Previously, Twitter had been the darling new application of the social media world. If you’ve never used it, Twitter is a cross between a public instant messaging client and a community forum. People use the service to post updates about where they are, what they’re doing, or what they think is interesting, and they can access the service from the web or their mobile devices. From there, friendships and conversations emerge, news is shared, and people stay in touch — all within the limits of 140 character updates. (Thanks to Twitter, brevity is key.)
Now comes Yammer, the big winner at last week’s TechCrunch50 forum for social media startups. Yammer is a lot like Twitter for your intranet — instead of the whole world being able to follow your conversations, Yammer narrows the focus to just the people within your company / organization. It could be used to augment (or replace) project management tools, cut down on intra-company emails, and allow your employees to keep track of what’s due when and where everything is in mid-process.
Which brings us to our larger question of the week: How do YOU go about selecting new programs and services and integrating them into your company’s workflow?
* Do you seek user recommendations for all available solutions, and then base your final decision on the wisdom of crowds?
* Do you have a dedicated employee (or ten) who test-drives all new applications and then disseminates the summarized how-to info to the rest of your team?
* Do you explore every new tool that’s released, or do you let the general public sort the keepers from the duds and save your company the time that might otherwise be wasted on learning imperfect solutions?
What’s your approach? (And is it working?)