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Sandbox: The Social that’s Local

Written by Jayvee Fernandez

Back in January I worked on a project to pre-launch a rather ubiquitous idea called Sandbox. Well I wasn’t alone. There were hundreds of other Internet personalities, influencers and media practitioners in the Philippines involved in the beta testing phase, which is, to my knowledge the biggest crowd sourced activity ever orchestrated in the local online community.

Read on for more of my personal insights with the launch.

After many days of training (and celebrating our last training day with cheese steaks from Elbert’s), Sandbox came to bear fruit and was recently soft launched with very timely ticket giveaways to the Eraserheads Second Set. As of this April, there is a promo ongoing for free coffee and glazed donuts from Krispy Kreme when you sign up. So if you haven’t joined yet, be prepared for free coffee and glazed donuts!

Right now, Sandbox is in open beta and like all social networks, is currently being improved in many levels. But before we get too carried away with promos, I’d like to share some very personal thoughts about it:

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What is Sandbox?
What we have here is an online platform that allows anyone to connect with friends and share blog posts, photos and videos. It is also an online content store where you can buy music and games. So what sets it apart from other social networks? Well, the portal is also locally developed and thus there is a continuous stream of offline fulfillment through giveaways, raffles and prizes.

In other words, Sandbox is in the business of building communities because not only is there interaction between your friends, there is also conversation between the developers and the users. In marketing terms, it isn’t just horizontal exchanges between consumers, but also vertically, where the product talks back and gives value to insights and suggestions from the community — alongside promotions and giveaways!

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If you aren’t in yet, I encourage you to join! I personally think the Sandbox experience will differ from one person to another. It’s no secret that I’ve been trying to complete my certification course for open water diving and lo and behold even with the multitude of conversations going on with the blogs, I discovered bloggers who were into diving through Sandbox, of all things! Yeah, yeah you know he dives when he uploads a profile photo underwater with full gear — since the UI aligns several profiles together in a tight space, it is easy to determine the most recent users who viewed your post (and thus the floating black silhouette embossed on a blue background). Benj dives. And so does Angel.

So that was my experience. And Benj was telling me that he’d been inviting people over Plurk for so long to dive — sadly with no replies 🙁 Good thing those items were on our little Sandbox group.

Care to share yours? 🙂

About the author

Jayvee Fernandez

Jayvee Fernandez is a tech enthusiast, EAN certified SCUBA Diver and underwater photographer based in Metro Manila, Philippines. His photos and videos have appeared in various international and local publications including Random House Germany, Discovery Channel Canada, and CNN.

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