15
20
Guest

A Triberr Confessional

By: Guest | February 18, 2013 | 
92

Today’s guest post is by Amy McCloskey Tobin.

This post took me longer than any I have ever penned because I am so torn over how I feel about it’s subject: Triberr.

Before you react, I KNOW how beloved the app is to so many of us bloggers.

I had to twist Gini Dietrich’s arm a bit to get approval because she loves it so much.

My confession: I use Triberr every day, and sometimes I abuse it.

This post is not anti-Triberr, but about how we abuse it to our own detriment.

I know this: It often damages the authenticity of my social experience.

Like any long-time user of social media, I have been going through a metamorphosis: in the beginning I tried desperately to stay ‘up’ on every new network. I could never catch my breath, nor could I intelligently consume it all. As my social community has grown, it is difficult to interact on all of the blogs and communities I admire and cherish. I’ve had to edit my consumption so I can actually digest what I was reading intelligently.

Enter Triberr

My first foray into Triberr was in a pleasant little Tribe of five; I read every post and shared them all willingly. And, the return on my time investment was that Triberr helped my own blog considerably; I earned more followers and was eventually invited to guest post on 12most.com and then other more prominent sites.

Over time, my tribe membership became a monster; I ended up in two tribes totalling 58 members. If I behaved as a good Tribemate, I’d have to share all 56 other members’ posts. God forbid I took a day off, I’d up with 35 backlogged posts. I became overwhelmed. Somedays I hid and didn’t even enter the site.

Sharing is Caring!

Then, for a short time I decided to dedicate myself to keeping up – and I shared everything. I approved it ALL, even without reading it. The reason I fell in love with social media was the authenticity of it; sharing blindly just felt so wrong, but I had to pay back my tribemates, right?

Deep down I knew this was wrong. What would Holden Caulfield say? He’d call me a phony. I represent myself as having a strong level of integrity but I had become a sharing harlot.

There were others issues too. As I’d become lazy and dependent on the approved sharing cue, I also began posting the same blogs, with no comments on my own perspective, to all of the networks. And yes, I know this is not best practice activity…I would criticize any of my clients for doing the same.

Scaling Back

As I was struggling with my own lack of sharing integrity I was invited to a Power Sharers tribe of 277 – aghhh! This had to stop somewhere.

Before I quit using Triberr, I decided to take some responsibility regarding how I was choosing to use it. I stopped sharing all of my tribemates’ posts, and took the retribution from some choosing not to share mine anymore either. I began to see Triberr as a curation tool. I did have a lot of great bloggers in my tribes, so instead of blaming Triberr for how I used it, I started to regard it as a safe keeping spot for blogs I intended to read.

Skimming through the queue made it a lot easier for me to find the titles that were appealing and relevant. It did mean I’d skip a lot of Free Offer and Special Deal posts. But I read meaningful stuff, and open anything that remotely piques my interest. I try to desist from approving anything I haven’t read fully.

Triberr was never the problem; my abuse of it was.

Amy McCloskey Tobin is a business development executive at ArCompany, and specializes in PR and integrated marketing strategy. She also is the founder of Ariel Marketing Group, llc,. Her mission in life is to create smart, individualized marketing strategies for small business. 

90 comments
Steve Birkett
Steve Birkett

Since starting out with Triberr last year for other accounts I manage, I've always seen it as the pipes through which content flows... the person behind the Twitter account is the one judged on what they choose to share. Auto-approval is generally a bad idea unless it's a really tight knit, small tribe of writers whom you always read without fail. Since that number is tiny for many of us, the same manual quality check should be done on the vast majority of content we share, to my mind. I am now actively unfollowing some folks who only seem to auto-tweet, but that again is the individual's decision, not Triberr's MO.  Nice work on getting a clearly evocative topic down in type and communicated even-handedly, @AmyMccTobin .

Latest blog post: Virtual Merch Table Series

AmyMccTobin
AmyMccTobin

@ryanleecox And what does Ryan think about Triberr?

rdopping
rdopping

Not much to add other than with a sensible approach Triberr for me has been a great way to belong to a group where I can up my game and share/learn from some great folks. It's all those good things for me; curation tool, feed for great content, community building tool and a learning platform. I started treating it that way a few moths back and it changed my perspective completely. Cheers Amy. Great thoughts on Triberr

allenmireles
allenmireles

Wow, @AmyMccTobin you've done a nice job of identifying some of the feelings I've also had about Triberr. I've used it a lot and enjoyed it, and through it have found my way to new blogs and new people. But the guilt. Oy. I have felt for some time that I was letting my fellow tribemates down by not sharing their posts. The answer? Not sure. Probably pulling back and dropping out of some of the groups I'm in, or in creating a new, smaller group. This question of automation, and its place in social, continues to plague us...sigh...

Triberr
Triberr

@neicolec waves (hi). How's it going, Nicole? ^Dan

Courtney Engle Robertson
Courtney Engle Robertson

Funny enough, I found this article because I was reading Triberr.  I may have missed the part about sharing everyone else's content. I've used Triberr as a curation tool, read the content of the sites, and then share from there. I like that approach, and am not offended if others aren't sharing my content. Keep it genuine for our networks.

AmyMccTobin
AmyMccTobin

@howiegoldfarb @SpinSucks @ginidietrich Thanks Howie... I replied to you in the comments.

susansilver
susansilver

I have found a nice balance with my current tribes. Most of the writers are people that I enjoy reading every day. I also dropped out of two of them just because I didn't like most of the posts that were being shared. I realized that while it is great to have a huge reach, it is not the most important part of the Triberr experience. The most important thing is building relationships with the writers you really like.  

Howie Goldfarb
Howie Goldfarb

I was just discussing this with @dannybrown @shonali @ginidietrich . It started with @danperezfilms asking on Facebook about Triberr. That it has ruined his twitter experience. I have a list of about 200-250 accounts i focus on for Twitter. So many use triberr sometimes half my feed is filled with Triberr. So I kind of feel like Dan.

 

So now I only click and reshare non-triberr tweets. i actually wish i could filter my feed.

 

That said I am unique. I have a high level of peers using it. Most readers of Spin Sucks probably don't and that is where Triberr helps amplify readership.

 

Thank you for your honesty @AmyMccTobin 

Karen_C_Wilson
Karen_C_Wilson

I got onto Triberr fairly quickly, but even though I saw a lot of potential in it, getting into a good tribe was so difficult with all the limitations they they had in place in the beginning. Had I shared content from the tribes I landed in by joining early, my followers would have called me out for spamming (and they did until I turned off the autosharing). 

 

But even with autosharing not being a part of the tool anymore, the downside is the abusers. I heard of so many people muting any tweet that had a triberr link in it. I have unfollowed so many people who spit out a stream of triberr shares all at once. It's frustrating because I have seen the potential of this tool being really good from day one. It ruins it for everyone when some people don't use it well.

 

It's unfortunate that the tool has to change because users don't use best practices when sharing. I'm having a look again since they're relaunching, but I'm definitely going to be skeptical and super cautious this time around.

barrettrossie
barrettrossie

You've really done a great job in this post expressing some of the love/hate frustrations and hesitations I've had with Triberr.  It stirs up fairly complex emotions... but probably because it's such a powerful tool. @dinodogan  -- I've had to practice skimming and skipping. It's a bit liberating when you realize you can be a good tribemate and still not RT every post from every member.

Cision NA
Cision NA

We signed up for Triberr awhile ago but just hooked up our RSS feed about a month ago, and can't get enough of it.

 

I think part of the reason it is manageable for us is because we are only members of a few tribes and each of them seems to align perfectly with the industries we focus on, so it's a win-win: we are constantly finding great content to share and building relationships, while also receiving an uptick in visitors to our site. 

 

This post does serve as a good word to the wise, however, and we'll be careful that we don't inundate ourselves by getting too Tribe happy :) I can see how it can get overwhelming quickly, and Amy's outline will help guide us in the right direction as we carve out more time on the site.

 

Thank you for the tips, Amy!

Best,Lisa 

Lara Wellman
Lara Wellman

I tried Triberr a long time ago and stopped using it fairly quickly. I *think* it was automatically sharing everything in my tribe instead of it being a choice...

 

This has definitely got me thinking I need to go back and explore it again! Thanks!

dinodogan
dinodogan

I forgot to mention.

 

A HUGE, GIANT, SPECIAL thanks for publishing this post on Gini's blog. 

 

Every time Triberr or I get a mention on SpinSucks, my cool-quotient goes way up with my girlfriend's eyes. So, a BIG thank you for making my gf like me more. :-)

AmyMccTobin
AmyMccTobin

@LouHoffman @ginidietrich @Triberr Thx for the share... I've given up on the reciprocity end of things.

AmyMccTobin
AmyMccTobin

 @Steve Birkett Why thank you Steve. It took a while for me to distill it. First, talked to Gini about it twice, and Lindsey, and then sat on it, and then, the week before launch, RE WROTE the whole thing.  It was a lot of contemplation over the tool and my behavior with it.

ryanleecox
ryanleecox

@AmyMccTobin I don't have anything bad to say.

ryanleecox
ryanleecox

@AmyMccTobin Ryan has never been invited to a tribe, couldn't build out his tribe (tried for 5 months) and gave up on Triberr. lol

AmyMccTobin
AmyMccTobin

 @allenmireles Apparently I've touched a nerve that lots of people were struggling with... Now @ginidietrich never deals with the guilt at all - if it's not relevant she doesn't share and that's THAT.  We all need to be more business minded about that and just ditch the guilt.

neicolec
neicolec

@Triberr I'm doing good. How are you? Triberr seems to be doing well!

dinodogan
dinodogan

 @HowieG  @shonali  @ginidietrich  @danperezfilms  @AmyMccTobin Thats an interesting stance Dan has taken. But then again, Dan is a contrarian by nature, and I love him for it. But let's examine that complaint for a moment. 

 

"Triberr has ruined my Twitter experience" presupposes two fallacies. 

 

The first presupposition is that Triberr controls your level of engagement on Twitter. Which is total BS.

 

Triberr makes it easy to share things you would share even if there was no Triberr. Which in fact gives you MORE time to engage. 

 

The second presupposition is that Twitter is somehow holly and infallible and shouldn't be tampered with. And I totally disagree with that. 

 

Twitter and Facebook have stolen the conversation away from blogs, and we are stealing it back. That is Triberr's mission.

 

We want to turn blogs into one giant social organism, and if we ruin Twitter and Facebook in the process, I am perfectly ok with that :-)

 

BAM! :-)

AmyMccTobin
AmyMccTobin

 @Karen_C_Wilson Karen, it is really easy to use the approval system and space out your tweets.  I'd unfollow anyone who spews any tweets out like that, not just from Triberr. Why don't you create your own small Tribe and try it out when you have total control?   I'll be interested in your results...

AmyMccTobin
AmyMccTobin

 @barrettrossie  @dinodogan Well HELLO Barrett... I guess it blew my doors off at how EMOTIONAL people are about Triberr.  @dinodogan that can ONLY be  a good thing - people really care about the thing that you  built.  I'm actually kind of blown away. Triberr was always a personal thing for me; now I know it's a personal thing for so many of us. 

AmyMccTobin
AmyMccTobin

 @Lara Wellman You should Lara - it's not autoshare anymore - you actually have to think and read :)  And if you're in an awesome tribe it makes life a lot easier.

Triberr
Triberr

@AmyMccTobin @LouHoffman @ginidietrich We love the post, because we want people to use Triberr as a content discovery tool.

AmyMccTobin
AmyMccTobin

@ryanleecox does Ryan blog his rear off with great content??? THAT's the way to get into a great tribe.

Triberr
Triberr

@neicolec we're getting there. Still a long way to go. Kind of like toddler who can take a few steps. "Ah, the potential!"

Howie Goldfarb
Howie Goldfarb

 @dinodogan  @shonali  @ginidietrich  @danperezfilms  @AmyMccTobin Dino I will not deny Triberr has been a boon for Bloggers. But I don't like automation from people. Businesses I expect it. Social Media is a revolution in interpersonal communication technologies (I have to trade mark that saying) people to people not people to businesses or people to machines. Just my thoughts. My feed is filled with about 8000 tweets a day. Good luck having me see anything anyway lol But triberr 1] increases that volume and 2] i used to look at how many tweets someone has tweeted to gauge activity. Technically people can have tens of thousands of tweets and never be on twitter using triberr (or other)

AmyMccTobin
AmyMccTobin

@Triberr @LouHoffman @ginidietrich Read the comments - it's replaced the RSS feed for me, and a few others. I'm sure that's not unusual.

AmyMccTobin
AmyMccTobin

@Triberr @LouHoffman @ginidietrich Well whew!!! Because we do love Triberr, both of us, and YES, we discussed it at length before I wrote.

AmyMccTobin
AmyMccTobin

 @dinodogan  @ginidietrich  @allenmireles Ha Ha Ha Dino.  Wow Gini... you're even more fascinating to me now. I have a very close friend who is Mormon and YEAH, I get it.The reality is that I see lots of women struggle with guilt and it's totally irrational.  I try, really hard, to ignore it.

AmyMccTobin
AmyMccTobin

 @ginidietrich  @allenmireles Not to talk about taboo subjects, but I'm guessing you were not raised Catholic Gini:)   Guilt is everywhere for us, no matter how rational we are:)  At least that's my excuse.  My Jewish friends often say the same thing.

Shonali
Shonali

 @dinodogan I have! But first there was the whole inbreeding thing, so not everyone could join. Besides, just because it's all the people I would normally read/share anyway, doesn't mean that holds true for everyone else in the tribe. Then there's the reciprocity element; if someone joins my tribe, I feel obligated to join theirs.

Etc. etc.

See you Monday! @HowieG  @AmyMccTobin 

Latest blog post: Shedding Light on Black PR

Shonali
Shonali

 @HowieG  @dinodogan I know I have a blog post (at least one) here! Dino - I'm looking forward to meeting you next week. You know what a fan I've been of Triberr. But frankly, I have a lot of the same issues that @AmyMccTobin and Howie have. Triberr DOES make it easy to share but there is definitely an element of guilt as well. I've actually said "no" to several tribes because as it is, I barely have time to go through my tribal stream once a day (on weekdays, I may have to work on weekends but I'm not going to do Triberr on weekends), read & review posts & then share the ones I like. So while I am very grateful that you came up with it, a) the automation does still turn some people off and b) the curation isn't all that easy. If I had one perfect tribe of only the people I read & adore, then that would be easy. I can count on the fingers of one hand the people whose posts I *might* share sight unseen in Triberr - everyone else, I have to wade through. And that takes time.

Shonali
Shonali

 @HowieG I'm becoming much smarter about using lists too, as @AmyMccTobin said. I just don't go to ALL of the lists I have, b/c some are to make life easier for other people. You know what I did recently? I switched up the location of my home feed (everyone I follow) with one of my favorite lists - basically those I think are saying smart stuff on PR & social - in my Hootsuite dashboard. So now I see it first thing when I log in; otherwise I tend only to reply to people who @ me.

Howie Goldfarb
Howie Goldfarb

 @AmyMccTobin  I do use Lists. It is my main list that is flooded! LOL There are people I used to chat with regularly because I saw them on Twitter posting live who now are mostly Triberr shares. Smart people use Triberr and I know a lot of smart people LOL

AmyMccTobin
AmyMccTobin

 @HowieG  @dinodogan  @shonali  @ginidietrich  @danperezfilms Howie, you CAN control your Twitter feed by using LISTS.... build them out and you can 'hear' who you want.I don't buy that Triberr damages your feed anymore than any other scheduling/sharing program.  How many people do you follow?  There's no way you can hear all of them unless you follow very, very few.I love my Tribes now that I have them under control and have (almost) erased the guilt of not sharing everything in there.  Before I broke up with Triberr I realized it was me, not him. :) 

Triberr
Triberr

@AmyMccTobin @LouHoffman @ginidietrich @dinodogan pretty much :) The new UI is totally about content discover. Especially following tribes

dinodogan
dinodogan

@Triberr @AmyMccTobin @LouHoffman @ginidietrich as bloggers, we dont have a choice BUT to replace RSS since google is killing feedburner

AmyMccTobin
AmyMccTobin

@Triberr @LouHoffman @ginidietrich @dinodogan uhhh... I think that means I'm brilliant, which you already know of course :)

Triberr
Triberr

@AmyMccTobin @LouHoffman @ginidietrich funny you say that. One of our primary goals is to completely replace RSS. I kid you not @dinodogan

Trackbacks

  1. […] Amy McCloskey Tobin posts “A Triberr Confessional” at Spin Sucks. […]

  2. […] A Triberr Confessional –  Amy McCloskey Tobin at SpinSucks.com […]