This year for April Fools Day, I was thinking of running another gag like I did last year – perhaps announcing that Zappos decided to buy Amazon or or something along those lines, but instead I thought I would go in a different direction. Today's post is about a few things in social media that many of us would love to see, but most likely never will. For now, they will remain just ideas, but you never know …
- The Idiotic Startup Name Police – One unfortunately accepted truth of social media has become that the trendier the idea, that more nonsensical the name of the service will be. So instead of respectable or logical names that actually describe what something does (such as LinkedIn), we get Robunko or Smokzee which mean nothing but fit what seems to have become the number one criteria in naming your social media startup: an available domain name. This invite only group would be responsible for policing idiotic startup names from new companies. The punishment? Having to legally change your middle name to your startup name.
- The "Before Their Time Social Media Evangelists" Linked In Group – As someone who evangelizes social media use within companies, I feel for those forward thinkers who advocate using social media for months or even years, and finally find themselves proved right and listened to only when there is some sort of brand crisis that forces their organizations to pay attention to social media and create a strategy for it. This invite only group on LinkedIn would be a support system for those people to give them a place to vent about being "right all along" and enjoy their ultimate vindication as their organizations finally start listening to them.
- The SMGAT Test – If everyone is a social media guru, then the natural question to ask is what qualifies someone for such as title? Perhaps what the industry really needs is a standardized test for it. The Social Media Guru Aptitude Test (SMGAT) would offer a standard against which any aspiring social media guru's level of guru-ness could be measured. The test would include such challenges as forcing them to do 5 tweets without mentioning themselves or creating a strategy without using the words "listen" or "engage.". Not to be biased, but I'd also offer bonus points if they were Indian (or at least willing to wear a turban consistently to prove their guru-like stature).
- The Social Network Defriender Tool – Many of us had more promiscuous days when our standards for friending or following people were not quite what they are now. The problem is that today it is tough to remove anyone because there is no easy way to filter people. This tool would allow you to filter based on a lack of communication between you and a someone, or any other factor and then give you a short list of people to potentially delete.
- The "Not Worth A Pitch Email" Gmail Plug-in – Everyone seems to be in the pitching business, but often insignificant pitches are sent to all of us and make it through because we have no way to filter them. This special plugin for Gmail would be specifically to capture those types of pitches. You could set it up to recognize offending phrases such as "discounted viagra" or "exciting new hire" or "world's first" anything. Once a phrase like this is recognized, it not only deletes the email, but also sends the sender an automated pitch from a library of useless pitches that we can all contribute to.