dipping in to ‘Everyone’ might be more fun on Yammer, because chances are they’ll be talking about something more relevant than what appears on Twitter’s Public Timeline, which rarely contains anything of interest or relevance to me.
    Still, I’m not sure I like Yammer.

  • Andrew Bowden says:

    True on the timeline thing but it does feel like Yammer’s network timeline should be, well frankly, more useful to me than it actually felt in reality.
    Either way, Twitter’s enough. Well until they finally run out of money anyway 😉