How NOT to use Yammer: Ragan offers prime example

Is Yammer an efficient tool for employee communications—or another way to waste time?

Though it is somewhat of a simplification, think of Yammer as Facebook meets Instant Messaging meets Twitter meets LinkedIn for internal communications.

We like to pop the same pills taken by our readers, so we launched our own Yammer platform to see what it was like.

My conclusion—this social network is a powerful and easy way to organize instant communications among teams and even all employees. But like all sexy Web 2.0 tools, it is only as good as the rules you set for using it.

Mistake #1 — Ignore the above advice and plunge right in. We launched Yammer yesterday without any guidelines, just to see what would happen. People being, well, people, hilarity ensued. In an office packed with writers, marketers, former stand-up comics, would-be game show hosts and one very curmudgeonly editor, we all should have seen this coming.

Consider this message from our director of new media, Kyle Forney, a young wag who posted a profile picture of himself from grade school:

“I am a wealthy foreign dignitary and yes have inherited a vast sum of money. If you kindly please send me a check for my travels from Nigeria, yes I will share my wealth with you and kindly gift you a check for the sum of 2.5 million dollars.”

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