15Oct

Huggers yammers

posted by Steve Bowbrick

They’re trying out Yammer at the BBC. Yammer’s a kind of Twitter-clone for use within organisations. It runs secure (SSL) and provides a simple email-based authentication scheme to keep the outsiders out (if you can’t receive an email to your BBC address you can’t join). It’s growing like topsy here, not least because the Corporation’s new technology boss Erik Huggers is using it. He prompted a flood of new registrations on Monday when he posted a link in a video contribution to the BBC’s intranet.

What’s interesting is how he’s using it: his two posts so far have been simple questions about big, strategically important technology issues—he’s got plenty of replies and they’re all visible to other Yammer users. This strikes me as a very powerful application of Twitter-style group interaction: the network is closed enough to permit the discussion of ‘sensitive’ issues while open enough to encourage contributions from all over the organisation. Neat.

3 comments

Comments so far.

  1. Posted by Alex Murray on Wednesday 15th October

    The problem with all that is that the first contact that almost everyone had with Erik’s message was an email with a broken link in. Which they probably deleted once they’d clicked and got nothing. How many clicked out before they got 7 minutes into that piece of video? The cold truth is that for those few who’ve picked up things like yammer because it’s in their role to do so, the vast majority of people who are affected by the issues raised remain totally indifferent to these sort of tools because they already spend the majority of the day in meetings discussing them.

  2. Posted by Roo Reynolds on Saturday 18th October

    I’ve been following (and joining in) the BBC experiment with Yammer, but I’m not convinced by it.

    For truly sensitive things we’d need something that doesn’t run on third-party server.

    On the other hand, there are things we can talk about on an external server, so shouldn’t we be doing that properly in the open (e.g. on Twitter, or similar)? For those sorts of discussions, we’d obviously get more ideas, opinions and responses by having the discussions in public than we do in a semi-private space like Yammer.

    Is there really a middle-ground which is addressed by Yammer? So far, I don’t think so.

  3. Posted by Steve Bowbrick on Monday 20th October

    I notice that the BBC’s Head of Information Security and at least one of her Information Security Managers are now on Yammer. Could this be a prelude to shutting it down?

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