Yammer – Microblogging for enterprise?

BBC Yammer

I'm not feeling Yammer.com. Someone suggested it, set it up and now everyones joining on it. Why Yammer over others I don't know. Don't get me wrong its a good idea, Twitter for enterprise but there's some things I'm not so sure about.

First one is the mobile access. Yes there's a iphone client (yawn!) but sms access is restricted to a few American carriers, so realisticlly after the Twitter announcement, yammer are not likely to offer SMS access to the UK. Which means our communication tool for the BBC is crippled. If Yammer were clever they would offer packages which companies pay for, so at least there's the opportunity for SMS/Text.

Second, does Yammer support the open micro-blogging standard? It certainly doesn't look like it. This is bad news, specially seeing how we now have about 70 BBC people using it now. I'm sure tomorrow it will double again.

Third, I did look through the Yammer terms and conditions which seemed ok-ish from a portability and licensing point of view. They have ATOM/RSS feeds for most things but where's the API people? Come on, this is becoming un-acceptable already.

Forth and last for now. What about Laconi.ca? Not only is it enterprise friendly, strictly supports the open microblogging standard and is moving to pure XMPP but it also federates with other services. I was trying to explain federation to someone the other day and they pointed out it works like usenet, email and irc (which bodes well, I think). Anyway, the next thing makes me sure Yammer isn't the right path is Twhirl's new support for Laconi.ca. There's something about the strict tight line between internal and external, which is interesting. At least with laconi.ca, its possible to blend the line in a organised way, but I want to know why I can't use my OpenID and why I can't import BBC people off my friends list elsewhere.

Oh I just noticed James has also blogged about the same thing but he has a totally different view point.

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Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.