Every site worth its salt reserves a small corner of its digital universe for the troublemakers. The eccentrics. The mad scientists. Isolating us from the core makes sense. It gives the tinkerers a space of their own to commune and coalesce.
Social Media Today has given us that home. This weekend, we relaunch SMToolbox, an old island resurrected as a gathering place for a new band of misfits to experiment with the tools we'll use to build our new corner of the Web. Here we play. We explore. We build.
If SMToolbox is foreign to you, it won't take you long to become a native. As the name implies, SMToolbox is a weekly column that highlights social media tools and toolmakers. In this series, we'll explore new tools, profile various toolmakers and have a discussion about the types of innovations we're looking for in the social media tools of the future.
Today, I wear the lab coat, the pocket protector and the singed eyebrows. Tomorrow, I'm deputizing whomever I can find as a co-conspirator in this crazy little endeavor. SMToolbox won't be about me talking at you: it'll be about us discussing the finer points of social media and its tools together. Everyone who visits has a part to play, a role to fill.
To this end, SMToolbox will be made up of three different series, all of which require your participation:
- The Q&A: Several times a month we'll tempt unwitting toolmakers into discussing the social media tools their team creates. This series will give us misfits access to the people who are creating the building blocks for the digital world we're trying to construct; the absolute experts in the social media tools space.
- Your Role: Send me your tools, your experts, your questions. If you make the tools that the whole world should know about, raise your hand and I'll come on over.
- The Ross Review: After the toolmakers have answered our questions, the mad scientist will put the tools through his own paces; bringing a critical eye to the form, function and usability of a tool; comparing the rhetoric of the toolmaker to the reality of the user experience.
- Your Role: Bring it. Take to the comments to argue with me, to shake me by the shoulders and berate me for missing the entire point of a particular tool. Or, of course, to praise me for my keen and savvy eye for social tools.
- The Reader Debates: Questions, answers and reviews will only get us so far. Ultimately, it's the perspective of the people that really matters. To this end, roughly once a month SMToolbox will feature a post devoted exclusively to readers' perspectives on a particular class of social media tool (e.g., social media measurement software). Readers will duke it out over their favorites and the rest of us will kick back and enjoy the show.
- Your Role: I need a build a roster of available players, so I'm looking for those among you willing to be called on to discuss your favorite tools. I need your name, email and professional role. I won't spam you with anything other than a monthly call for participants in this series. I won't share your contact information with anyone else.
So who among you is ready to meet my call? To spend some time on our island of misfit toys, discussing the finer points of social media and all its components? Reach out to me @rossrichendrfer if you are willing to participate in SMToolbox in the days ahead. The island needs you.
SMToolbox will kick off in full force this Sunday, featuring my first Q & A with a high profile toolmaker, to be followed on Monday with my first review of this mystery tool. Check back in, or else.
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