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Why Everyone Tweets the Same Thing (Triberr)

birdies licensed by flickr user wen rou

Okay, I know I seem like the first to know everything, but it’s just not true. I admit, I am awfully techy, but the truth is I get comfortable with my pet technologies, and it takes a bit of a push from tech-forward early adopting friends (usually Sister Diane) to induce me to try something new. Most people don’t want to be the guinea pigs, y’know? So when Laurie posted a question on the Crafterminds Facebook page, I was instantly intrigued, but totally unfamiliar with what she asked about. Can you believe it? Yes, my friends, it’s true. I am only human.

Important question: Why do I keep getting so many tweets on twitter where various bloggers/twitterers send me to the same post of someone’s – all with the link starting with tribr.it ???? What is this and is it important? Can someone please help me?

Since Laurie’s question was the first I have ever heard of this phenomenon, I had to do some digging!

1. Tribr.it is the URL shortener for Triberr.com

Okay, that part of the mystery solved. But what is Triberr? When I first heard the question, I was instantly suspicious because I am always suspicious of new things. (I KNOW! So sad!) I get so many solicitations via email, Twitter, and other social media inlets that whenever I encounter something I’m unfamiliar with, I’m skeptical. Multiple people Tweeting the same message with a weird URL shortener? Not so excited about that at first blush.

So the URL shortener is legit. That’s good to know. You don’t need to be afraid that if you click on a Tribr.it link, you’ll be sent to malware Hades.

But wait. Before you click that link…

2. What the heck is Triberr.com?

triberr logo

As a professional blogger, I am rather wrapped up in my own little world. Not only do I have to post on more than one blog a day, but I also volunteer to do many time-consuming things every week in the hopes that some day my sweat equity will pay off. I try to keep tabs on what’s happening in my own corner of the blogosphere, but I usually miss fresh offerings from other segments of the internetz. So, Triberr has been around for several months, and this is the first I’ve heard of it.

The Triberr site says that its service does this:

Every time you publish a new post, everyone in your tribe will tweet it to their followers. And you do the same for everyone in your tribe. This happens automagicly of course. Hands off kind of deal. Leaves more time for true engagement.

So in other words, you enroll in Triberr’s service, you get hooked up with some friends who also use Triberr, and then whatever you Tweet will be auto-Tweeted by them, and anything they Tweet will be auto-Tweeted by you. Automagically.

Like I said, I am a blogger whose schedule is full of blog-tastic doings, so you might surmise that a service that auto-Tweets my friends’ stuff would appeal to me. The time savings would be a boon to me.

Ehhh, not so much. To tell you the truth, I avoid auto-Tweeting as much as possible, even when it makes sense. And letting someone else spend my trust capital by auto-Tweeting whatever they want? That is a very frightening prospect to someone who has built her entire blog empire on curating and sharing cool ideas.

3. But I haven’t tried Triberr or even seen it in action

I read a couple of posts, one hesitant about Triberr and one in favor of Triberr.

4. Against Triberr: Auto-Tweeting just adds to social media noise and doesn’t offer your readers content curation

At Danny Brown’s site, guest-poster Neicole Crepeau wrote about her reasons for being cautious about using Tweet automaters, with some excellent points.

  • Although she understands the appeal of services like Triberr, “As a content curator, they don’t meet my needs–and I’m worried they’re just adding to the noise.”
  • Yes, Triberr will get my tweets in front of more eyeballs, but are the links finding the right audience, and more importantly, “Am I short-changing my audience to do it?”

Crepeau emphasizes the value of curation over inundation.

As I said, I consider myself a content curator. I am selective about the posts that I share.  I take pride in reading each one before sharing it.  I share content that I think my particular audience, or the audience I’m trying to build, will find of value. I know they are flooded with content. I like to think they trust that what I share is going to be worth clicking on.

  • Auto-Tweeting isn’t being selective enough, and it is adding to the growing problem of information overload.

If a person auto-tweets every post from my blog, then they aren’t being selective. They aren’t choosing the posts relevant to their audience. I bet they don’t have a quality bar, either. Yes, I want my content to be shared. But what I really want is for my content to be shared by someone whose judgement his or her followers trust, and whose audience is the target audience I’m trying to reach.

5. For Triberr: Increase your reach without doing anything (except lending out your Twitter stream! No bigs!)

On the other side of the issue, Jason Yormark enthused that he increased his reach to 300,000 with Triberr. Did you feel your pulse quicken when you read 300,000?

My question is 300,000 whats, and 300,000 whos?

At first [Triberr] may come off as spammy, and that was my first reaction.  But after digging in a bit, I realized that what founders Dan Cristo and Dino Dogan have created is actually a very interesting and useful tool to increase your reach authentically.  While I wasn’t necessarily comfortable with having some of my tweets automated at first, it was quickly negated by the fact that you can dictate who you associate yourself with.

Okay, hold up a second. Mod Podge Amy is my online best friend. We often chat the same thing to each other at the same time. BUT. I would not auto-Tweet everything that @modpodgerocks Tweets.

Now back to you, Jason.

I’m always looking for great content to share on Twitter, so this tool is a win win for me as it supplements my manual content strategy, and also increases exposure to the content I create on my blog in a relevant way.

If you only care about eyeballs seeing your tribr.it link, then Triberr is the magic button that creates Tweets out of thin air for you. This might appeal to you. It might even fit comfortably within the structure of what you do, or the type of Tweets you already Tweet.

This is what Jason’s Twitter stream looks like:

triberr-stream

As you can see, every single Tweet in the stream was posted by someone other than Jason Yormark, via Triberr.

By the way, you don’t have to auto-Tweet everything your tribe Tweets via Triberr. You can pick and choose if you want. But that kind of eliminates the usefulness of the service, don’t you think? If you are going to do that, then you might as well just organically retweet the ones that speak to you. Like you already do.

6. If you do use Triberr, I’m totally cool with it

Like I said at the beginning of this article, I had never even heard of Triberr two hours ago. During the course of writing this article, I found the Arts & Crafts tribes on Triberr and I know some of these Triberr users from the Crafterminds chats. I did not write this article with you in mind or to single you out or even give an opinion on your use of Triberr. From what I can see, you are using Triberr reasonably, and your Twitter accounts use the rare sprinkling of tribr.it URLs.

As with all things on Crafterminds, I am not telling you what to do. What works for one might not work for another. Blogs are very unique things, and your social media brand is just as unique as you are. The recipe for success varies from person to person.

Oh, but there is just one more thing.

Selection vs. Inundation, New Media vs. Old Media

Crepeau discussed information overload in her article at Danny Brown:

We are inundated with information, links, content. The problem is just getting worse. When people auto-share every post from everyone in their network, they just add to the problem, inundating people with more links.

Selection vs. Inundation is one of the important things that distinguishes new media from old media. Successful new media users select information for their audience like a sommelier chooses a wine to go with a meal. The perfect wine to go with the meal is chosen with care and a knowledge of the food and its consumer. Old media sprays a keg of Kool Aid on its audience and hopes it will drink it.

New media users don’t want to be sprayed with Kool Aid when they are only interested in pinot noir.

top image credit: wen rou (get the amigurumi pattern at the bittersweet blog!)

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19 Responses to “Why Everyone Tweets the Same Thing (Triberr)”

  1. Hi Heather 🙂

    Sweet article on Triberr. Well researched and balanced. Im totally impressed.

    I would only say that on few occasions you mention that you would tweet everything I tweet, which is not the case. You would only tweet my posts, not everything I type in my Twitter timeline.

    May be an important distinction for those who are being introduced to Triberr for the first time via this post.

    Having said that, Triberr is definitely not for everyone. There are over 2 million bloggers out there (according to technorati) and there are just as many goals, ideas about social media, and ways to use twitter.

    I would like to point out that Nicole is a happy Triberr these days 🙂

    Triberr is for bloggers who want to increase their reach. This is the primary function that brings people in. Once the reach is there, bloggers stay for the community aspect of it, which is hard to grasp from the outside, but can be glimpsed at by googleing Triberr and reading posts our users have written about us.

    Finally, Triberr is for bloggers, by bloggers.

    Dan and I are just two dudes working on the platform that has had to answer one question since its inception. How does this help bloggers?

    Also, it’s free.

    Every feature answered that Q and then some. We’re just two bloggers helping other bloggers get their voices heard over the blogging superstars and bland content served up by mainstream channels.

    Little voices can now get amplified 🙂

    Blog on.

    • heather says:

      @Dino, thanks for the comment! Much appreciated.

      After I posted, I found this article at Spin Sucks that described the updated way the Tweet queue is handled, and I was considering updating the post to reflect it. Since you already visited my post here, let me just post my update here in the comments. Spin Sucks said:

      I’ll be honest. It felt really icky to me at first. I was automatically tweeting blog posts that I hadn’t yet read. Granted, the tweets were of people I already read and typically RT anyway, but I still hated seeing that in my stream without having read the post.

      But Dino and Dan listened to their tribes and made some changes. Now the blog posts are stored in your cue and you can schedule it or delete it before it hits your stream. I like this A LOT better because that gives me time to read WTH I’m tweeting. It feels less like I don’t know what’s going on and more like I’m scheduling those tweets, just like I’ve done since I started on Twitter.

      This sounds like a super-reasonable way to deal with the auto-tweeting issue. I also found your comment at the JY post, which I thought was good:

      “Twitter is about sharing (curating) content. Triberr automates the sharing part, and all we have to do a curate the people in our tribes.”

      Yeah, that make sense – cut out the hands-on work by picking the right friends for your tribe.

      Thanks for the interesting idea, the friendly comment, and the additional information!

  2. Jennifer says:

    Loved this post, I was really curious about Triberr and you’ve cleared up a lot of my questions. Definitely going to look into joining.

  3. Laurie says:

    Yay!!!! Thank you for answering my original question so thoroughly!!!! I truly appreciate it. I am still on the fence about triberr at this point – mainly because I found it pretty annoying to keep getting the same posts RTed in my Twitter all last weekend :/ Having said that, I appreciate the opportunity the guys at triberr are offering and will continue to consider! Thanks again – u r super great!!!!

  4. Honestly it is just extra noise on Twitter to me. People kept RT’ing the same post and it is getting annoying.

  5. Kristin says:

    Too funny, Heather… I spent an hour last night trying to figure Triberr out. I’m not sure what I feel about it right now either. That said, it has a little bit of a ‘frat’ feel about it, since you have to ask to join a tribe and they get to accept/reject you.
    As a smaller (read: brand spanking new) blogger, I could definitely use the ‘reach’ aspect, but doubt I’d be accepted into a tribe with my 25 twitter followers. ; )
    Thanks for a great article!

  6. Melissa says:

    I’m new to the craft blogging community too. I not new to twitter or blogging in general. I’m not a fan of automated tweets of any kind. It starts making things less social at that point.

  7. Informative and well balanced article Heather with the exception that has already been clarified around blog posts vs. tweets being auto shared.

    Certainly reach isn’t the only metric and arguably not the most important as engagement is. I try to use Triberr responsibly and only associate myself with like minded individuals that create relevant and useful content. Most of the time that is the case, and sometimes it isn’t. I try to catch instances where it is not, but like anything, things slip through the cracks.

    Whether you like it or not, for me, my reach has opened doors that would otherwise not have. But it falls on me to back it up which I feel I do through creating, sharing and engaging about great content.

    • heather says:

      Thanks for the comment, Jason.

      Whether you like it or not, for me, my reach has opened doors that would otherwise not have.

      Not sure why I wouldn’t like it that your reach has opened doors. Wondering what you mean, though – opened doors for others? Opened doors for you? How have doors been opened? I would be interested to hear more about it.

      Thanks for taking the time to visit & comment.

      • Poorly worded! What I meant was, having a sizable reach has attracted attention by prospective employers, clients, speaking opportunities, etc., that I otherwise might not find if I wasn’t pursuing them. What I meant by “like it or not” is that I know how many folks in the know can get irritated that reach in and of itself attracts attention by those that do not understand much of social media beyond the numbers.

        I’ve learned to embrace it for opportunity, and to work at backing it up.

        So working on the size of audience is important to what I do, but only part of the equation.

        Hope that clarifies.

  8. Heather,
    I admit that I signed up for it (::blushing::). I am still very new to using triberr and learning more about it each day.
    I’ve noticed a few glitches w/ the service this past week (where a bunch of posts were RT at once by our group) and Dino’s been quick to respond to figure out the issue. (Thx Dino)

    The concept is novel, but does not bother me quite as much. Let’s face it: there already were organically grown ‘tribes’ on Twitter. I’ve noticed that there are core groups of bloggers that always seem to RT each other’s blog content. In a way, Triberr takes that concept and automates it. Admittedly, it takes some of the human touch out of it. And I agree it can ‘look’ like spam and noise.

    (But then again… when one sees SallyCrafter *always* RT’ing the content for MaryQuilter, that could look kinda spammy over time, too. Even if it was organic and they are blog friends.)

    Between work and trying to keep up with a blog, I have to maximize my time in social media. I want to interact with my readers and other bloggers in those media forums – but I do like the ability to automate my interactions (ie. via Hootsuite). In fact, right or wrong, I rely heavily on automation! So a service like triberr appealed to me. I can spread the RT love of some great blogs throughout the day, while they do the same for me. And it is a matter of trust. No doubt about it.

    Assuming you trust the other members to produce content you’d recommend to others… A carefully curated tribe may be carefully curated content.

    You can go in an moderate a little what your stream tweets, which is nice. While there are things I wish were different about it (more control, no glitches, etc), I’m liking triberr so far.

    P.S. More food for thought: it already is now one of my top referrers this past week.

    • heather says:

      Thank you so much for commenting with your thoughts, Madigan! If you want to flesh out your comment a bit more & guest post about why you like it, that would be awesome!!

      I am not opposed to Triberr at all (although, admittedly, this article takes a strong stance)… like i said – I haven’t tried the service. I would love to get your “insider’s” perspective.

      heather

  9. I was invited into a Triberr a couple of days ago. I thought I would try it out. I am still not sure what I think about it. And I probably should have researched it a little more than just going ahead without much thought. It is an interesting idea, but I don’t like the idea of people feeling spammed by it.

    xox
    Jen

  10. Randi says:

    I hesitate to say this in case my blog suddenly becomes black-listed but my first reaction to triberr is a bit negative. Seeing the same post tweeted by ten different people with no personal comments makes me far less likely to look at that post than if a few people tweeted the post because they actually liked it and thought it would appeal to their readers. Won’t great content be enough of an appeal to draw in the numbers or am I just naive? And is it only becoming a numbers game?

  11. I am curious if anyone has advice for newer, smaller blogs to get involved in this sort of ‘tribe’, on Triberr, organically, or otherwise. Seems like organized support between bloggers is super helpful for spreading the word, but between work, home, and putting content on my blog I always feel terribly behind the times about social media. It sort of feels like ‘cliques’ (I know that has a negative connotation but I don’t mean it that way) are being formed around me. And to be honest, I want in on the action! 🙂
    So I guess to sum it all up, for those of you on Triberr, what makes you decide to accept/reject someone? Would you let a smaller blog join your tribe knowing they’d benefit more than you?

  12. Thanks for this great post, Heather! I, too, was wondering what this tribrr stuff was all about.
    I’m very protective of the brand I’m creating, and feel that my Twitter stream is worth protecting, so I’ll probably sit on the sidelines a bit as well (though Madigan has me totally interested in saying how much it has done for her).
    I mostly would be interested in how the quality of the “tribe” is maintained. Who decides who gets to join the tribe (and thereby gets access to my twitter stream)?
    Also – if I get to/have to review each tweet before I send it out, it is one more thing to maintain… in an already busy day.
    Just some thoughts… I’ll be interested in seeing how triberr does over the next 6 months.

  13. Sudie says:

    Great article.

    I am on Triberr. I read about this through some pro blog groups I am in, and was lucky invite to garner an invite from 2 of my crafty friends.

    so far so good. I like that I control what I put out. It is pretty easy to use.

    and fyi, there are more than one arts and crafts tribes. I see a few popular craft bloggers on there. So I suspect, it won’t be long before there are quite a few craft blog tribes.

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