Yammer. Twitter for a walled garden

February 7, 2009

Last year Yammer won the TechCrunch50 prize for most innovative startup. It seemed to be promising because of its very viable subscription model that was intended to simplify interaction among peers within a “closed garden” environment. Unfortunately, I don’t have any examples of Yammer successfully entering corporate environments (that doesn’t necessarily mean those don’t exist) due to natural corporations’ unwillingness to give up their potentially proprietary data to third party managed services, especially free ones.

Yammer: An Experiment In A “Closed” Tweetspace, post by Kathy on November 12th, caught my attention and I decided to give it a try.

Today, almost 3 months later, I recovered my password and went back to check it out.

There are currently 7 u.washington.edu groups on Yammer. None of them show too much recent activity. 3 of them have 0 messages.

Looks like I wasn’t the only person who didn’t feel Yammer to be a fit for my needs. So, what were the reasons that made me abandon it?

  1. Lack of novice. That wasn’t something new, and I was supposed to use this advanced Twitter clone for interacting with people I already followed on Twitter anyways
  2. There was no need for the “walled garden”. I didn’t mind my comments to be public
  3. Not too many people used it due to the subscription model limitations
  4. Inability to integrate Yammer account with other platforms I use (which is pretty obvious in a “walled garden” case)

This case clearly illustrates that Yammer didn’t work either for UW in general or for smaller groups within the UW community for a number of reasons. However, I do believe Yammer is a great solution for smaller businesses with multiple locations that collaborate remotely.


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