Yammering helps (to get rid of emails)

Is your inbox overflowing? Mostly with company internal mail? Yet, you and your colleagues still miss vital information? E.g. a year too late you find out that colleagues in France did the exact same work your team did?

That does seem to be a common complaint. Not where I’m working, though. I get maybe 2-7 emails a day. At most half of these require an answer or action on my part. It used to be many more, about 25-40, which is still little by many people’s standard. So how did the whole company – not just me – reduce their mails and everyone is still vastly better informed?

Yammer.

Don’t know what “Yammer” is? Think “Twitter” but just with people from your company and you join / follow groups instead of individuals. (You can follow individuals but that has never made sense to me. Unless of course I want to stalk someone and want to read their every thought even those in group “Dung worms of South East Asia”.)

Although I think Yammer saves time, I’m not sure on this. Just like Twitter it can be a massive time sink. But Yammer posts tend to be shorter than mails, discussions flow more naturally, and you can be sure to reach all colleagues interested in a topic. Plus it’s searchable even for people who join later. Getting everyone informed about what’s relevant to them, that’s where Yammer’s conept really shines.

That being said, Yammer has some annoying bugs and UX fuckups. When I started writing this post I could have named 5 from the top of my head. Now it’s closer to 10.

It’s still way better than email for 95% of topics and works well enough for us. Despite its shortcomings I keep recommending it. If you know a less buggy alternative, I’d like to hear about it 🙂

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