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What is a YamJam?

  • A YamJam is a moderated, live Q&A/town hall type of event held within Yammer in which panelists answer and discuss users' questions for a set period of time.
  • YamJams encourage Yammer users of a similar job function or department to share insight, best practices, and ideas around a specific challenge or topic.
  • YamJam” is a term coined by Yammer and adopted by many of our customers, although some prefer to use titles such as “Yammer Power Hour”, “Yammer Town Hall”, “Yammer Time”, etc. (Feel free to come up with a name that suits your organizational need and culture.)


Why should I host a YamJam?

  • YamJams demonstrate the power of Yammer! They enable network members to:
    • Engage with multiple participants in the network at once 
    • Share and receive valuable information and insight
    • Interact with leadership in ways they never could have before
  • YamJams offer excellent opportunities to bring together members from across the community to discuss important issues with senior leaders and subject matter experts.


How do I host a YamJam in my own network?

 

Promotion ideas for YamJam event (please add your ideas to this list below):

  • Use Outlook meeting invitations so people hold the time for the Jam, just like they do for meetings. Include details with which group the Yam will be, topics to be discussed, etc.
  • Use Announcements in your Yammer network, in appropriate group(s) with all the Jam details
  • Use Private Messaging and individually send a reminder/invite/please join to your champions tied to the topic of the Jam. Get their commitment to be on the Yam and prepare a question for the SME. 
  • If you notice conversations in the network that tie into the topic or SME of the Yam, reply to that post with a reminder to join the Jam.
  • Update Info area of the Yammergroup with details of the Jam. (use this space after the jam to post wrap-up link)
  • Posters, flyers, TV screens - use whatever you have available to you for visual reminders about the Jam. Think of it like any event that needs promotion, even though it only takes place online in Yammer.
  • Intranet
  • Email blast
  • Article in newsletter
  • Add keyword and hyperlink with YamJam details to your email signature for internal audience
  • Announce it at team meetings
12 Replies
What will happen to the YamJams when the existing yammer network is closed? Is there some type of similar functionality available in this platform? as currently configured, i don't see them being nearly as engaging in this network.
Exactly what I was just thinking Dean. I participated in a YCN (back in the day) YamJam the day before I unleashed a YamJam on my organisation. The exposure in the YCN gave me the confidence that I was on the right path. Interested to see what the plan is for these broad-reaching conversations in this new network.

Would we potentially have a short-lived group created for the purposes of hosting a "yam-jam" here? Otherwise we'll have to do it at thread level and spam a thread for an hour.

Hello, 

 

Yes, as Tom mentioned the idea is to host in a separate event group for the duration of the hour. 

 

We're calling them AMAs or Ask Microsoft Anything. 

 

We plan to host one VERY soon- stay tuned!

Hey Dean,  we actually have quite a bit more potential with these events as we now have more conversation styles, reading and posting permissions, and other tools available to us. As Lana noted, we'll be hosting an AMA soon about the community here. Hope to see you there!

Looking forward to it @Lana O'Brien - staying tuned!

 

(and testing what my reply looks like in this format...)

Hosting our first YamJam on Thursday as we roll out Yammer to a portion of our organization! These resources are amazing - thanks to everyone who contributed to this body of knowledge!

Thank you @Lynley Hipps. I would love to hear how your YamJam went! And please let us know if there are additional resources you would find valuable- or if you have something to add!

We hosted our first Yam Jam today as an organization with our Senior leaders and staff. We leaned on some of the guides in this article, so thanks for that. However, both our leaders and participants felt that it was chaotic at best. They thought it was hard to stay with conversations as new ones who had replies would pop to the top.

 

Do you have a best practice or pro-tip for how to more effectively run these? We are using topics, but most leaders are staying in the Yam Jam group.

 

Thanks!

One pro tip I really have found very handy for YamJams is to have a separate Chrome tab for each conversation starter thread.  So typically the moderator(s) will have a specific question released every so many minutes throughout the YamJam.  So for me, the participant, I'm creating a new Chrome tab for each one of these starters.  And then I'm refreshing each of the tabs as I'm flipping between them.  Sounds a little convoluted, but if the YamJam is particularly active, it keeps me from getting lost.  Using the method, the moderator(s) would do well to include a link to the next thread at the close of each thread.  

 

Check out the Yammer AMA community space to see how this works.  The folks who ran that AMA are  very experienced in running large YamJams and used the same sort of methodology to run that one.  

Adding on to what @Tom Kretzmer said about directing users to open a new tab--

 

One thing I do for my YamJams is post an overlong but very instructional introductory post that tells users what to do. I'll copy it here in case you find it of use. In this example, we had two subject matter experts prepared with responses to questions around a new training product. We came up with a bunch of questions beforehand. As it turned out, we ran out of time to ask them all because our users started asking their own!

 

==

 

Welcome to our YamJam on [topic]! Our experts today are [Name] and [Name].

 

Here's how this works:  

 

1. We came up with a few questions to start us off. I'll post each one in SEPARATE THREAD. Our experts will answer--but YOU join the discussion too!

 

2. Have your own question? Post a BRAND NEW THREAD right here in the eLearning group, and before you hit post, type #[designated hashtag] at the end. We'll make sure to get our experts to it!

 

What's with all the separate threads? This helps keep our fast-paced chat organized. Plus if you want to review later on, you'll easily find what you're looking for.

 

3. Not sure if you're on the latest question? Hit F5 on your browser or the refresh symbol. You can also click "All Conversations" on the group banner.

 

**OKAY! Right now, everybody, please introduce yourself & your role as a reply to this announcement. **

 

Shortly after, Question 1 will be posted on a NEW thread. Don't worry, I'll post a link to that new question right back here to you won't miss it.

 

Okay, introduce yourself below!

 

==

 

Now, on this intro post, you could also include a tip that opening a new tab for each question will help people keep up. 

 

When I as the moderator post each question, I make sure to tag all those subject matter experts hosting the chat so they can find it. If we're in the same room or on a conference call during the YamJam, I tell them to look for it, too! I've found that gathering all the people hosting the YamJam in one space, even over the airwaves, really helps people relax into it and know where to go--plus you can provide near-constant affirmation that they're doing great. 

 

I let each question, even the Introductory question, go for a designated period of time or when interest starts to flag, whichever comes first, and then post on that incumbent thread about the new question.

"Here is Question 1! Click HERE to go to it: [link].

 

As you saw, Yammer is very helpful in showing you all those new replies, and I bet we'd still get users who find the whole experience chaotic even if there were just one question in the space of an hour. You just have to keep reiterating and directing: Where to find things, how to refresh, opening a new tab.

 

One goodie is that if you gather up all the threads and link to them from a Summary Note that you create--and of course broadcast on your network using the same hashtag (or just #yamjam if you didn't have a separate hashtag)-- you can run a report against it and see how many people access it after the YamJam is done. You'll uncover both active participants and lurkers, and be able to prove the value of having these events long after the hour is done. 

 

Here's how I learned how to do this for my External Network. On Home Networks, it's easier to get analytics for file/note views via vendors such as tyGraph, and Microsoft may be adding things into its own analytics. 

 

Hope I didn't brain-dump all over you--do click on that link Tom referenced; there are people who live and breathe YamJams and have loads of advice. And good luck with leadership!

 
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