Twitter may be great for keeping up with friends (and those you can only dream about having as a contact in your address book), though its lack of security makes it a bit risky for communicating on the professional level. But because more people are relying on the microblogging model for real-time communication, web entrepreneurs are creating premium, private microblogging services for the workplace that are safe from predatory hackers:
Yammer: Probably more effective (and less tedious) than going through a torturously long status report at weekly staff meeting, Yammer is a “productivity tool” that facilitates a continuous dialogue, within a company or organization, about what everyone is working on. One central feed lets employees pose questions and share information, all without flooding everyone’s inboxes. Each user get a profile, meaning Yammer also serves as a private version of Facebook, minus the incriminating photos and status updates you don’t want your co-workers to see. Access to a network is limited to participants with a company email address, with all content kept private. For added security measures, companies can shell out a nominal fee for administration privileges: This ensures that everything posted remains confidential should you decide to quit Yammering away.
Socialtext: While the concept of internal microblogging is still relatively new, the competition between services is heating up. But if the reviews are any indication, Socialtext may be in the lead. In addition to its free, 50-user microblogging platform, Socialtext also recently launched a paid service for companies that allows more users and can be used behind firewalls. For $1 per user per month, subscribers to the service receive a server appliance; the appliance’s hardware runs the microblogging software locally, meaning it can be connected to each company’s own backup system should something go wrong. The external device can also automatically pull in all employee information to instantly create accounts for the entire company – that way, no one can feign tech ignorance as an excuse to avoid being a team player.