Just had a great call with Microsoft

One of the things I love about being on Yammer is I am able to talk—actually talk!—with Microsoft Product Managers & Researchers as well as other MVPs.


Representin’ MVPs

Today’s call took some planning, because we’re scattered all over the world, but we found a good time for a few of us to discuss onboarding.

Namely, how DO each of us get our users on to Yammer?

Our experiences ranged quite a bit.

For example, after our official Yammer launch in late 2014 where the entire company joined (theoretically, more or less), now I get to have 15-minute sit-downs with all new hires as they trickle in.

I also give each new hire a Yammer Scavenger Hunt to follow, and attach my Quick Start Guide in my “Welcome!” message when they join, to help them customize their profile and notifications.

And that’s about it. Our home network is small but robust, and people are making use of it as they need to. While I keep an eye on it to make sure the lights are on, my main focus has always been toward my External Network full of customers.

Whereas an admin from another, far larger home network does far more onboarding, including incorporating use cases, videos and even a Sway! I’ve gotten more ideas to use now.

Meanwhile, the Microsoft peeps were digging in to our needs to see what they can do to help out.

And that’s part of the beauty of a Yammer network. You meet people who are doing what you do, and can help you do what you do better.


Today I’m Running My First YamJam

What’s a YamJam, you ask? (Even if you aren’t asking, keep reading.)

Think of a presentation you attend in real life. There’s usually a single topic, one or two speakers, and an audience.

This audience can be poker-faced listeners, avid questioners, good-advicers, or I-need-to-hear-myself-speak talkers. Or some combination of the above, plus more.

Now take all that and throw it online in Yammer. That’s a YamJam!


If you’ve done Reddit’s AMAs (Ask Me Anything) or a Twitter chat, this concept will seem more familiar.

I’ve only done Twitter chats before, and what I prefer about using Yammer is every question is kept in its own conversation thread. You still have to refresh your screen to make sure you’re seeing the most current responses, but you’re guided to each question along the way so you know where to click.

And at the end, every conversation thread for each question, even the ones you ask yourself, are gathered up in an interactive document for posterity. Pretty brilliant.

So I can’t wait to run my own YamJam myself for our customers to share their expertise…which will happen in just a few hours today!


THIS is a YamJam.



One Thing to Realize About Online Communities

A tool doesn’t have to be perfect. It just has to work for you.

Sure, there are annoyances, oversights, nice-to-haves, and need-to-haves in any tool, anywhere.

Things that make you rant to trusted colleagues and start looking at your budget to see what you can pull from where to invest in something new.

But if, for the most part, you’ve got a system that’s serving the needs of your audience, that’s great!

This means that the majority of the time, you’re working with something that does what you need it to do so you can focus on what’s really important: The people in your community.

And if your people don’t notice what the community isn’t doing, that gives you time to figure it out behind the scenes. 🙂