My hubz and I have been talking a lot about Triberr lately. No surprise there, since we are uber fans. And while we still love its premise — helping level the playing field for the smaller bloggers — we aren’t thrilled with the direction it’s heading.
Not because of the founders, Dino and Dan, who are awesome-sauce to the max! They are rolling out new features all the time, and keeping strong on their end of the bargain. My complaints are less to do with Triberr or its creators than they are related to its users. Including me.
Here are my main problems with Triberr, and my ideas for fixing the issues. How well my plan works really depends on YOU.
1. Tribemates suck.
Okay, not all tribemates suck. Some are really decent. And as a matter of fact, I have met a lot of interesting people via Triberr. That’s kind of good, and kind of bad. Stop frowning at me — hear me out.
Some bloggers — whether they are people are I honestly like, or people I don’t know one way or the other — write crap. I’m not trying to be mean. It’s just the truth as I see it.
Let me define “crap”, though, because adjectives describing blog material are all subjective and thus only pertain to those who happen to agree.
By “crap” I mean the following descriptions, or any combination thereof:
— coupons / giveaways
— reviews / interviews
— writing samples
— re-posts of blogs long past
— lamentations with little to zero humor lightening up the mood
Now again, please note that this is just MYYYYYYYYYYYY opinion of what it means to write “crap”. Maybe you like reading all those sorts of things, which is fine. But if that’s the case, I can’t figure out why you’re reading my bloggy-blog. And maybe you like writing all those sorts of things, which is also fine. But if that’s the case, you won’t be in my tribe.
Answer: Unspam Triberr by being more choosey.
That’s right. I said it. I’m putting the smack down on what I consider to be “crap”. The hard part is where I will have to tell someone I actually like that I no longer want them in my tribe. How does one frame THAT conversation?
((( *nightmares ensue* )))
Ultimately, Tribal Chiefs absolutely MUST start being more selective of who they let in. Again, I’m putting myself in this box, so I hope no one thinks I’m calling them out! We need to start building quality tribes. And the only way to do that is to stop letting “crap” material into our circles. If you don’t realize someone is writing “crap” material until you’ve already let them in… well… either ball-up and give ‘em the boot, or step down as chief. One of the responsibilities of being a leader in Triberr is helping keep it free of “crap”. Are you doing your job?
I’m not. I freely and honestly admit to that crime. But I will be getting down-n-dirty in the coming days.
2. Blogs suck.
Okay, not all blogs suck. The ratio of good blogs to “crap” blogs, however, is growing less and less in our favor as people try to game the system.
I did a bit of spelunking today and came up with a somewhat shocking discovery. Users can see members of tribes to which they do not belong by “following” that tribe. I like to call this “shadowing”, because really you aren’t just following them — the blog posts of the members of the tribe you are following appear in your feed. So as a lurky-loo, you are able to share their material. But since you aren’t actually a member of that tribe, your blog posts do not likewise appear in THEIR feeds.
Why would I be interested in doing such a thing? Why share if I’m not getting reciprocation? Why bother with a tribe to which I haven’t been invited?
Yeah, those questions make perfect sense, and I’m going to answer them.
I started shadowing other tribes for a couple reasons. I wanted to see who else was in tribes that I didn’t belong to, to see if I knew anybody. And I wanted to perhaps petition a couple new tribes for membership. Seeing a tribe’s offerings in my feed allows me the opportunity to judge that tribe’s material. Do I like the majority of their bloggers? Am I interested in sharing the majority of their posts? These are good things to ask before jumping into a new tribe just because you’ve been invited.
And as long as I’m reading the material anyway, why NOT share it with my readers? Particularly if I think they’ll like it! Reciprocation isn’t necessary if what you gain is an interesting read and the knowledge that someone else may find it interesting as well.
But here was my shocking discovery: In every tribe I shadowed, while the majority of its members were new names to me, I knew at least one blogger. That is profound. Think it through a minute. Did you figure out the problem?
We are all sharing each other’s blog posts… with each other. Sure, there may be some “fresh” readers out there in non-Triberr land, but regardless — our shit is just recycling itself. This is not a good thing, friends.
Answer: Unspam Triberr by adding more quality blogs.
We need to start actively recruiting people to join Triberr. And quickly. Before it gets swallowed up by the “crappers”. This edict goes out to chiefs and non-chiefs alike: If you want to see Triberr succeed, it is your responsibility to find and engage bloggers who aren’t yet onboard. There are a lot of great blogs out there. I find new ones every day. You can, too.
3. My Twitter feed sucks.
It does, man, I’m not even kidding. And if you’re on Triberr, your Twitter feed probably sucks too. I feel your pain.
Here’s what has happened. I belong to five standard tribes, one of which I am the chief. From what I see this number is small to average. Someone recently commented that she had cut back from 18 tribes to “only” 12. Zowie! That is a LOOOOOOOOT of material to share! I honestly don’t know how people do it!
As a member of these tribes, I am expected to share each of my tribemates’ posts. Which is fine, so long as each of my tribemates is writing decent material, and so long as I am able to keep up.
The problem lies in the obvious fact that (a) not all my tribemates write decent material, and (b) I’m not able to keep up. As a result, I’m approving shit to go out whether or not I’ve read it. My feed, prior to today, was backlogged FOUR DAYS OUT. That shit is stupid.
The truth is, there is just no way I can legitimately send out the material of each and every one of my tribemates. In my life, it’s not possible. Furthermore, with my feed spaced at 20-minute intervals, that means my Twitter feed is getting clogged up with only Tribber stuffs. Nothing else. And because my Twitter account is “live” 24/7, I look like spam.
Answer: Unspam Triberr by ONLY sharing quality material.
Here’s where shit gets real. I don’t know why it took me so long to get to this conclusion — maybe because I wanted to be able to share everyone willy-nilly — but regardless, I am here now. I’m not sending out stuff I don’t give a shit about anymore. You shouldn’t either.
Seriously! Some of my tribemates are extremely Republican, and I cannot fathom why on earth they would share my material. Makes no sense to me! Do you hear me, Republican tribemates:
You are clogging up your stream with shit you don’t like. Stop it. Don’t do that.
I reckon I am going to get tagged here shortly as a non-sharing tribemate. While I don’t look forward to that confrontation, I do look forward to a cleaner, more user friendly atmosphere on Twitter. I’m looking forward to sharing stuff that I am actually interested in, not just stuff I feel obligated to share. I’m looking forward to having some time to actually READ the posts I’m sending out into the ether. I’m looking forward to commenting on those posts, and possibly even interacting with the authors.
Tomorrow I will continue with my thoughts on Unspamming Triberr by covering my issues with clogged Twitter mentions and autoshare failures, and I will close by explaining in more depth the experiment in which I am currently engaged.
Meanwhile, please tell me what YOU think about Triberr, its users, our responsibility, and any other pertinent issues.