5 Reasons Yammer Better than EmailThere was an interesting question on one of the Yammer networks this evening and I thought I’d answer it with kind of a long reply. I’m not going to go into ‘which tool when’ here, because that’s a long conversation. I’m also not going to go into the other range of tools from Lync to SharePoint that one could use also. I’ll deal with those couple of questions in upcoming posts.

The question posed was from a company just beginning their social network, and so they are exploring some basic tenets of when might a medium other than email be appropriate. So here’s my list…

Yammer is often a better choice than email when:

  1. You want to reach people in your company who you know exist but you don’t know their names
  2. You want to spur ideation or get feedback from a wide cross section of folks that will build on each others ideas, not work in isolation
  3. You think the information you are sharing could be useful to someone else some time in the future
  4. There’s more than 5 people on the To list
  5. You don’t want the information to be lost in a personal silo that disappears when you leave the company
  6. You’d like a way for people to have a really simple mechanism to give a virtual head nod i.e. click Like (the new corporate Yes, instead of silence ;))
  7. You know there are going to be frequent updates to the content of the message (better to keep adding to a conversation than more Re: Re: emails)
  8. You need a quick answer from whomever from a set of people who are online at the moment and the others can subsequently see the question was answered and save their time and yours by not getting a redundant answer from someone else 12 hours later
  9. There’s a connection to another conversation already going on in a different area, and so you’re not having to forward a long chain for someone to get context
  10. You might need to bring others in on the conversation later, and minimizing the email chain from the start makes more sense
  11. You have attachments on an email from an external party that you want to keep in a place that is easily accessible to other colleagues while working on them. Just forward the email to the appropriate group.
  12. You might get a lot of Out of Office replies
  13. You want to create a poll
  14. You want to praise someone
  15. You know it would be better if more people in your organization were on Yammer. Be the change, and model the behavior.

And of course, the bane of email’s existence – hat tip to the email trees 🙂