Social Experiment: SharePoint Community Platform Pilot Based on Yammer

We have come a long way in our use of various networking technologies. I’m especially proud of how we leverage Twitter and we keep each other up to date not only on what we are doing in our jobs and careers, but day to day challenges and in sharing technology. We’ve come a long way since the days of Newsgroups as the main way in the technology world communicated. I believe our next step of evolution as a community is a communication platform of our own. I’ve been envisioning a platform for the community similar to twitter for years. I believe now is the time for adopting a platform of our own.

I’m not asking anyone to delete their twitter accounts or abandon blogs. This is evolution of desk phone to cell phone… you will still want both. This will provide all sorts of options we never previously had. I am asking people to abandon their bias, and get on board. That’s really what I’m asking for is a united community behind this platform choice.

Linked in groups, Facebook groups, and Twitter conversations all happening in a common platform and one where it was focused on SharePoint.

High Level overview of the Proposal – The SharePoint community on Much of the conversations we have on can be happening in an environment that is easily searchable. It will bring all the best of enterprise microblogging to the community with things that you’ll find will provide ease of use such as type ahead for @mention users, and without the limits of the 120 characters. You’ll have a platform to promote your posts. Groups to gather your users groups, with rich conversations that have since been spread across facebook, linked in and more. One of my favorites is the rich profiles where you can provide your role, Picture, Bio, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, and so on. The beginning may be a little slim as we get critical mass, but this is why I’m reaching out to the leadership to help accelerate the vision I have for the community.

25 reasons why I think Yammer is the right platform for the SharePoint Community

1. Private conversations amongst the community can stay private

2. Discovery of user groups will be easily found in groups

3. Rich profiles can even be richer when you know it’s only other SharePoint people looking

4. Conversations can actually be more threaded and captured and last a lot longer

5. Tagging of posts after will allow conversations to stick around longer

6. Rich Polling, Questions, and Answers with Type Ahead will make a stronger knowledge base

7. SPAM will be nearly eliminated as it will be moderated and governed (SPAM deleted and users put on probation or blocked)

8. By having a consolidated place for conversations we can have richer conversations

9. Content created by the community can be easily searchable

10. Analytics will help us understand the most important issues and hot buttons.

11. Use of Yammer in the community will increase Yammer adoption and bring awareness to SharePoint and Office 365 integration with Yammer

12. Feedback, polling and surveys can be more easily captured

13. People search for our community will be richer than it’s ever been possible

14. Role based groups will help roles that otherwise often get overlooked and no attention

15. Seeing how Yammer is leveraged by the community will help promote best practices and real world usage.

16. Organizing community events and announcing things will be much cleaner and more easy to mention and pull people in

17. Daily digests and weekly digests will help provide awareness of the conversations and issues. Way better than twitter…

18. Replying to conversations over email will keep the conversations going

19. Mobile, web, and desktop integration scenarios will be a good sell as it relates to SharePoint stand alone

20. It’s a technology we should all learn… why not do it together?

21. Rich profiles that we can better manage

22. Yammer Groups with rich conversations for User Groups

23. Much better mechanisms for communicating with the community such as events, calls for speakers, and gathering speakers into a group after you’ve organized a list. Communication will become much, much more efficient.

24. Expertise provided in simply the using of the technology which will benefit you in your career. The development API means you can integrate with the community platform.

25. A platform where we can really do Live Blogging. I hope to really show off the power of this at SPC.

Really I think it just takes a few experiences… if you like Twitter or Facebook it shouldn’t take too much convincing. The key to this social experiment is momentum and critical mass. I think the community will take over from there.


I invite early adopters to join me in kicking the tires, build out the infrastructure, create the right groups, and laying the foundation. Yammer is a turn key solution, built in minutes, but what you’ll find with any social community what you really need is something to discuss and this will definitely come. Let’s call this the pilot, it’s the beta. We’ll help clear the way for the rest of the community.

Below request to be part of this early adopter group. I will be limiting the pilot group to a maximum of 500 for the first four weeks and qualifying the users as real SharePoint Community members. I’m looking not for lurkers, but for those that really want to test out this platform and prove out that this is something we can use. There is definitely rules that need to be established and guidelines to work through.


  1. Register at
  2. We will validate your request which may take a day or two.
  3. If selected you will receive an invitation for the Yammer platform early adopter program or notifed you’ll be included at the 2nd wave



Recommended Reading:

Jeff Shuey – Yammer and Microsoft a Match Made in Heaven

Joel Oleson – 10 Reasons Why Yammer and Microsoft Make a lot of Sense

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