Is Triberr Divisive?

Your blog is awful.

You need to share more/less…

In March of 2011 I wrote a post about a new tool I was using to build my blog called Triberr.  In the early days we shared all of the posts our fellow tribesmen produced automagically and debated about whether this was a good or bad thing.

That was because there were  concerns about what would happen to our credibility if we shared content that was of poor quality or didn’t fit into what our readers wanted to see from us.

Those were legitimate discussions that I was grateful to be a part of because they made me focus on why I was blogging and what I hoped to accomplish.

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.
An Open Letter To Triberr Members– August 2011

When I look back I ask myself if I have learned anything from this my experience and what if anything has changed.

The answer is that nothing has changed and everything has.

The evolution of  Triberr has changed so that the average member doesn’t receive the “automagical” sharing of their posts that we once did and consequently people spend more time looking at reciprocity.

In simple terms that means that they don’t want to share your posts unless you are sharing theirs. In concept it sounds simple but in practice it reminds me of my children screaming “play fair.”

What Is The Goal?

This is not how I want to spend my time. I don’t want to get involved in the petty and ticky tack discussions about who did what to whom and why.

The answer to the question in the subhead is what is critical to me. The most important question to me is bigger than whether my posts are being shared equally but whether my involvement in Triberr helps me meet my objective.

When you sift through everything I have written about Triberr you will find one recurring theme, people. You won’t find 87 Triberr Tricks You Never Tried Twice but you will find my gratitude about how Triberr has helped me meet some terrific people.

I am grateful because People power social media.

I am a writer and I love to write. I will blog with or without readers but people make it better.

Action Requires Activity and Not Intent

Action requires activity and not intent. You can’t just say you want to do XYZ and expect it to happen unless you actively pursue doing the things that will help you meet your goals.

The answer to the question in the headline is that Triberr can be divisve. It can irritate and aggravate you but you need to determine if what you are irritated about is significant.

So yeah, some of my fellow tribesmen have been getting away with not carrying their share of the load but the overall experience outweighs that so I am not going to let the petty part wreck the rest.

People power social media and if you take time to build relationships good things will come from that.

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  1. James Thomas January 14, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    I’d like to come out of the woodwork and say that I’m one of those people (as a reader and as a blogger) who really doesn’t ‘get’ Triberr. I was initially invited to join a tribe when I was just an occasional blogger. When I started posting more regularly I returned to have a proper look, but I couldn’t find a single tribe whose content I would be happy to share on a daily basis, automatically or otherwise. Furthermore, the hierarchical culture and [what I perceived to be] a requirement for 1:1 reciprocity just didn’t sit right with me. In the past I’ve also unfollowed a few people who use the service badly, blindly sharing content that has nothing to do with (or worse, contradicts) the reason I followed them in the first place.

    Then again, when used sparingly, and well, I think Triberr can be a useful tool for readers and bloggers alike. It’s how I found this post, for instance (you can thank the ever-relevant @markwschaefer for that!), and when a trusted follower is part of a smaller tribe they can provide genuine value by regularly sharing posts made by similar bloggers who aren’t necessarily in my existing network. And if blogging ever became more than a hobby for me then perhaps I’d look at the service with fresh eyes!

  2. Frank Strong January 14, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    For me it’s simple: I read every post I approve and only approve content I think works. The same is true if I’m using RSS and Buffer. In many ways Triberr has become something of an RSS reader for me, but it’s also introduced me to people that I might never have met otherwise — and that’s the beauty of it.

  3. Lori Gosselin January 14, 2013 at 9:25 am

    Hi Jack,
    The problem I have with Triberr is that I can’t tweet all the posts of the bloggers in the tribe that I’ve been invited to – not all of them are in my area. Tweeting everything, unless “everything” is your thing, waters down the credibility of your tweets. In the tribes where I’ve invited people, I tweet most of them automatically, and there are some in the tribes I’ve been invited to that I tweet automatically as well. It’s not a perfect system.
    As for your question, are the little guys benefiting as much as the big guys, I don’t know. I liked it more when it was all automatic, but then I’d have had to be more careful then of which tribes I accepted invites to.
    Do you approve every post in every tribe you’re in Jack?

    • Jack January 14, 2013 at 10:59 pm

      Hi Lori,

      I take a similar approach and try to focus on tweeting out links that are relevant and important to my community. It is hard because there are so many people in my tribes I can’t possibly send out everything that comes through.

      If I did that my stream would be overwhelmed with nothing but tweets about posts I didn’t write.

  4. Mark January 14, 2013 at 8:15 am

    Hey there, Jack – it’s good to see you, sir!

    My two cents; if you put effective tools in the hands of individuals who are focusing on people and relationships, combined with a community that is populated with talented, hard-working professionals, there’s huge value to be gained for both…

    Who cares who does what and why? It really doesn’t matter and besides, most people are in la la land… there, I said it 😮

    People who who worry about reciprocity have their focus in the wrong place… They’re typically not developing meaningful relationships or building successful businesses. This mindset doesn’t accomplish much of anything… It’s just diphtheria.

    Those who focus on more important things conducive to building successful businesses and lives; like serving others, creating and delivering quality content and sharing and promoting the quality work of others, don’t have time to worry about stupid things like reciprocity.

    Let’s catch up soon and chat… I want your feedback on something if you’re available… let me know.


    • Jack January 14, 2013 at 10:56 pm

      Hi Mark,

      I like where you went with this because it makes perfect sense to me. There is a lot to be said for what different people can do when they have access to solid tools and resources.

      And I really like the focus on building relationships because that is a significant step for successful businesses.

  5. Kaarina Dillabough January 14, 2013 at 5:30 am

    I share only what I wish to share, and I read everything before sharing. Now sometimes I miss posts, and something I would normally share gets missed. Maybe that annoys a tribemate, but my feeling is this: there are only so many hours in the day, I get to the posts I get to and I share the ones that I believe my “community” will be entertained, educated and/or enlightened by. It’s not a tit-for-tat thing. If someone doesn’t share my stuff, that’s their decision. Sometimes it smarts, but that’s life. And if I don’t share someone’s stuff, it’s either because the content doesn’t “fit” my reader, I’ve shared too many posts with the same type of topic, or I simply missed the post. Cheers! Kaarina

  6. Betsy Cross January 14, 2013 at 4:14 am

    I think we’re thinking about it too much.
    I watch what irritates me. That says more about me than “them”.
    My experience might be different from yours. I’m happy and trying to ignore what people are talking about. Some very nice people are visiting me on my blog. I like that. It’s more than I deserve. :). And I’ll take it and spread it when and how I can.
    I don’t mean to irritate or ignore people. When I hear that not sharing content does that I feel sad and distracted. In appreciate genuine connection. I figure thaat’s what I’m getting and giving.
    I dream of a world full of Forest Gumps. LOL!

    • Jack January 14, 2013 at 10:33 am

      Hi Betsy,

      That is the kind of attitude that helps us all go three steps farther than we move when grumpy.

      I pay some attention to what is being said and try to take the parts that are useful and ignore those pieces that aren’t. It is impossible to please everyone.

  7. Mark W. Schaefer January 13, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    Great post Jack and I agree completely. Luckily most of the reciprocity trolls are leaving me alone these days : )

    • Jack January 13, 2013 at 11:44 pm

      Hi Mark,

      Thank you. I am curious about something and you are a good person to ask.

      In concept Triberr is supposed to help the “smaller” bloggers compete with the bigger guys and I think it is safe to say you aren’t a “small blogger” any more.

      Do you feel like you get the same benefit out of Triberr as someone with a smaller blog does?

  8. Bill Dorman January 13, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    People who follow my twitter stream think I tweet…a lot…and I suppose I do but the reality is, 95+% of my tweets come straight from Triberr. I guess it’s the lazy way to tweet as I don’t usually have anything tweetable to say anyway.

    I have met some really great people through it and I like having fun w/ my comments on the posts I tweet; especially to the people who don’t know me.

    I’m down with it, it keeps me around w/out too much heavy lifting required.

  9. Carolyn January 13, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    Interesting, Jack. The big debate in Triberr is whether you will share someone’s content if they don’t share yours. Some Triberr members are just trying to milk the system. They never log in or share others’ posts.

    But other members aren’t sharing your content because it isn’t a good fit for their niche. Nothing personal, but a business marketing blog owner probably won’t be tweeting a post about how tips for potty training your toddler. But perhaps then you’re in the wrong tribe.

    Or maybe they’re not tweeting your content because your title says nothing about what your post is about (“Wednesday Thoughts”), or you have a misspelling in the title. Maybe the content is really a sales pitch lightly disguised. Maybe your blog assaults your readers with pop-ups and flashing ads and your tribemate doesn’t want to subject his Twitter followers to that.

    But do you tweet out your tribemate’s content regardless of whether they are tweeting yours?

    I’m thinking the best answer is yes. If you want to share the best content with your Twitter followers, then you will be growing your Twitter account thanks to the hard work of others.

    If you share only based on who shares your content, then your Twitter stream may not be as pleasing to your tweeps which only hurts you.

    • Jack January 13, 2013 at 11:33 pm

      Hi Carolyn,

      You have addressed most if not all of the key reasons why people don’t share content, if nothing else you covered mine.

      I try not to base what I share on whether the other blogger is sharing my content too but on whether their content adds or detracts value.

      When I was part of fewer and smaller tribes it was much easier to manage but the siren song of a bigger reach caught me.

      The question I ask is whether the bigger tribe is really helping or if perhaps it is hurting.

      We are in some of the same tribes. What is your experience?

      • Carolyn January 14, 2013 at 9:51 am

        I too succumbed to the call of the mega tribes. My reach has grown, as has the number of my Twitter followers. Now more people follow me than I follow. My traffic is growing, shares are growing, comments are growing, and my Klout even improved.

        All is good, though I do miss the camaraderie of our smaller tribe. I don’t know why that vanished but I’m glad to have made so many wonderful friends through Triberr such as you.

  10. Stan Faryna January 13, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    I agree. Social media is all about people. This mechanism can be particularly challenging to whatever business model you throw at it. Twitter and Facebook for example, remain wonderful paradoxes for that reason. The investors may never recover the financial investment made to operate and grow but the benefits to the world (measured in relationships, connections and sharing) exceed imagination and mathematical expression.

    • Jack January 13, 2013 at 11:28 pm

      Hi Stan,

      It is so very hard to translate people into business and vice versa, but the upside is huge. I don’t know if Twitter and FB will figure out ways to monetize and retain the human side.

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