Yammer

yammer-logo-ps3

My last two posts have been designed to inform you of technological advancements being made in the world of libraries that will help our students benefit from their library, however this latest post is about our staff increasing our use of social media to develop stronger connections within our network.

The Technology:

Yammer is a private social media network that allows an organisation’s staff to be able to collaborate on projects and ideas, in and out of the workplace outside of commercial public networks like Facebook and Twitter. Mary Branscombe gives a well-rounded introduction to Yammer and the usefulness it has for businesses today. I believe it would be a relevant addition to our institution’s communication and project management.

Advantages:

Yammer is a social media channel that enables communication on different levels. In our organisation it would be a usefull technology for bringing together our five different buildings, work streams and projects onto one platform. Yammer can then have groups created for specific purposes. This would help us speed up our communication and be inclusive to all. Yammer is also able to be downloaded onto phones with an app and is easily accessed from outside the workplace.

Yammer Front Page Example

Yammer Front Page Example

Robert Noble writes that companies that use Yammer find that employees feel more included, thanks to an ability to search through entire conversations, an ability to post events, create polls and even unleash their ‘hidden expertise’. Karl Morgan reiterates the importance and benefits of its collaborative design and points out that its interface is similar to Facebook, allowing for familiarity and very little training required.

Disadvantages:

Yammer has recently been brought by Microsoft and integrated into their Office365 software package under ‘freemium’ terms where as the company network grows, you pay for more sophisticated features writes Michael Liedtke. Tony Redmond thinks that Yammer is actually not quite there yet in terms of what it should do and argues that it is just one of a growing list of options for staff to communicate and share, therefore rendering it ineffective. He believes that all can still be done through email,  but ignores that Yammer is different and more interactive than email technology. In libraries, there is a shortage of staff time to log on to it, thus missing out on vital information and falling out of habit with it, however this merely requires stricter management and rostered time for Yammer.

An advertisement demonstrating the benefits of Yammer.

Conclusion:

Yammer is not the catch-all digital workspace that people are looking for, however for our institution, spread across a large campus, it would be an ideal technology to purchase and train our staff in using. It’s a valuable tool when utilised properly and this would be done by ensuring our staff know what to do and are regular users of it, thus creating a digitally literate team of informed individuals.

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