First 5 Steps to Get Started with Corporate Micro-blogging

“Okay, I am on Yammer. What next?” That’s the question most new users to corporate micro-blogging ask. As I wrote earlier about my experiments with micro-blogging in corporate environment, one of the challenges in micro-learning adoption is training. A lot of your colleagues may have joined your corporate micro-blogging network but that’s no guarantee of participation. This may have to do with folks not really knowing what to do next after signing up for the service.

Here’s what I suggest you do after signing up for your micro-blogging service:

  1. Set up your profile. Add a little bio and your photo. Adding a professional looking photo is preferable but an avatar should do too. Just remember, it is your professional network.
  2. Explore existing messages already on your stream. I recommend that you read through all messages on the first two/three pages of the micro-blogging stream. What’s a “stream” you ask? Well it is the list of (“stream of”) messages on the web page.
  3. Announce your arrival to the network. A simple “Hi, I have joined Yammer. I am (role/responsibility) in (department/location)” message will announce you to your network. It is good to announce your role/responsibility and department/location in your first message.
  4. Install an access application. The best way to keep up with micro-blogging is usually not the Web page. For Yammer, install one of these applications that work best for you from their applications page. Check for similar applications on your micro-blogging service.
    • Desktop application – This is an Adobe AIR based desktop application. It will minimize to your system tray and display a gentle pop-up when there’s a new message.
    • Outlook plugin – this shows your Yammer messages within the Outlook window. If you are using Outlook at work, this is an ideal application for Yammer.
    • Install Firefox Extension – This adds an icon to Firefox browser’s status bar displaying the number of unread messages, and alerts you when a new message is received.
    • Mobile application – If you are using a smart phone, install Yammer application for your Blackberry, iPhone or any other Window Mobile smart phone.
  5. Set up your email preferences to receive an email digest of messages posted each day. Okay, ideally you should really be starting to read messages on one the applications listed in the previous step. However adding an email alert will ensure that you get the message even if you don’t log on. Next ensure that these messages don’t go into your spam/junk folder.

So there you are… your first 5 steps to get started with corporate micro-blogging. You can now start participating in the conversations. Start with commenting on other people’s messages, sharing useful links, sharing tips, seeking new ideas… Go on, don’t be shy…