Communication Research

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Yammer Inclusion Research


This project will gather data and feedback from the community on how we currently utilize Yammer, so that we can be more inclusive.

We have a lot of different ways to communicate at Mozilla, and the sheer volume of communication can be overwhelming. The roadblocks to success survey highlighted many of these concerns around how we communicate with each other, and left an opportunity for further research. As part of the effort to improve inclusion and productivity within our communication channels, this project aims to evaluate Yammer as a communication tool, identify its strengths, weaknesses, and its role within Mozilla.

More specifically, we are exploring how our community interacts with Yammer, what role(s) we expect it to perform, and what differences exist between the staff and community spaces. Over the next six weeks we will be collecting social listening data and community feedback around these questions and other questions, and will report findings to the people team and to the Mozilla community.


Week 1:

Announced project at Monday Meeting. Blog post with more info about the project.

Week 2:

Posted etherpad to collect initial community feedback:

Week 2:

Results from the etherpad posted:

For active users: What are your main reasons to use Yammer? (short phrases please)

  • Discuss large company decisions +6
  • Debate leading to resolution or organizational action +1
  • Share articles/ideas +1
  • Get the word out about new initiatives +2
  • Asking questions when you aren't sure who to ask +5
  • Asking questions when there is no appropriate place to ask elsewhere +2
  • Feel connected to the community +2
  • As a new hire, reading old threads to find out what people think about issues +1
  • Connect with people by sharing cat gifs
  • As a remotie, it's my virtual watercooler for casual conversations +1
  • I use it for company-wide discussions since it's a bit more opt-in than emailing "all". +1
  • And less taxing. An email needs to be deleted, archived, or otherwise handled. A Yammer comment can be scrolled past/ignored.
  • If someone pings me on there by name, I'll go look at Yammer for a while.
  • It is nice to see people "like" a post.
  • Discover shared alignments with other people. Who thinks like I do?
  • Gives me a sense of people's personalities and possible friendliness
  • Share ideas or news that I think might be of general interest to Mozillians, in a way that they can ignore if they're not interested.

For inactive users: What are your main reasons for NOT using Yammer?

  • It's usually unproductive +3
  • Most employees do not use it so as a contributor I find no value
  • Too many channels already, no pressing reason to use Yammer +6
  • It's time consuming +3
  • Offers no clear value/use so I never started +1
  • Frustrating experience/interface +2
  • Is mostly negative, and I think staying positive is critical for overcoming challenges +1
  • Tool closed source, prefer other options that are more in line with our values +1
  • IRC usually suffices for casual conversation.
  • Facebook-like interface, fun but a bit distracting from work
  • Internal Yammer has no non-employees; other Yammer doesn't have enough take-up
  • Conversations can quickly turn very idealistic instead of realistic and are full of bickering and complaints that provide no tangible next steps.

Do you have any difficulties on Yammer due to your location/timezone?

  • No +8
  • Do you have any difficulties on Yammer due to your level of fluency in English?
  • What types of activity do you reserve for the staff network (vs. the exchange that includes volunteers)?
  • Confidential/non-public information +1
  • Internal discussions that are not ready to be opened up to the broader community +3
  • Personal information
  • Opinions and information about sensitive topics like strategy or our partners
  • Discussions about Mozilla's culture
  • Discussions about our work environment, like remote work, snacks, and wifi +1
  • Discussions about benefits
  • Discussions that we have decided we want to keep secret even though most times they are not confidential and should be shared out but we do not.
  • I use the staff Yammer for most comments, simply because it has a bigger audience. A post to the staff Yammer is more likely to be seen than a post to the volunteer Yammer, even though the volunteer Yammer is supposed to be a superset of the staff Yammer. Few people (and very few staff) read the volunteer Yammer, partly because it's so hard to remember how to get to it.

What Yammer functions would you consider vital for your work?

  • None +6
  • Its very existence

What role(s) do you expect Yammer to perform for the organization?

  • Place for open discussion +3
  • Allow people to voice concerns and create action +3
  • A place to share smaller announcements where a Monday lightning talk may not be the right channel. +1

What do you do on Yammer that you cannot do in any other communication channel?

  • Share an announcement or get feedback from a core group of contributors. As a channel it can be more effective than a blog post, tweet or lightning talk at the Monday project meeting. Plus, most people get a daily email digest of Yammer posts and are likely to read your post.
  • Have a sense of a social network. Mozillians, irc, mailing lists don't provide this.
  • Share an idea / comment that will be seen by the relevant person (who may be unknown at first) without distracting everyone else (which all@ does)


Please email Tremaine Kirkman to provide feedback! I will update weekly as community feedback comes in...

Email [Subject Line] Etiquette Research


This project will gather fluid and efficient practices in email subject line etiquette to streamline and prioritize email communication.

When looking at Removing Roadblocks to Productivity that was done by The People Team, a number of people voted with the troubles in communication in the Removing Roadblocks to Productivity Survey, especially in E-Mail.

In order to avoid these roadblocks, this project will look at how to approach email subject line etiquette and practices so that communication is not broken or lost.


Week 1:

Announced project at Monday Meeting.
Main Focus: Good practices on subject lines. Blog post at [about:community-E-Mail Subject Line Etiquette:helping decrease communication stressors] with more info about the project.

Week 2:

Posted etherpad to collect initial community feedback:

Week 2:

Results from Etherpad Posted:

GOOD PRACTICES: especially to use of abbreviation "NRN" (no reply needed) +5

• [brackets in subject line] that help tell you what the e-mail is about. +5

• using flags where needed

• Specific info about the topic, action needed, and deadline, if any. "Please fill out BlahBlah survey by Friday, MM/DD" is better than "BlahBlah survey"+10

• Be friendly and give as much info as will fit in the subject line so ppl immediately know what your email is about - e.g.: if you have an email that contains content for review write 'FOR REVIEW: [name of doc] by Friday @ X, please!' or if you are looking for input from someone e.g.: INFO REQUEST: [topic name] - please can you help..?' (use of caps optional for those who don't like them/feel like they are being shouted at)+2

• EOM for end of message for body-less emails +2

• for long threads, use a new subject line appended to the first with "new subject line [was] re: something else" +2

• Only use ASAP, IMMEDIATE, URGENT, or !!!!! if the email contains something that warrants these words +3 Caps tend to be really annoying at times

• Ensure that the subject line matches the contents of the email content

• Utilize the "to" and "cc" lines appropriately - "cc" generally means no action required. +2

• Never use more than 1 ! and only use in rare occasions that warrants that kind of attention+2

• Limit the use of ALL CAPS. ALL CAPS = YELLING

Can I vote against single-line emails being in the subject with "EOM"? It's always a cognitive jar when I press "Next" to view an email and there's no body to it. I'd much rather people put the single line in the body either instead or even as well. +2


Please email Payam Keshtbod (payam.keshtbod(at)gmail(dot)com) to provide feedback! I will update weekly as community feedback comes in...