An Open Letter To Triberr Members

there's no need to worry this is just a vacation

there’s no need to worry this is just a vacation (Photo credit: Robert Bruce Murray III // Sort Of Natural)

If you are looking for a post that explains what Triberr is and what benefits it offers this isn’t going to be that post. I am not going to provide you with a 500 word essay extolling the virtues of using Triberr nor am I going to provide you with a list of crap that they don’t do well. There are lots of those posts out there already and I don’t feel like adding to the echo chamber.

Instead I am going to engage in my curmudgeonly ways and rant about some things that irritate me about Triberr members. But before I do let me provide my credentials. I am Jack and I belong to two super tribes and a handful of normal sized tribes. The two supertribes have more than 50 members between them. Add the normal sized tribes to the two others and in theory I have a reach that is larger than many newspapers.

Yep, posts like this are broadcast to hundreds of thousands of people or so the theory works. It is always possible that my fellow tribesmen will decide that this or any other post I write are not appropriate for their tribes and will choose not to tweet them. Because I like to push the envelope I sometimes think about writing headlines like “My first Blowjob” or “Hung Like A Horse” for no other reason than to see how many people let them fly.

But I haven’t written those for a variety of reasons not the least of which has been my foray into hell known as moving. Being a man’s man I can only focus on two things at once and as a result that experiment got bumped.

Anyhoo, the reason I am writing this is because frankly I want to share my irritation with the bloggers who expend copious amounts of energy worrying about ratings, karma score and all things related to this.  My friends and I say that loosely why are you worried about whether your fellow tribesmen are giving you a thumbs up or down.

Most of you will never get famous, earn real money or get a job from blogging. I attribute that to the Fouker Study of August 30, 2011 which discovered that most bloggers quit after 90 days because they find it is work. That same study also demonstrated that very few bloggers have passion, persistence and perseverance tied to their names.

They get caught up worrying about trivial things and ignore the big picture. They don’t spend time building communities. They don’t spend time developing friendships and rarely ask for help. But they do a damn fine job of of whining about crap that doesn’t matter.

Writers write. They do it because they love it and because they can’t imagine a world or a time in which they can’t manipulate words to tell the stories that reside in their heads. They spend minimal time worrying about readers because their head feels like it is about to explode-not because it is filled with air but because it is filled with stories.

They write every damn day and go a little crazy because every time they read their words they see a way that they could have said it better.

That doesn’t mean that writers never worry about readers or that they don’t want comments. Of course they do. It would be great if I were published more places and every post had a hundred comments, but they don’t and I am cool with that because I have to write. I have to do my daily dance with the keyboard. I have to set the letters free and watch the words roll down the page.

I don’t fear writing bad posts because I have written plenty and will write more. What I fear is different. What I fear is letting fear of failure fan the flames of doubt and insecurity. What I fear is giving up one day before I am discovered or one word before creating the perfect post. What I fear is not leaving it all out here,

Anyway, that is my deal. You can worry about the thumbs down crap. I don’t give a damn about that because frankly half the time they aren’t reading your post- that rating is strictly off of the headline. Did I mention that I think that headlines are overrated. I’ll save that for later, it is after 1  I finished cramming for finals years ago.

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Comments

  1. I found myself in a bit of a pickle where I belong to no tribes on Triberr, after I was kicked out of a supertribe. This means I have to build up my own tribes from scratch. My blog was deemed to “non specific” to fit a blogging tribe, since I have so many different articles I couldn’t fit in one category. I had to spawn my blog into separate feeds for separate tribes but I still don’t have much traction on Triberr and haven’t really pursued it.

    For blogs that I implicitly trust or authors I trust I simply add their feeds to my Dlvr.it and promote myself, it is more effective for them and I belong to some feeds this way, but I feel I could expand more on Twitter and should if I could find time.

    Some like Triberr, others don’t but one thing you can’t deny is that it gets retweets for your articles. Compare that with your Google Analytics to see what % of referral traffic comes from Twitter and you can determine how effective it is for bringing traffic to your blog.

    • Triberr has gotten to be quite big and I suspect that you might find it easier to find a tribe that works for you. I had a couple of hiccups with one of the tribes that I was in for a while for similar reasons to those you shared, but we sort of worked it out.

  2. @vanitacyril It sounds like it is doing exactly what you want it to do. That is awesome.

  3. I’ve got a very small tribe. My members are bloggers I trust to publish quality posts. The fact that I can use Triberr to share their posts even when I’m too busy to do so myself is reason enough for me to be a Triberr Member. There’s also the added fact that my traffic has raised since using it. 😀 the rest of the stuff . . . karma and ratings, eh I couldn’t care less.

  4. StuartJDavidson says

    haha hilarious

  5. @girlbehind I was just talking about how the fear of failure and/or the pursuit of perfection can paralyze you.

    Sometimes you need to just write and not worry about the quality. Just put pen to paper and get it out there, or so I think.

  6. I’m not a triberr member, but I am a blogger who sometimes procrastinates far too much over trying to write something that I’m 100% happy with. It’s really quite limiting to want to write a great piece every time.

    I have a couple of light weeks and have decided to try to post more, to practice new styles of writing and to see where that takes me. I’m totally on board with the idea that perseverance and practice is the best way of learning and developing the skill of writing. I just need to allow myself to do that practice through my blogging.

  7. wonderoftech says

    I was pretty sure this was you. Now I’m certain.

    Well done.

  8. @AdrienneSmith You have one of the best attitudes about this and life of anyone I have encountered. It is always a pleasure to have that positive energy around.

    One of the most important things successful bloggers do is sustain their effort. There is a low barrier to entry so there is a ton of competition out there. But most don’t last, so working hard to sustain that effort goes a long way.

    Sounds like you have a good thing going on in your tribes. That is very cool.

  9. @wonderoftech It is nothing to write home about, but something is better than nothing. One day maybe that something will be enough to warrant a modest reference. Fortunately it is all tied into something I enjoy.

    One hurdle at a time is a good way to go. I like doing things the hard way. Some people put their pants on one leg at a time, not me. I jump off of the bed and do two at once. 😉

  10. wonderoftech says

    Congratulations on your success monetizing your blog. I know it isn’t easy. I want to establish myself and my blog before I tackle monetization. One hurdle at a time works best for me.

    Getting the heavy lifting out of the way is a major accomplishment. I hope everything else goes well for you. –Carolyn

    PS In my previous comment, I was trying to use the “greater than” sign indicating my preference for Triberr, but that didn’t work out so well.

  11. Oh thank God, I thought I was the ONLY one who didn’t give a crap about all of that stuff Jack. Man I’m SO glad you stepped up and shared this.

    So I’ve been blogging for two years now so does that mean I pass? Plus, I really seriously do not consider myself a writer. I just enjoy helping others learn which is why I blog. So if my stuff gets a thumbs down, it’s not going to hurt my feelings cause you can’t please everyone all of the time. Just part of life.I do think that a lot of people really worry way too much about the numbers. But then again, they are the ones that have stuck this thing out and are making some mula from their efforts. Those people I can definitely understand.

    Thanks for sharing this with us Jack. Looks like you’ve got a LOT of people who totally agree with you. I’m also blessed to be in two super tribes myself and I wouldn’t trade that for the world.

  12. @TheJackB LOL

  13. @dadarocks It makes a difference. We all have our moments of brilliance and some that are a bit less…brilliant.

  14. @EGarimbao All we can do is try to put our best effort in every time.

  15. great article and I am starting to read more then just auto tweet 🙂

  16. You have a point there, the matter is this as you love what are you doing, i don’t think so, that you’ll quit.

  17. @AaronGouveia This isn’t about the quality of the content. I agree that we should always be concerned about it.

    My issue is that some people are spending more time worrying about karma points and ratings instead of content. That is the issue.

    I don’t care if one, two or three people click thumbs up or down for me. I don’t believe that most of them are reading the posts when they do it. I expect that most decisions come based upon headlines and that doesn’t reflect that overall post.

    It is a bullshit call, like the tuck rule. Everyone knows that Brady was stripped and that they should have lost that game.

  18. AaronGouveia says

    I disagree buddy.

    If you’re not concerned about quality then that’s a problem. Sure we all publish some posts that seemed great at the time but, upon closer inspection, didn’t come out right. And I know you like to write a lot and get it all out there. And that’s cool. But not me.

    I’m not hitting publish unless I think I have something worthwhile to say. I’m not hitting publish unless there’s a reason to write what I’m writing, and I always keep my audience in mind. Because I’m not just writing for me. And neither are you. If you were you wouldn’t be publishing this at all. Make no mistake, we’re all writing for an audience. And we should keep that audience in mind. Always.

  19. @BruceSallan Bruce, had I known about the truck I might have asked. Ever try to pack a 3 bedroom house in the back of a VW bug. Let me tell you, Herbie don’t like it. 😉

    You are another person who writes with passion and like I said that is worth a lot in my book.

    We are about due for another round of pumpkin pancakes.

  20. @wonderoftech Triberr has introduced me to some fantastic people and that is by far what I like best about it.

    I didn’t try to monetize my blog until relatively recently and have had decent results. For a long time I avoided doing so because I thought I would be more pure but eventually changed my mind.

    I am the publisher of this blog and I run it by my rules. If someone wants to use it to get in touch with my readers and is willing to work on my terms than I am happy to work with them. For me it has been a good compromise.

    As for the move, well I have finished the heavy lifting but I understand what you mean by getting settled. It feels like a never ending process.

  21. @BrandonPDuncan Brandon I celebrate words and love doing so with others who share that love. There is something special and amazing about letting go of the concern about comments, readers, pageviews etc.

    I like to think that it leads to greener pastures. I suppose we’ll find out one way or another.

  22. @Brankica I liked that bare bones look we had. It was pretty cool- something about that austere landscape appealed to me.

    It is a challenge to try and read everything that is coming through, especially measured against the potential for reach.

  23. dagmarbleasdale Hi Dagmar. If you connect with the right people Triberr can be a really effective tool. In theory if you can find a few other bloggers who have a significant number of followers on Twitter you can expand your reach with a minimal amount of effort.

    Right now I am wrestling with the time commitment. There is something to be said for reaching more than a half million people each day. It certainly increases the odds of reaching the person/people who can help make this into something more than it is.

    P.S. I like this theme- it is pretty clean and has been good to me.

  24. @BrandonPDuncan They aren’t here because of me but because of my readers. That means you Mr. Duncan.@DagmarBleasdale

  25. @dino_dogan Sounds like a deal to me.

  26. @bdorman264 You know those two stories are actually tied together and while I could share them they might make a few people gag or complain about TMI. I’d say “fuck ’em” but that might be redundant.

    Oops, swearing alert. I know, a little bit late but hell that is me- slow to the game but steady.

    There really aren’t many secrets here. Write with passion. Love what you do and be good to others. Seems to me that you do that Mr. Invisible.

  27. @troublesometots The Fouker study is legendary, explosive and sometimes hard to find.

  28. @Lincoln How about something about triskaidekaphobia?

  29. @ace1028 Sounds to me like you have the right “formula” in mind for how to approach Triberr. Or at least I like it because you are doing so in the manner that I think it should be done. Probably isn’t just one way to do it, but…

  30. BruceSallan says

    Why didn’t you say you were moving JB! I’d have offered my truck and helped! It’s funny, I relate to many things in this blog – I write because I want to, yet I also like and need feedback…a sort of double-edged sword. I also really enjoy “engagement” in every way that you can interpret that word!

  31. @HeatherFortune Hi Heather. My two cents is that you have the right idea and the best approach to this. If handled correctly Triberr is a tremendous tool and something that offers a fantastic opportunity.

    But like all tools it can be used improperly and or less effectively.

  32. wonderoftech says

    Jack, what a great article about writing and Triberr. I’m so glad you expressed eloquently, what I feel as a writer. I will show this article to people who question why I write my blog. I don’t monetize it so they wonder why I write. Maybe this article will hep them understand.

    For me, Triberr > sliced bread. I am on three amazing teams with high quality bloggers and I am honored to tweet their posts. Triberr has allowed me to get to know some amazing bloggers and forge connections I would not have made otherwise. The meteoric rise in traffic to my blog hasn’t hurt either. I’m in great company and this further inspires me to produce my best articles.

    Good luck with your move. I’m still trying to get settled a year after my trans-Atlantic move. Maybe someday…

  33. BrandonPDuncan says

    Love the way you describe writers, Jack. SO-VERY-TRUE! You already know I have been scaling back and working through quality control issues in my little piece of the world. And while I question whether or not I will “make it” in blogging, I will say that Christmas is in the bag (pun intended) because of it, and the numbers mean less to me now than they did for the last 8 months. I choose to let my words free also. It feels great. Cheers!

  34. BrandonPDuncan says

    @DagmarBleasdale@TheJackB Good lord, Jack! You know everybody! Even Dagmar is here! 😉

  35. @DaddyNatal I think that everything you have listed makes sense. I have been blogging for more than 7 years now and can’t imagine not doing it. I write because it is a part of and a piece of me.

    But I would be lying if I said that I don’t want more readers, notoriety and opportunity. If I could I would make this blog my full time job. Triberr lends itself to all of those goals and I don’t fault anyone for trying to leverage it to achieve those things.

    Social Dads is a great group of guys, but like anything other group it has moments where it falls short. We all do.

  36. @Daddymojo Exactly. I don’t expect every post to be perfect but sometimes I see stuff that just makes my eyes burn.

  37. @NancyD68 Hi Nancy. I would gladly share that park bench with you to complain about others. A good curmudgeon needs a friend or two who can join them in venting about crap. Just ask Statler and Waldorf. 🙂

  38. @SxNSingleDad Brother we all have our moments of crap to contend with and sometimes the blog is the best place to fling, er write about it. Keep fighting, daylight approaches.

  39. @M_oa_SD Happily ignorant is a lovely term and I mean that in a positive way. There are times where there is no purpose nor reason to have our eyes opened to the “ugly” side of things.

    There are a million different ways to do this but I will always maintain that if you don’t love it you just won’t last. I prefer to read the blogs of those who love it because that passion stimulates me.

  40. @Faryna Hi Stan. I haven’t any complaints about the time and effort that have been put in to building Triberr. I commend @dino_dogan and @dancristo for their efforts- they deserve praise. Some people talk and others act and for that I give them credit.

    But I don’t like the direction that the score keeping takes it so….

    Anyway, unpacking sucks but it does feel good to get rid of more stuff. Over time we acquire so many things and many of them are just unnecessary.

  41. @TheDaddyYoDude Hey John, know what you mean about those damn touchscreens. 😉 I understand the passion- that is the fuel and the fire right there. Without it, this is meaningless.

  42. @timsoulo@ruhanirabin Hi Tim. It makes sense to pay attention to the clicks to see how our message resonates with the readers/followers of fellow tribesmen. That is in line with the mission of extending our reach. I am just not a fan of karma.

  43. I am on manual mode since recently and I was embarrassed to see some of the posts that went through my stream when I was on auto. I think karma and all the other mumbo jumbos should have never been added to Triberr. It should have been left as simple as it was at the beginning. Just my 2 cents.

  44. @dino_dogan does that mean you are removing all the karmas and scores?

  45. @ChrisSinger The real trick with Triberr is making sure that you build solid tribes. If you trust the people that surround you it makes a big difference.

  46. @ChrisSinger It has been a major PITA but now that I am on the other side of moving things are getting a little bit easier.

  47. DagmarBleasdale says

    Ha, thank you for this post, Jack! I was just deciding if I should start with Triberr, but it seems it would add way too much work for me – I wouldn’t want to RT something I haven’t read first.

    I need to work on my 6,500+ unread emails before I start reading more blog post 🙂 I’d rather tweet this to all my followers (15,000+).

    BTW, I have been blogging for 2 1/2 years and am one of the lucky ones who is making money with it. I noticed we use the same Thesis theme.

    Dagmar ~ Dagmar’s momsense

    dagmarbleasdale

  48. I absolutely agree Jack.

    The score/karma is not important…if we create a great algorithm, it will simply measure the quality of the post and engagement overall. And if we do it wrong then what difference does it make what it is?

    So I think folks should just focus on writing great content, and we’ll focus on bringing eyeballs to that content. Deal? 🙂

  49. I’m waiting to hear your take on the two stories you mentioned…………….I’m sure it will be a good one.

    Well, I’ve made it past the 90 day mark and if you read my post this Thurs, you will see my closest friends now know that I’m a blogger. I do know my Klout score because it shows up in Hootsuite and I do know how many people total have commented; other than that, I don’t know any other measurement.

    I’m in 3 tribes w/ a reach of about 150,000 I suppose; but the reality is, I think I get very little traffic when my post is auto-tweeted by a tribe mate. Maybe I need to be more pro-active with my mates, huh?

    You got it working, just keep your head down and keep writing.

  50. troublesometots says

    Why can’t I find this Fouker Study anywhere on the Internet? Is it possible for things to exist OUTSIDE of the Internet?!?!

  51. I would have read this article if you had changed the title to “13 different points I’d like to make to Triberr members.”

  52. And here I was going to tell you I saw you on the front page of Triberr and you were the only person I knew, my friend, so you were cool enough to be famous. 😉

    I’ve only just *met* Triberr, and I’m in one tribe and that’s cool enough for me. I don’t expect peeps to tweet my stuff if it doesn’t work for them, and I’d love to start my own tribe but don’t want to do that just yet just for the sake of doing so. I want to connect with people like me. Who write what they want to write when they want to write it, and don’t when they aren’t feeling it. Kind of like me right now.

    Anyways, great stuff, as always. Rock on.

  53. HeatherFortune says

    I’m tweeting this one too — good stuff!

    I have just begun using Triberr and only participate in one little tribe (with you!) and so far, so good. I am, like Timsoulo, more concerned about how many click throughs I get from my tribe than the karma… perhaps I should be more worried, but eh.

    I researched to find a good tribe to join that I knew would deliver good content to my followers as I hope my blog delivers good content to theirs. I think anything like this can be spammy if you let it — but if you utilize it the right way, you are actually getting the information that people have expressed interest in to them, with a little help from your tribe 🙂 Win-win for everyone.

    I think that I would be less Triberr friendly if I had a yucky tribe 🙂 But I don’t! And I have waited to start my own tribe until I can put together something worthwhile… and not just a giant group of people spamming each other… I think if we all keep that as our focus, Triberr can be very effective for both bloggers and those who want to read the blogs!

  54. DaddyNatal says

    I totally agree with most of what you have written, I do feel though that what most of us who write for purpose do also seek is a degree of recognition.

    Unfortunately for to many that has now equated to clicks, page views or back links!

    For me, and yes I suppose my writing differs from a lot, it is simply knowing I have made a difference to someone’s experience.

    I do seek recognition, I do seek to win awards, my rationale behind this is through this recognition I seek to gain more readers and therefore hope to improve the experiences of more men on the journey into fatherhood. By raising my profile I hope to raise the profile of the wonderful dads that are out there and also the fact that there isn’t enough support for dads out there.

    I am a recent joiner of Triberr and belong to just one tribe, I have spent time in discussions of the tribe, and in my experience so far great group of dads, including yourself, the only posts I don’t retweet are the giveaways

  55. Wise post. Tribrr is a great tool as long as folks don’t simply produce garbage in order to get it posted far and wide.

  56. I only belong to one tribe. I know and like all of the members. I know their posts are good. I was in another tribe and had to quit because I could not tweet the posts. I won’t tweet posts that have cursing just for effect or serious grammar issues. That is me, and everyone is different I know.

    I want to be a female curmudgeon. Then we can sit on a park bench and complain about others. 🙂

  57. SxNSingleDad says

    Sometimes real writers whine about crap that doesn’t mater. Lately I’ve been finding that I do it quite well. You always get a thumbs up from me, son. And not just because you’re a Lakers fan.

  58. I love this post Jack. One of the reasons that I am drawn to your blog is that your passion for writing is almost palpable. And your honesty is appreciated. I am nowhere near the talented writer that you and so many others are but, I have loved writing since I was very young. When I started blogging, I wrote from my heart on a personal blog. But then, I started realizing the value of blogging for increasing the visibility to my businesses and I started writing three business blogs…the words for business blogs don’t come nearly as easily as a personal blog and, shame on me, I have let the personal blog go into hibernation as I strive to grow the businesses. The good news is that, even though I may not be blogging from my feelings place, writing in any form is therapeutic and I love it. Thank you again, Jack…and BTW I think you SHOULD play around with the metrics that those..um..interesting titles might create 😉
    Claudia

  59. I guess I should feel thankful that I don’t notice that type of behavior. I’m happily ignorant when it comes to much of the ‘politics’ of blogging – or Triberr for that matter. I will say that I think more people than is healthy blog for the ‘wrong’ reasons. Writing for the sake of writing doesn’t always get you 100,000 page views a month but it’s almost always enough to keep you going longer than the average 9 months. Good post, Jack.

  60. Like you, Jack, I’m not going to get freak out that I don’t get the thumb up. Don’t give me a thumb’s down – however. Or I’ll be pissed [laughing]

    The karma thing is a beautiful idea in my humble opinion. Obviously, it doesn’t add value as a feature because…

    Maybe, because people don’t check-in to Triberr. Janet Callaway is one of the obvious exceptions. She takes an active leadership role in her tribes. But most people wanted to increase their reach, connection, and chances without adding another two or three hours per day to their present madness. Or complete lack of madness.

    As you mentioned, most people aren’t reading posts when they do check-in to Triberr. Maybe the karma thing would have a chance if there was a karma voting widget for Triberr people on the blog post. But if we’re talking about after the Tweeting, what’s the point? Someone would have to come up with some good reasons for the after party karma.

    On the other hand, the Karma widget did add value as an item on the crowd’s wish list. But now that Dan has slaved over making it work, people don’t put it to good use. That kind of thing happens when you develop apps. Feedback can suck that way – just as easily as it can be sweet and schwing!

    Feedback does not always add value.

    But we all can learn from these mistakes. Ideas can sure be pretty. But that don’t mean they work out. 9 out of 10 small businesses fail in the first six months. 9 out of 10 entrepreneurs fail within the first year of receiving venture capital funding- not to mention the hundreds of entrepreneurs that never got a second look.

    How’s the unpacking going?

  61. TheDaddyYoDude says

    Damn touch screen. It lost its appeal. I write because I write. If all the numbers just drown my passion, then it is no longer worth it. Much happier writing for me.

  62. TheDaddyYoDude says

    “Pictures might be worth a thousand words. But a thousand words can paint a memory.” – Me

    I recently deleted my Triberr accoutrements because of these very things. Maybe it is my lack of time because of my job, or maybe it is because I felt that my passion was becoming a job and competition. And blogging for the sake of writing and sharing was losing its

  63. Hey Jack! 🙂 This was the first post I’ve ever used “tweet now” button on Triberr. Thanks! Those are great points!

    Speaking of myself – I do pay attention on how my posts perform on Triberr. But the only thing that bothers me is the number of clicks I get! Fuck the carma, fuck the quality score!

    When my last post got tweeted by @ruhanirabin it got 73 clicks alone! That means his followers liked it and some may even thank him for tweeting my content! Considering the fact that “68% of The New York Times study participants said they share content as an advertisement for themselves” – I want to be sure I am delivering quality content to guys from my tribe as they will get some credit for it too! So that is why that number bothers me! 🙂

    @timsoulo from mighty ANUBIS 🙂

  64. ChrisSinger says

    Oh and my 2 cents about the Triberr is that it’s just a bit too much like spam for my tastes. That is all.

  65. ChrisSinger says

    I feel for you my friend. I’m still working on recovering from the stress of the before, during and after the move. Best of luck.

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