A company wide social experiment

Last week, I started a social experiment within enovate, by getting everyone to use this thing called Yammer

It's basically a twitter tool for companies, which allows coworkers to share thoughts/links/files on a common platform.  The site comes with a pretty neat interface that's kinda like facebook, as well as desktop application and iPhone application.  The best part of the web platform is the threaded conversation and a depot for all the links/files that have ever been posted. 

It took about a week and some lollipops to "activate" everyone on the site/tool, but once everyone is on, you can definitely see the benefits of it.  The main benefits I see is the increase of communication among the team.  Due to the nature of our work, we need a lot of time to think alone, and execute tasks on hand, but meanwhile we also need a lot of communication.  Yammer makes a great tool for non-intrusive communication.  "non-intrusive" means I can post a status update about my work, or a question to the team without having to walk up to that person and interrupt whatever s/he is doing at the moment.  Also some of the time I might not even be sure who the information would be of interest to, which then makes a lot of sense to post that publicly.

Another benefits of Yammer is to share resources across team, and encourage learning.  Good design/articles can now live on the yammer content depot and be part of the team learning pool.  Whenever we need reference we can go back to that pool and check.  For the research crew, now it means the whole team is on the scout for research information, instead of 1 or 2 members.

I think those are the major benefits if we don't include calling lunch/drinks on Yammer, cracking jokes together and passing around secret information through direct message etc etc… As the team grows though, we start to feel the need to curb it down a little bit and maybe start using the group function to filter out some of the messages in order to see the more related ones quickly.  I think for a 15-person company or a 50-person company, the usage of this tool would be very different.  Would love to hear some opinions out there if you've used Yammer for a bigger group.

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