So what are my five tools?
Newsgator: it's my standard RSS reader thanks to its Outlook integration, and it synchronises with its online reader well. The online side needs a bit of work to catch up with Bloglines or NewsAlloy, but it's pretty decent all the same. On the road I tend to use RSS Bandit, as it's small and fast. However, I'm looking forward to what the Newsgator folk do with the RSS technologies in Windows Vista and 2007 Office System. I keep a local archive of my RSS feeds and index it with Lookout. That gives me a whole long tail on RSS that turns it into an excellent research tool.
Trillian: IM is the ultimate in social media tools. While I use Skype and Skylook for work purposes, most of my social network is managed through IM (friends, colleagues, contacts, folk from previous jobs), and having a single tool that gives me access to MSN, AIM, Y!, ICQ and Jabber is vital. Its metacontact tools make managing all my many IM contacts incredibly easy. Now that my main blogging tool has turned on a Jabber server it's opened up a whole new layer of interaction - that's already more than proved its worth.
LiveJournal: my main blogging platform with a built in social network tool. LJ's "friends" model may be a combination RSS reader and buddy list on steroids, but it does give the LJ platform something lacking from other blogging tools - a community. As I've got a permanent LJ account bought several years ago when the service was needing new servers urgently, I get a lot of benefits that have more than paid for my $100 contribution to the service - and I've mapped my LJ blog to a personal domain. I also use Wordpress for a more esoteric occasional technical blog that I really must do more with... LJ's also blessed with a whole range of offline blog editing tools, which leads me neatly on to...
Semagic: an excellent free blog post editing tool. It works with LJ, Blogger, and Wordpress (even MSN Spaces!) - and also links to online photo hosting services. An excellent little tool, with a lot of powerful features. It's also free. It's not the only tool I use. I keep a copy of PocketPoster on my Windows Mobile 5.0 device for moblogging, and I occasionally use the Firefox Performancing extension for quick blog posts without leaving my browser.
Flickr: I photoblog a lot, and a good image hosting service is important - and it needs to be social media friendly. Flickr wins out by a long way here. It also has good tool support - and API that lets me do and find out interesting things with and about my pictures.
So there you have it - five social media tools (and combinations of tools) that are an essential part of my day.
What do you use?