Stop! Yammer time

Social networking, coupled with the power of the internet, has transformed society in untold ways. Its reach is almost beyond measure. First Myspace took us by storm and then followed Facebook; the definition of socializing hasn’t been the same since. That was ‘then’. The power of social networking has since left the social realm and has crept into the business world (because we need more). Yammer is now the contender for your office likes and dislikes and Microsoft wants it bad!
Yammer - social collaboration
Yammer strikes an off note with me because I hate it and its coupling with the business world. That’s not a strike against Yammer per se, I have a low tolerance level for social networks in general. The incessant barrage of all things trivial is unbearable to me. Why would I want that at work? Then again, I am the anti-social, leave me alone, Asperger’s syndrome type of guy.

I do have it at work but I seldom use it and there are good reasons. The first of these reasons is discretion. If you have to be careful about what you post on Facebook, how much more caution do you have to exercise at work on Yammer? I’m sure management only wants to hear your positive quips of inspiration and/or you’re thoughts on the top ten skills of leadership. Critical opinions of the company’s latest policy changes would likely incur some human resources wrath (even if you are right). I try to avoid biting the hand that feeds me.

An additional reason I don’t use the application is because I consider it to be white noise. It is nothing more than a forum for senseless banter that distracts from productive activity. I maintain a fairly busy schedule so Yammer time is out of the question. If I have time to Yammer, I have time to surf the web and, frankly speaking, surfing the web wins.

Despite these perfectly valid reasons to not use Yammer, corporations are installing it to such a degree that Microsoft gave up 1.2 billion for it. I have no clue what they see in the application (the corporations that is). I’m not even sure if Microsoft does but they certainly see the dollar signs. With dollars to be made, Yammer time it is.

I know companies are always looking for better ways to foster employee communications. However, a company that suffers from communication problems is, in my ever so humble opinion, not going to benefit from a communications tool, especially one that slants to the social side. If your screws are broken, a better screw driver will not help. Who knows, I could be wrong (it happened once before). Yammer could change the way companies engage themselves and possibly their customers as well. Then again, Yammer could wind up like the business version of MySpace. Like all things technology related, time will tell.

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