I have to make a special shout out to REI. With so many brick and mortar stores losing out to the web store-front, REI clearly demonstrates its value to exist. I was hesitant to even walk in the door at first, it seems more expensive and therefore more pretentious, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Everyone we talked to at the store was a true-to-form avid outdoor type who loved helping people explore. As for price, you actually don’t end up spending more than most other places. As a member you get 10% cash back per year on your purchases AND you can return anything, anytime, in any condition, for up to a year for a full refund. Beyond the policy, the staff was incredible. I bought my first bag in SF and returned in in VA. The staff was always super helpful and informative in both stores! To retain a great customer service attitude 3K miles apart is nothing short than amazing. So, in short, I am a fan. If you haven’t yet, you should try them out.
#2 goes without saying. Of course, it goes without saying, there are something that you just can’t beat Amazon on. For any smaller items that don’t require a feel or explanation we got it delivered.
The social graph has once again been pushed onto corp. America. It’s the ubiquitous comment board that allows the motive of “I want to tell people, but not specifically anyone in particular or for any particular reason” model. In this case someone is trying to put a cage around this monstrous beast so we can freely share what on our mind within a small community, such as your office.
After playing with yammer a bit I must say the sign up process is pretty neat. They make it work centric so that as you invite people you begin mapping out your corporate hierarchy. i.e. invite Jon who is my employee and Deborah who is my boss.
Another features I have already found some use for is the in-company hashtags like #sick or #launch w/ announcements, so as not clutter your inbox but still keep you informed and within a timeline.
yammerfox is cool also a cool add-on feature. It puts a FireFox plugin into your browser so you don’t have to be on the site to see what’s up. They have picked out a nice little space between IM, twitter and email in a business setting.
I look forward to seeing what else yammer can do for the company and I’m curious to see if it seems cooler then it ends up being useful…..