We typically view microblogging as the posting of short status updates. And indeed that is what happens most on Twitter, as well as in many cases of Enterprise Microblogging. On Twitter, people mostly post about themselves, or they post links to interesting stuff on the web. In a corporate context, some of our early research has shown that microblogging is useful for people to signal task progress or share resources (Riemer/Richter 2010).
But recently we have started investigated how Yammer is used in large enterprises. The first case we analysed is Capgemini and their use of Yammer internally. Capgemini has adopted Yammer quite early in 2008 and the user community has been growing strongly ever since. Now, what is so special about this case?
Well, what we found in our analysis of a sample of about 1000 posts from July 2010 is that microblogging turns out to be very interactive. Of course people share links and resources or post their status. But the vast majority of posts is part of a conversation, e.g. a communication thread (around 75%).
We have further analysed the various types of postings and the contents of conversations. It turns out that microblogging as a communication channel is a useful medium to facilitate brainstorming, context building and actual knowledge work, not just information sharing.
Read more and see figures regarding distribution of communication categories in our full report, which is available online (Riemer et al 2011).
Riemer K and Richter A 2010 ‘Tweet Inside: Microblogging in a Corporate Context (Winner of The Bled Outstanding Paper Award)’, Proceedings of the 23rd Bled eConference 2010 – “eTrust: Implications for the Individual, Enterprises and Society”, Bled, Slovenia, 23rd June 2010, get pdf online.
Riemer K, Richter A, Diederich S and Scifleet S ‘Tweet Talking – Exploring The Nature Of Microblogging At Capgemini Yammer’, BIS Working Paper, ISSN: 1837-1744, http://ses.library.usyd.edu.au/handle/2123/7226
I’m at the 2011Enterprise 2.0 Exchange Symposium today, part of ACIS 2011 at Sydney University. Just listened to Kai Riemer’s overview of his research into how an enterprise microblogging tool (Yammer) is being used in a variety of organisations.
Above is a report that looked specifically at its use in one organisation. In his presentation he highlighted the different patterns of use across these different organisations.