I just got an email from Yammer announcing that Yammer has been acquired by Microsoft. I had a couple of Yammer accounts because some people I wanted to play nice with have Yammer accounts, but I confess: I just don’t get why Yammer is something I should want. It doesn’t solve any problems I have. It’s sort of like spam: in theory, some person might be sitting around the computer thinking, “Golly. I really wish I knew where I could get some Au)t}*h-entic Tablets. If only someone with a fake email address would send me an email with a link to a website where I could score that!” Similarly, there might possibly be someone sitting in an office somewhere thinking, “Dang, I’m getting too much work done. I wish there were some kind of website that would have the faint whiff of corporate approval but that would really amount to my wandering the halls and chatting with everyone.” Someone, somewhere, who gets paid not for working but just for being some special and precious snowflake. You might be that person (if so, check your spam folder, it’s got what you want).
So now Microsoft has acquired Yammer. This is all the signal anyone should really need, and now it explains why I didn’t get what the heck Yammer is good for. It isn’t. It’s got the smell of something that’s got a lot of people excited; it’s got the minimum feature set required to be written up in a trade magazine as being an exemplar of whatever the hell it is supposed to be; it’s got confused corporate IT departments paying for it; and it’s not a big enough player to be unpurchasable. So, it’s crapware that Microsoft will rebrand as some kind of productivity thing for groups but is fundamentally a waste of time. Got it.