Yammer, the enterprise social network, has an epic fail for a brand name. Who in their right mind wants to yammer? Is that a pleasant word? No, my friend, it is not. Here are some definitions found online for the word “yammer”:
- to whine or complain
- to make an outcry or clamor.
- to talk loudly and persistently.
So, this is supposed to make my work life better? To have yet another channel of communication I must attend to — this one purpose-built for people to whine or complain loudly and persistently?
Yes, Twitter is also a silly brand-name, but at least the word “twitter” brings connotations of merrily chirping birds. Yammer sounds like a headache.
Message to branding wizards: respect the meanings of words. Yammer is a horrible name for something that you want people to like and use.
Message to the working world: if your boss tells you, “We’re all going to Yammer now, it’s some next-gen Internet shit that will help us synergize,” or something to that effect, please tell him or her, “Sorry, but I think that’s the dumbest name for a communication product I’ve ever heard. In the name of intelligent life on Earth, let’s not use it.”
Now, I’ll admit, at least 95% of my irritation with Yammer is because their name is asinine. But having actually used it at my actual job, I can also say that the marginal benefit of having a Twitter-for-the-enterprise deliver the random thoughts of my co-workers (who do, in fact, have high quality random thoughts) to my desktop or mobile device nearly instantaneously is far outweighed by the negative effect of distraction. So, really, I’ve tried it and I can do without, thank you very much.
Also, to be clear — I wish the hard working folks at Yammer the best of luck. I hope they’re all rolling in money, post-acquisition. And I also hope that they all get to move on to something else soon and work on a product with a better name.