Yammer and the Ongoing Battle of Emails

When you’re a customer on both sides of someone else’s product–a user and someone who deciphers how to use it for other people–it can be easy to get caught up in the small stuff.

Such as: “What? You’re going to change Item X, which will impact Y, Z, and AA? My users won’t stand for it!”

…when the reality could be that most people won’t even notice something changed.

This is a case-by-case basis, of course, and the current situation that’s bringing this post out of me is one such case.

There’s a current push in Microsoft to get users interacting with Yammer ON Yammer, by which I mean, actively opening yammer.com on their browser or using the Yammer App.

This is a no-brainer, of course; most companies want people using their product ON their product.

Yet Yammer has also allowed people to interact with it through email. You have users who really love their email? No problem! They can still respond, help, and even post on Yammer through email without having to open another window.


Hang on, just checking my email

Now some of that functionality may be taken away.

As I said, it makes sense from a business point of view when you want to measure value.

I still think people should interact with this tool in ways that make the most sense for them. Some users live in email. Others seamlessly hop on to Yammer.

Both methods still mean you’re finding value in the product. (It’s pretty clear WHERE the emails are coming from, for one thing.) And that’s what I as community manager want: People using the value of Yammer, period. I don’t care what road you take to get there. Adoption is a tricky beast!

But, yes: That’s what _I_ want. And it may turn out to be No Big Deal both for home and external network users.

And so, we wait to see how this will all shake out…


No, I don’t want your Spammy McSpammerson (and poorly worded) email

I received this email in fractured English on an otherwise pleasant Friday morning.

“We recently update Opt-in contacts of Executives which you can be used for unlimited multi-channel marketing. Send us now your contacts in an excel sheet from your in-house database with missing email address, telephone numbers, we can append it for you at no cost, this will help you check the quality of our services.”

Ugh. Even the street address in the signature line had a typo.

Clearly there’s a need for this kind of service, or this company wouldn’t be in business, assuming it’s legitimate. But that’s not the point. Sending something to me that doesn’t apply to my current job tells me you’re not doing your research. So right away, I already don’t think very highly of your company.

Not having someone proofread a message that represents your company makes me think even less favorably of you. Yes, you: The name on the email. I don’t care if it was tacked on to show a “face” or not. That name is my point of connection to this debacle. That name is what I’ll block, and that name is what I’ll remember if someone brings up your company in the future (it could happen).

Granted, there are far more annoying things you can receive through email, let alone other forms of contact. And I’m not saying we can magically eliminate all forms of annoying marketing. That would be unrealistic at this point.

This doesn’t mean we can’t work toward it. Think of where we’d be today if nobody ever did anything unrealistic!

So tell me: Do emails like this ever pay off?  And do you think less of a company for sending you badly written communications?

(And if you’re looking for a clever response to an annoying email, this never fails to make me laugh: Wil Wheaton collating papers.)

My Fall-Back Career


Let me preface this by saying that I do love getting legitimate job opportunities from legitimate recruiters, that some of my friends are recruiters, that I’ve worked with recruiters in a previous existence and I’m well aware of how harried/busy/stressed out they can get. Recruiters: I like the breed.

So please, legitimate recruiters, don’t stop sending me your stuff. I like being on your radar even though I’m happy in my job, because we’ve all learned to our cost that happiness doesn’t always save our jobs.

But sometimes, I really have to wonder what some recruiters are thinking (typos included):

Continue reading