Yammer piggybacks on the popularity of Twitter. Its stated goal: help companies and organizations become more productive through the exchange of short (140 characters) frequent answers to one simple question: “What are you working on?”
Anyone in a company can start their Yammer network and begin inviting colleagues. Network privacy is obtained by limiting access to people with a valid company email address. Founders are former executives and early employees of PayPal, eGroups, eBay, and Tribe.
I’m the fourth member of the University of Washington network and the 11th at About.com. A slightly annoying (but predictable) issue: I can’t have two sessions open in the same browser. So if I were working on a project with someone at UW and someone at About, I’d need to use both Firefox and Safari.
The NYT wrote about Yammer last month in its BITS column. The basic service is free and anyone can start the network. Once it becomes “official” the service charges $1 per member per month.
If tweets (erh, “yammers”?) are marked with a hashtag (#), it will be easy for any sub-group to have a more private space than on Twitter. Plus, you can subscribe to a hash.
Like most networks, there are positive network effects. That is, the service is more valuable when the network grows, although there could be a point at which the effects become negative. That’s when hashtags will be even more important as a means to manage conversation in sub-groups.
A shorter version of this post appeared first at FlipTheMedia.