SocialText or Yammer?

by admin on August 16, 2009

in Innovation

Rod Drury’s post about Yammer caught my eye. It seems that Xero is finding Yammer a good alternative to email and for keeping people up to date with what’s going on:

All of our staff like to hear what’s happening in development, so it’s great to hear the dialog so you can feel the progress going on behind the scenes.

Use Yammer when your message is of interest to a group of people, but if they miss it, no big deal. If you want to be sure that someone does get a piece of information – use email.

Don’t use Yammer for one on one conversation; full scale arguments (just say ‘moving to email’ or ‘face 2 face’); or stream of consciousness ‘I’m making a cup of tea’.

Yammer means you get less meaningless emails.  That has to be good.

I was a bit puzzled by what he said about SocialText – I think he means SocialSignals within SocialText:

SocialText looked a bit prettier but in a  40 minute test session we found SocialText buggy and the threaded discussions (which can be turned off) started to get confusing.

Yeah – I’m not going to argue on the buggy front but I’m wondering if Rod’s looked at ST in its entirety.

I’ve been using ST quite heavily the last month or so and while I’d say that SocialSignals (ST’s enterprise Twitter) needs more work, the overall service meets a lot of needs. Example: in one place we’re building out a meaty document that needs multiple authors, requires a lot of revisions and a lot of cleaning up for style differences. Each night we get full status updates in a single email that people can action. ST allows us to accomplish all that with very little additional effort.

In another case, we’re using ST as a way of fleshing out a business proposition. What started out as a way to define things like business rules of engagement, suggested revenue streams and the like is growing rapidly. Now we’re including business call agendas, minutes and action item lists. Signals is part of the offering but since we only need daily updates right now, it’s kinda redundant. Now…if ST was to become our primary communications and repository for the knowledge we’re building AND we need to be communicating ‘in the flow’ then that might well change. If nothing else, it is there for the future.

Yammer on the other hand might well suit our needs for IM – but then we have Skype and can direct message each other over Twitter for free whereas Yammer is a paid for service (if you want the stuff that matters). Rod talks about groups and yes, I see the value but at this stage I can do that through the Seesmic Twitter client’s ‘userlists.’ Is there an intrinsic difference then such that Yammer is superior to say Signals or Twitter? You can argue that Yammer is purely for business and that ‘your’ instance can be totally private to you with some nice add-ons that appeal to business. That’s fine but it is yet one more application I need to manage whereas Signals is part of the overall ST offering. And these days my Seemic Twitter client is always on so…

Longer term, I see services such as Yammer becoming features rather than stand alone applications within the context of a knowledge worker’s palette of apps they habitually use. That implies I see Yammer as a potential acquisition target by who knows whom. So with that in mind I’m sticking with ST.

UPDATE: Oooops – it seems Rod dropped a bit of a clanger. It should have been SocialCast NOT SocialText. No wonder I was puzzled!!!! The good news is that Rod fixed his post so no real harm done.

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Rod Drury August 17, 2009 at 8:38 am

Ah crap, I meant SocialCast not SocialText. Sorry Dennis.

Dennis Howlett August 17, 2009 at 8:44 am

Ah-ha…good catch then and thanks Rod…now we can all sleep easier (lol) ;)

Michael Sampson August 17, 2009 at 12:28 pm

Please see the update on the original post. The second service was actually Socialcast, not Socialtext.

Dennis Howlett August 17, 2009 at 12:31 pm

Yes – I saw that…as it happens I don't think it really impacts the story too much but good that the correction has gone through.

Alan Lepofsky August 17, 2009 at 4:17 pm

Well, while you've update the post to be about Socialcast, I'd still like to respond to Yammer vs. Socialtext. (I work for Socialtext)

A very important distinction is that Socialtext is not just microblogging. Socialtext is a full platform offering that yes does offer micro-blogging (via Signals as Dennis points out), PLUS personal homepages/dashboards, wikis, blogs, spreadsheets, profiles, activity streams, and more. We’ve found that employees don’t want “yet another standalone tool”, and instead greatly prefer Socialtext because it is a single integrated platform. We can also bring in data from other systems either via RSS feeds, OpenSocial widgets, or API.

If you’d like to know more about Socialtext, I’d be happy to help you.

Akibot August 22, 2009 at 1:56 am

You may want to take a look at Akibot
Akibot is like Yammer, a "Twitter for the enterprise", but with artificial intelligence. Not only it allows real-time group collaboration and awareness through short, instant messages, but it also understands those messages (through natural language processing) and, if applicable, takes action. Actions include scheduling, time tracking, CRM and information storage/inquiry.


SD January 27, 2011 at 7:34 pm

If this article is supposed to be about Yammer vs SocialCAST, maybe you should edit the title as to not confuse future readers.

dahowlett January 27, 2011 at 9:29 pm

This was dealt with a YEAR ago.

SD January 27, 2011 at 7:34 pm

If this article is supposed to be about Yammer vs SocialCAST, maybe you should edit the title as to not confuse future readers.

dahowlett January 27, 2011 at 9:29 pm

This was dealt with a YEAR ago.

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