Yammer, an internal communication tool for companies, won the top prize at TechCrunch50, crowned the winner. The event recognizes startups with merit; the company was given a check for $50,000 to grow its business model. Yammer’s micro-messaging system is essentially Twitter for businesses. Less formal than a corporate intranet, it enables employees to communicate casually in real-time on a public forum. (That is, everyone can see what everyone else is saying.) Registering on a Yammer network requires a company email. A company network is set up, where co-workers can share status updates, post news and links, ask questions, and provide answers to others in their firm. Unlike Twitter, which asks users to answer the question “What are you doing?”, Yammer asks, “What are you working on?”
Twhirl, the social software front end client, now supports any laconi.ca install – an open source, run it on your own servers version of Twitter. See the flagship install of it at identi.ca. So, to sum that all up: Twitter inside the firewall, private for your business is Twhirl+laconi.ca. Twitter outside the firewall with your business colleagues and friends is Twhirl+Twitter. Recently announced at TechCrunch50, Yammer is angling to be the Twitter for the enterprise client. Believe me, lots of companies have asked for this very thing. And while I don’t want to take away from the technical qualities of why Yammer is cool, Twhirl kind of trumps Yammer. Why? Single client.