My Favorite Collaboration Tool
I started using Yammer, a free Twitter-like messaging system for businesses, last year. I think of it as my social media company's private Twitter feed. When I post a comment on the feed, colleagues can comment on it and attach files. I often need to go back and access a certain point in a conversation, which is much easier to do on Yammer than in a long e-mail chain.
We use Yammer to archive information as well. When we're getting ready for a presentation, we assign each client a hash tag, just as you would on Twitter. As we collect documents related to a client, we attach them to comments containing the appropriate tag. Then, we can review all the items in one place to build a better presentation. We also use tags to archive relevant information about our industry and to flag comments for further discussion in a meeting.
One of the best things about Yammer is the fact that I can access it from anywhere. When I'm vacationing at my in-laws' house in Wyoming, I can just go on the Internet and log in to my Yammer account to view files. I also use the Yammer app on my BlackBerry. For instance, I recently overhead an interesting observation about Facebook at the airport and shared it with my staff at the drop of a hat.
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