Are you leading or part of a small group, team or organization that could benefit from sharing updates, files, links, events and the like on a private network? If you’re intrigued, but are not interested in hassling with layered, expensive or complicated apps or sites, there is a simple solution. The cure for what ails you is yammer.
Yammer is a business oriented private social network. It’s a freemium app, which means it’s free for basic usage and a little extra for the full feature set. Once you have your group, team or organization connected, you can privately share share and collaborate with one simple app. It couldn’t be much easier to setup, use and stay connected since you can access it via the web, your desktop or a mobile app.
Setting up the missing piece:
- Yammer groups are based on domain names (the stuff after @ in your email address). You need a private domain to signup, which means @gmail or @yahoo will not work. If I’m telling you stuff you know, skip to step 3. Otherwise, proceed to step 2.
- If your group, team or organization does not have a domain or you need a specific one just for yammer, signup for one at a domain registrar like namecheap, which includes email addresses for less than $10/yr. Once you register the domain, setup email forwarding aliases for each person you intend to invite to yammer. Set the forwarding address for each alias to an email address the corresponding person prefers to receive email at whether at work or home. (E.g. if you registered justforyammer.com and setup bob as an alias, his forwarding address might be email@example.com)
- With your existing or new domain in tow, signup for yammer.
- Invite other group, team or organization members to join. When you’re signed in, the invite link is on the right-hand side of the page.
- Click on the apps link at the bottom of the site to add events and polls to your network. There you will also find links to the windows or mac desktop apps as well as the mobile apps for iphone, blackberry, android and windows mobile.
- If desired, you can create groups for subsets of users or communities for collaboration with individuals outside the group, team or organization.
You now have a private social network. If you need more administration features, custom branding or better support, the paid version is only $5/user/month. Enjoy.
Note: As an alternative to yammer, you can also take advantage of Salesforce’s new free version of chatter. Setup and functionality are very similar.