Saturday, 5 June 2010

Yammer overstretches - and breaks


I have been using Yammer for almost a year now together with almost 8,000 colleagues from Capgemini, and it's a wonderful way to share anything with your colleagues. It used to be a perfectly safe compound because of the technical limitation of email domain (meaning only people from e.g. @company.com could access the same Yammer network), but that changed March 1st 2010 and I blogged about that. I even got a reaction from Davis Sacks himself, the CEO, and we've been into contact occasionally ever since

Today it's time to post again, as access to my account (and other colleagues) has been suspended due to a change by Yammer
Some history is required here.
It has always (as far as memory serves me) been possible to add a secondary email account to your account. But, as communities sprang to life, one and the same person could possibly join a community with his secondary email account, and add his primary account as secondary account.
As email addresses are the only way to identify a user, Yammer quickly realised that this feature was turning into a bug. For example, I myself added my own domain to Yammer, and added a few communities to that domain. I could freely surf from private networks and communities to corporate networks and communities with the same user (email address), whether I signed in with my private email address or my corporate one

Thus, Yammer wanted to separate private and corporate accounts again, and thus pre-announced eliminating the secondary email address option - which I understand and applaude. They even announced it, unlike previous changes, but then again it would become really problematic if they hadn't

Yesterday, accounts were cleaned. Networks and communities were separated, private from corporate, and email accounts appointed to the right ones - which is a tough job in itself as communities could link to more than one network! Mine got perfectly separated, thanks for that

Today, I get this message:
The awkward thing is this:
  • I can access my private network perfectly
  • I can access my private communities perfectly
  • I can access my corporate communities perfectly
  • But I can't access my primary Yammer-network: my corporate one
Before, changes have been made unannounced. Changes have been made that were dubious (like disabling the Follow button for individuals if the Follow All setting is used, forcing one to forever Follow All or start with a really clean slate).
This, however, is a wise choice, and neatly pre-announced (although there was no date to it). But it's unbelieveable that a change like this is undertaken, and something as big as this slips through

I really appreciate Yammer and their staff is very responsive, but this is just too silly for words. I even joked about a conspiracy theory that Yammer does this on purpose in order to attract publicity. If nothing's done this weekend, Monday morning a possible 800,000 people will find out they simply can't access Yammer. And right now, it's Sunday already in Auckland...

6 reacties:

Aleister Kronos said...

That has happened to me, too. As a result of the change, I now have a new account on the corporate network and - ironically - by default, I am following myself (ie my original account)! I changed the visible name on this account to "Where's My Account" - and bizarrely found that this name change (and the picture that went with it) had been applied not only to my primary corporate account but also to my .co.uk corporate account. This, despite the fact that the accounts are now supposedly separate! Meanwhile, my third corporate account (yes - I have 3!) is largely OK, except the 'avatar' photo has disappeared.

I am sure that Yammer can and will fix this, but it's hardly a great example of an upgrade.

Martijn Linssen said...

Thanks Aleister. Did you use your email alias for that? Maybe the number of users will double over the next week then ;-)

I wonder whether the initial Yammer architecture changed along with the business diversification - I'm guessing it hasn't all the way

I hope this is the last in a series of not-too-perfect changes by Yammer. Some colleagues of mine are genuinely miffed in the proper sense of the word...

Adam Pisoni said...

Martin,
Sorry for the inconvenience. Splitting user accounts by email was a delicate operation and it appears your user account was adversely affected. We are working right now to correct the situation for your user and should have it resolved momentarily. You may get logged out when we fix the issue, but once you log back in again should be in a better state. If you have additional problems, please email help@yammer.com and we will respond directly to you immediately.

Adam Pisoni
Yammer - CTO

Martijn Linssen said...

Thank you very much Adam! I appreciate the swift response

The split went perfect, like stated in my post.
It seems I'm not the only one affected though, so you might want to look at this from a wider angle

I just tried logging in: I now get "Password invalid" on my Capgemini account. A colleague of mine (@Tim_Kelly) is settled now though, so maybe the same fix should do the job?

Updating that to help@yammer.com as well

Zack Parker said...

Hi Martijn,

We've applied the same fix to your account as to Tim's; can you try logging in again?

Zack Parker
Director of Web Engineering
Yammer, Inc

Martijn Linssen said...

Hi Zack,

works like a charm - thank you so much!

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