Social Networking Conference Wrap: Adam Pisoni on Enterprise Twitter

Social Networking Conference: Adam Pisoni on Enterprise TwitterSocial Networking Conference: Adam Pisoni on Enterprise Twitter highlighted effective business social networking with community messaging.

Adam gave us a summary of Yammer’s version of “enterprise Twitter” as well as the category in general. They are very focused on enterprise collaboration and breaking barriers.

  • Adam is Yammer’s engineering lead, and he gave the audience a vision for enterprise microblogging.
  • The evolution of a company goes something like this, from an organization perspective: (small) group in which everyone talks to everyone => cliques => business units => geographical orgs. This results in too-familiar silos and fragmentation and a breakdown of communication. Yammer fixes this.
  • By comparison, Facebook has 200 million members, and it has had no reorgs.
  • Enterprise software, by contrast, (mirrors organization and) requires training, and it’s not fun. Why can’t work software be fun?
  • Yammer lets users choose (and form the processes, the software doesn’t impose them).
  • SaaS has evolved rapidly (not to mention cloud computing) and is enabling new ways to scale and manage software.
  • Facebook debuted its news feed in 2007, while Twitter specializes in messaging.
  • Facebook is ordered chaos; you don’t have to decide where to put content; it’s bottom-up.
  • Finding knowledge leaders is easy in this environment (they have the most interaction and mentions); the corporation offers a terrible fate: ending up on a distribution list (you can’t opt out)
  • Email is more dangerous than Yammer (anyone can copy and paste on the Web), but no one questions it.
  • Some Yammer users are Deloitte, Forrester and AMD; also the Real Estate Show.
  • Yammer is enterprise Twitter; you have to register with the corporate domain (i.e.; Yammer tightens the feedback loop. To understand what Adam means, imagine Twitter that can’t go outside the enterprise. Other customer service tools he mentioned were ZenDesk and UserVoice.
  • Why didn’t email work? There’s no unsubscribe button; it’s forced opt-in, you’re on the dreaded distribution list.
  • From Yammer’s perspective, U.S. firms are far more skittish than elsewhere, a disturbing trend. (I pointed out that this was another benefit of the U.S.’s over-litigious culture); Europeans are more open.
  • Yammer has a freemium model; any employees can use it for free, which leads to dozens or hundreds of users very quickly; it’s very safe, as it’s self-contained. However, the corporation gets benefits by “claiming its site” which costs $1/employee/month.
  • The most requested feature by companies that claim their sites is removing functionality from Yammer!! ,-D

SNC-logo-smThe Social Networking Conference took place June 24-26 in Beverly Hills. Between leading the pre-conference workshop on Enterprise Social Networking and leading the final panel, I scribbled these notes.

Enjoy and watch for the final report within a few days!

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