March 28, 2012
Do you want to collaborate with others across the Institute who may work in another department? Try Yammer, an enterprise social network. MIT has its own closed group within Yammer, which is only open for those with mit.edu email addresses.
On Yammer you can:
- network with others at MIT (you can follow others)
- discuss topics and ask for ideas
- form groups around interests such as bicycling or social media
- form smaller closed groups within the MIT network for your department
- create and share content: post a document and ask for feedback
- post events and links
- offer your expertise in an area
Yammer apps are available on iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows Phone, and Blackberry. There is also a desktop app so you don't have to go to the website and log in every time.
The navigation menu when you log in to Yammer.com features My Feed, Private Messages, My Profile, Members, and Invite. If you join any groups, they are listed. Across the top you can choose to see your conversations (posts in which you are a member of the conversation), info, links, and events. The navigation menu on the desktop app consists of Notifications, My Feed, Groups, and Messages. You can also view your profile, edit your account, set preferences, get help, and log out.
I joined! Now what?
When you join, you will most likely be welcomed by a few MIT folks already on Yammer. Then you can choose to be a part of a group, start a discussion, and talk about projects you're working on. This can be helpful when you want to ask a question, but may not know who to email. It may be a question about which you don't feel comfortable sending a mass email. You can put it out there on Yammer, which is less intrusive, and it hasn't clogged anyone's inbox. Individuals can decide whether or not to respond or engage in the conversation. It's a great way to "tap into the collective knowledge of your organization" (to quote Yammer).
For example, one employee recently put a query out to the group to see how they view "blended learning", the responses to which could shape future training opportunities at MIT. He got more than 30 thoughtful responses to his question.