Chatter brings multiple functions to a simple internal interface

The free micro-blogging tool has recently added some major features. Part eight in Ragan.com’s series on enterprise social networking.

The staff at Clairmail, a company that creates mobile applications for banks, has spent two years trying out collaboration tools—Yammer, Cubetree, SharePoint, Skype, Yahoo Messenger, Clarizen, and others. Eventually, the company chose Chatter.

Why? “It is bolted onto our entire customer knowledge base,” says Sean Mulvihill, director of marketing operations at Clairmail. “We want one view of the customer, and we see staff discussion as an essential contributor to our customer record, or as we like to say, our corporate memory.”

The tools

For people who have used Yammer or even Facebook, Chatter should look pretty familiar. Users fill out a profile with contact information and an “about me” field. The main page they see is topped with a box where users can post updates, links and documents.

Below that is a feed that displays updates from people that users follow, groups they belong to and updates on their files. As on Twitter, a list of trending topics along the side lets users know what people around the company are discussing.

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