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Triberr — Love it or Hate it???

By 5MinutesForMom |

triberrWhen automation and social media get together, things can get controversial. With Triberr, Twitter users who may never have scheduled a tweet in their online lives are now heavily immersed in automated tweeting.

So, in a community where automation can be a dirty word, and engagement and authenticity are held up as the highest virtues, how are Twitter users feeling about this newest advancement into automating Twitter streams?

What is Triberr?

What exactly does Triberr do? Here is the condensed explanation from Triberr.com:

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. — Triberr.com

Now, it is a whole lot more complicated than that, and if you are interested in learning more about how Triberr works the website has a great video walking you through the interface and features of Triberr.

But the jist is, Triberr is allowing tweeps to band together in “tribes” to tweet out each other’s posts to their respective followers, thus exponentially increasing their reach and exposure to new audiences.

Primarily, most of this tweeting is happening automatically, thus creating the outcry against automation.

For example, when I see that a link is a Triberr link, I tend to discount the value of that RT. I know that my friend may not even have read the post and is therefore not really giving me the recommendation and curation that I want.

What Triberr is doing isn’t completely new — other tools allow Twitter users to auto tweet from RSS feeds and it is common practice in the Twittersphere.

However, Triberr has added the exponential dynamic, almost like a multi-level marketing effect for Twitter. And with its lure of instant growth and virtual ease, Triberr is going viral, affecting everyone’s Twitter stream.

The Backlash

With power Twitter users like Shawn Burns, @BackPackingDad, promising to unfollow those who are using Triberr, well things are getting interesting…

Shawn explains:

Here’s the thing about Triberr: If you’re a power-user, highly organized about Twitter and Tweetdeck columns and Twitter lists, and members of a niche group you have created a List for have formed a Triberr tribe, your once-useful columns become cluttered with duplicate links. Because although it probably doesn’t occur to the tribesman at the time, many people already follow all of the people in that little niche tribe they formed on Triberr. I never click on or retweet any of those links, because once I’m “in the know” that they were auto-tweeted rather than curated, I’m not interested. –@BackPackingDad

When I posed the question to my Twitter followers about whether people liked or dislike Triberr, and if they tended to not click on Triberr links, the responses were 2:1 against Triberr.

While there still were a significant number of tweeps using and appreciating the advantages of Twitter, tweets such as @slc0915 were common:

I hate #Triberr links. I never click and have unfollowed people for using it. Makes my stream too spammy. — @slc0915

But, when I asked the question to a group of professional social media users, the responses were more than 3:1 in favor of Triberr!

This group highly values the extra reach that Triberr offers and feels that if done correctly, with small, carefully selected tribes, Triberr is an asset.

Tania Reuben, @purenaturaldiva, says:

I love it. I love being a part of tribes that are outside of my “daily” circle – without triberr my content might never reach these new readers. I also love that you can see exactly how many people are coming to your site via triber and that clearly let’s me know it’s worth while! I have a few tribes set to manual… and it only takes a few minutes to go through and approve the posts I want to go out. I like knowing that I have the content going out from others too. — @purenaturaldiva

And Nadia Carriere, @childmode, agrees:

It can work if done properly and carefully (separate feeds, limited number of tweets, etc). –@childmode

How Triberr Can Survive

Clearly Triberr has a significant issue: people want TRUE curation, NOT automation.

And, to its credit, Triberr is listening and responding to this problem. Users do have the ability to manually set their streams and choose what tweets go out etc.

But, there is also the problem of too many tweets. With people joining multiple tribes, and bloggers posting multiple times a day, well — things multiply! Twitter streams get jammed and followers get mad.

In response to @MimiBakerMN‘s complaint about this issue, “So if ppl R unfollowing b/c of 2 many tweets via @Triberr what’s the answer? Manual stops? Unhappy ppl,” Dino Dogan, co-founder of Triberr, tweeted, “we just made a change to address that. post coming out tomorrow… great question. Answer is limits. More in 2moro’s post.”

So, it will be interesting to watch as Triberr works to tame the monster they are creating and see if they are able to appease the masses. We all want more traffic to our posts, but none of us wants to lose Twitter followers!

But I think Triberr has good potential and it is only in its infancy at the moment. Dino Dogan and Dan Cristo have built a formidable tool and have made a huge impact in a very short period of time. I hope that they are able to ensure that Triberr can build a solid reputation and that it doesn’t cause followers to hit unfollow when they see Triberr links. (Note: Dino and Dan, please don’t mask the links though. If they are Triberr links, followers deserve to know.)

The problems can’t be solved only with Triberr, however. The key is also with how this tool is used. (Perhaps some users will inform their followers that their Triberr links are NOT automated and that they have manually approved each one that hits their stream.)

For Triberr to be most effective and NOT become spam, it appears best practices dictate that users:

1. Keep tribes small and be very selective
2. Do not join too many tribes
3. Ensure content is relevant and quality
4. Ideally users curate and not automate their streams

What about YOU?

What do you think of Triberr? Do you love it, hate it, or are you still undecided? Do you tend to click less if you suspect it is a Triberr link? Let us know your opinion!

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janicecroze

5MinutesForMom

Janice Croze and her identical twin, Susan Carraretto, are the founders of 5 Minutes for Mom – a mom blog committed to promoting and connecting the online mom community. Janice is also a photographer who specializes in children's photography. You can find her photography work at janicecrozephotography.com.

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39 thoughts on “Triberr — Love it or Hate it???

  1. Cathi says:

    I was invited to a Disney Tribe but deleted my account after a week. I didn’t feel comfortable with tweets going out under my name that were not actually from me. I’m sure it works for some but it didn’t for me. ;D

    1. 5MinutesForMom says:

      Yes – if you aren’t completely confident in your tribemates, that is not good. Thanks for sharing your opinions!

  2. Trey Burley says:

    Wise points. In an effort to extend their reach many tribes may have people who are posting higher and at a lower quality. More tribes does equal more reach, but is also the reason why some folks find Tribrr to be annoying. Limits and moderation are the keys to using Tribrr in a responsible and non spammy way.

    1. 5MinutesForMom says:

      Yes Trey — limits and moderation are key to using it responsibly but I think some people are going to always distrust a Triberr link because they won’t know if it was “hand picked” or automated.

  3. Thien-Kim says:

    I’m not a fan of the Triberr links. I don’t click on any of them. I’ve had new followers where their first page of their Twitter feed is mostly Triberr links. I agree that it clutters up my stream.

    1. 5MinutesForMom says:

      Yes – depending on the time of day and if someone is offline and not tweeting at that time, then their stream can be all Triberr. This might not be a problem to some, but clearly it is to others.

  4. TechyDad says:

    Right now I’m in the “hate it” column. Many people I follow belong to Triberr tribes and so my Twitter stream will get cluttered with links from people in their tribes. Now, I don’t have a problem with automation. I use it myself from time to time (e.g. SocialOomph to help me promote giveaway posts). However, those automated links are things that I, myself, would have tweeted. If I like a post and want to share it with my followers, I’ll tweet about it myself. I don’t want my stream cluttered with tweets by everyone in my tribe regardless of whether or not I’ve actually read or liked their post.

    1. 5MinutesForMom says:

      Thanks TechyDad for sharing your thoughts! It interesting to hear your perspective that you are ok with some forms of automation and not others. I agree it is about control.

  5. The Slacker Mom says:

    I belong to a small tribe (7-8 people) I read probably 90% of the posts becaue i’d be reading them anyways- they are my people. I haven’t had noticed much of an issue thus far. No one has commented, I certainly haven’t lost followers over it. I really don’t see the issue with an auto tweet- if you don’t like it, ignore it. It think it’s laughable that some of the “power” twitter users would think it’s their job to police the little guy who might just be starting up and trying to build their own traffic.

    There is obviously a balance, and if you feel the need to drop someone because they have auto tweets, well, you probably weren’t engaged with that person anyways.

    1. 5MinutesForMom says:

      Thanks so much for your feedback! It is great to hear from the Pro-Triberr camp! :) That is great that it is working well for you and your followers.

  6. Dino Dogan (@dino_dogan) says:

    The truth is, some folks have abused the platform, hence the backlash.

    We didnt know, but we’ve learned and have placed limits (which should have been there from the get go) to the size of your tribal network, we’re increasing no-tweet windows, etc.

    As for curation piece, this was always a non-issue for me. If we’re honest with ourselves, at the end of the day, we curate people, not content.

    In fact, Triberr mirrors real life in this way. When we recommend someone to our friends, bosses, neighbors, etc. We are recommending this person’s past performances, and we trust that their future performance will be just as good.

    Sometimes we’re proven wrong, but mostly we’re proven right. I’d say its a 10/90 split :-)

    I guess I just prefer to be wrong 10% of the time as long as Im correct 90% of the time. This is a mindset, and some might disagree, and thats ok :-)

    1. 5MinutesForMom says:

      Thanks for commenting Dino! As I said to Dan, abuse will always happen and it is good that you guys are looking into placing limits, etc.

      On the curation of people not content, I completely understand where you are coming from. That is why I joined a tribe with two women whom I knew I could completely trust the quality of their content. But, even though I knew I could always trust that their posts would be ones I would recommend, I think people still want more selective curation than that. We are so inundated with tweets and links. But that is simply my opinion.

      But, for sure, there are people who are in tribes that do not have that level of trust and respect for their tribemate’s content as tribes get larger, etc.

      As I said to Dan, congratulations on the success of your platform. To make such a huge impact on the social media world is incredible! I will be watching to see what happens next with Triberr!

  7. Dana K says:

    I hate it. I don’t click the links because it’s not a personal endorsement. Plus, a lot of people I follow are in the same tribes, so my feed is cluttered with the same links all day long.

    Oh, when Triberr has a glitch, I do end up unfollowing people because my tweetstream is worthless if I don’t. It ends up filled with multiple tweets from the same people.

  8. Liz says:

    I am a person who clicks links based on an intriguing tweet. I don’t care if the tweet is sent from a brand new blogger nor one of the biggest names in the blog world. If a post title doesn’t grab me, I’m not clicking. So for me? Triberr isn’t a negative. In fact, I have found more useful posts from clicking through Triberr links, written by people I have never read before.

    I do think some people have abused the Triberr thing. But my tribe is comprised of people who I very, very regularly retweet as it is, so Triberr makes it easier for me.

    How you choose what tribes you belong to is a VERY key piece of the puzzle.

    1. 5MinutesForMom says:

      Very good points Liz. So key how people choose their tribes!

  9. Mimi says:

    Triberr started off with only 7 (?) to a Tribe and they started hearing us say we wanted more, so they gave us more. I don’t think we all really understood the impact it was going to have not only in our streams, but the streams of all those who follow us. I have to sift through Triberr tweets to find actual conversations and it’s frustrating. I am actually considering leaving a couple tribes. I really appreciate the fact that Dino and Dan respond so quickly to concerns, questions, and comments. Definitely time to tame the beast!

    1. 5MinutesForMom says:

      Yes – it is great that Dino and Dan are so responsive and working so hard to make the best tool possible.

  10. Beth says:

    Well … I’m on the fence I suppose. I am fairly new to Triberr. I belong to a Tribe of women that were not in my circle of friends. They write about topics that don’t necessarily interest me. I’m not into the product reviews … blah blah … but some people are. I do feel like I’m spamming my followers. I just switched the biggest Tribe I am in to “manual” and I hope I don’t make enemies. I have a little Tribe I started who are in my circle of friends in the blogosphere and I know their posts are encouraging and clean.

    Yes, I want more exposure. No, I don’t want to spam my followers. Sigh.

    1. 5MinutesForMom says:

      Yes it is tricky indeed. Follow your gut girl — you don’t want to spam your followers!

    1. 5MinutesForMom says:

      Alli – you crack me up! Trust you to not mince words. :)

  11. Amanda says:

    It sounded interesting, so I tried it for a bit. I didn’t like what it did to my feed though. I came off as spammy, and there were so many Triberr links, I found it difficult to actually engage any of my followers. I deleted my Triberr account in under a week.

    I’d rather have ten people actually read and respond than a hundred click throughs.

    1. 5MinutesForMom says:

      Thanks Amanda for adding in your experience. The key definitely appears to be using it in moderation!

  12. Dan Cristo says:

    It feels spammy now because the system hasn’t matured yet. That’ll continue to improve over time.

    We first released a very RAW platform. You post something and others RT it. It factored in quality and frequency at a user to user level, not at a tool level. We’ve already started to limit frequency at a tool level and we have plans to do the same for quality.

    We’re building value for members above and beyond the syndication piece, so we’ll continue to grow as we tighten up the syndication.

    If you hate Triberr now, that is fine. Just keep in mind two things.
    1. Triberr only does what it’s users instruct it to do.
    2. Triberr will provide amazing value to blogger who aren’t even interested in using the syndication piece.

    So please keep an open mind about the brand over the next few months. Don’t discount it entirely, because it hasn’t fully developed into what it’s meant to be.

    1. 5MinutesForMom says:

      Thanks so much for commenting Dan! I really appreciate you adding in your perspective. I plan on writing more posts about Triberr – perhaps I can interview you and/or Dino in the future?
      As I said in my post, I understand you guys are just beginning and I am thoroughly impressed with what you have accomplished so far, even though I have concerns about the automation aspect, etc.

      And as you said, Triberr only does what it’s users instruct it to do. The only risk there is that some users don’t do what is best for the community, or even themselves and their audience, and thus tarnish the tools!

      This problem is systemic to social media though and hardly just an issue for Triberr. People abuse Twitter, FB, comments, etc. So, even if you create an altruistic tool, it can be misused and you can end up taking the criticism. But such is life. You can’t not build tools because some might misuse them. You just have to build them so that they encourage appropriate use and discourage abuse.

      In the end, you won’t please everyone and some won’t like it. No worries. If you try to please everyone, you will undoubtedly fail.

      I wish you good luck and congratulations for what you guys have accomplished in such a short time. I am looking forward to watching and reporting your development!

  13. Mommie Daze says:

    I feel like if I have to curate my stream then what’s the point of Triberr? I’m already taking time to tweet links I like. Why add in the extra work of Triberr? Without automation, what’s the point? I deleted my account, because I just didn’t see that much benefit.

  14. Megha says:

    I’m over a lot of the social media automation – what’s the point if we are all a bunch of humans who have decided to let robots take over the actual conversation with another person. I coach people about social media and while it’s the number one question everyone wants to know is how to make social media easier I think a lot of these types of services muddy the waters of social media holding value as a tool to actually communicate with each other. I get the point of the “tribe” but I think it leads to a lot of “barfing” all over each other with inauthentic communication.

  15. Cat Davis says:

    Triberr can be an excellent tool IF USED IN MODERATION. Good grief I must stress MODERATION.

    Some of my favorite follows have become spam tweeters because they jumped into Triberr groups that have them tweeting out links all day long, mostly full of content that isn’t even related to their own topics and conversations.

    If I wanted to connect with people tweeting 20+ coupons/deals/giveaways a day, I would have followed them.

    I think the real key here is to find a group, a SMALL group, and share content that you’re confident will interest your current/future followers.

  16. Miranda-Moms Bookshelf & More says:

    I absolutley love Triberr! I joined less than a month ago and my blog has almost 100 new followers, I have over 200 new Twitter followers and my blog is getting almost 300% more views!
    That being said, I did have to leave the tribe that originally invited me because it was VERY spammy and it started to piss me off! I was spending more time deleting and axing posts and it was ridiculous. I have went to the tribes I am in (other than mine) and set them all to manual due to users abusing Triberr. I refuse to allow any giveaways, product reviews, or coupon posts through unless it is something I myself would use because I myself ignore these tweets anyway and it drives me crazy! I also ignore and turn down individuals that post like crazy. If you have a coupon blog, bunch your coupons into one post..I might share that, but if you think I am going to approve 30 separate coupons in 30 separate posts they are out of their ever lovin minds! That alone may anger some of my fellow tribe members but too bad! It’s my stream, and only the content I want will go on there. The worst they can do is kick me out, if they do thats too bad, Dino said it himself if you dont like the post you dont HAVE to approve it!
    I started a tribe of my own called Rockin’ Bloggers. I currently have 7 members. I have had over 60 requests to join but I have either turned them down or flat out ignored them due to their posting quality. I literally ONLY want quality posting bloggers. It doesn’t have to be just like mine, but I real life blog posts. not of that other crap.
    I don’t think it’s fair to immediately UnFollow someone just because they use Triberr. Maybe look at at the quality and quantity of their stream and decide from there. Triberr released a new function a couple days ago where you can immediately tweet posts that you like instead of waiting for them to be scheduled, LOVE that new feature. Also you can set the time limit between auto tweets. Anywhere from 1 minute to 90 minutes(farthest I’ve gone) I myself slow the auto tweets to 90 minutes during the day and when I go to bed or am not using twitter I speed it up to every 5 or 10 minutes. Triberr is changing and will only get better!
    I agree that it can be abused and I am sure Dan and Dino will eventually work all that out and it will be amazing, until then people should try it, then you can send them suggestions on what could or should be changed. If you don’t try it, they won’t get your feedback. You could be the force that changes Triberr with each suggestion or complaint!

    1. 5MinutesForMom says:

      Great to hear about your experiences Miranda – thanks so much for sharing! So glad it is working for you and that you have been able to make the changes necessary to limit the tweets and protect the quality of your stream. :)

  17. dweej @ HouseUnseen says:

    The potential for Triberr to be abused or used or used inappropriately is definitely there- but the users who would abuse it are already the kind of users I would prefer not to follow. I am in a single Triberr tribe of a few bloggers who I consider personal friends. I was already tweeting out their links on a daily basis. Why not use Triberr to save myself some time while still sharing the content and users I love and support?

    1. 5MinutesForMom says:

      Yes — very good point. And used like that, Triberr can be really helpful. The problem is the reputation Triberr tweets are getting. However, as you have respected your followers and they know you are not spamming them, it probably works well for you!

  18. Tarasview says:

    you know what- I like it! I actually click on a lot of my friends links because it is posts I would never have seen before. But I suppose I find a lot of people are spammy without tribber’s help. How many giveaway tweets do I see in my stream constantly for example?

    I don’t think it bothers me that much – the twitter stream moves fast and give it 2 seconds and you are looking at a whole other set of tweets.

    I DO like the manual feature though and have it activated on all my stuff.

    I think I like it most because I don’t have time to visit all those blogs every single day but when their posts are tweeted out and a post catches my eye then I have the chance to check it out right away. I think of it sort of like another google reader except a bit less overwhelming because the list doesn’t stick around indefinitely!

    And I find it odd that automation is the issue since so many tweeters automate stuff all the time… I never have because I’m just not that organized but it doesn’t bother me. I hate auto dm’s but auto tweets? go for it. Like I said, give it 2 seconds and the stream is full of a whole new set of tweets.

    If it was sending out ads to commercial sites that would annoy me more- but I don’t mind other people promoting their blog posts.
    :)

    1. 5MinutesForMom says:

      Thanks for your feedback Tara! I do agree that the feeds move fast so in many cases it isn’t like it is there to bother you for too long. So I can see your point. I have also found some really great posts and sites I wouldn’t have found otherwise!

  19. Melissa says:

    I don’t like it AT ALL. I used to use it and quickly stopped. How were followers supposed to see exactly what I was saying? Recently, I went to look at a friend’s timeline to see what she was tweeting while at BlogHer. I couldn’t find a single thing she was saying because it was too many tweets from others.

    It’s spammy and I can’t stand seeing the SAME tweet pop up in my stream from 20 different people. It’s gotten to be that I don’t even look at my Home Stream anymore.

    1. 5MinutesForMom says:

      Wow – thanks for your input! Are you unfollowing any of them or just trying to tolerate it?

  20. Katrina Moody says:

    I think, as in most things in life, it’s not just about moderation but also about interactions. I love Triberr and am pretty enthusiastic about that, but I’m pretty picky about the Tribes I’m on. I recently removed myself from a Tribe that just wasn’t the right fit. There comes a point when moderation isn’t quite the right answer and interaction comes into play.

    It is social media for a reason. How can you be social if you never interact with those in your tribe, if you hate everything they post or cringe when you see their posts pop up? In the same way I have unfollowed folks on Twitter because their streams were filled with junk, I feel you should do the same with those in your Tribes, or even tribes which aren’t the right fit.

    Automation is a tool, not a replacement. And it shouldn’t be used as such. It’s that simple.

  21. Jayne @ Green Country Girl says:

    I freaking hate it. It took me a bit to figure out why the people I followed on Twitter were constantly Tweeting stuff from other people. Constantly. As I’ve said in other posts, if I follow Blogger A, than I want to read Blogger A’s Tweets…not Tweets from Blogger K that I don’t know. UNLESS Blogger A really really really feels that something Blogger K wrote is worth the time. Klout is another one. All the Tweets about “I just gave +1 Klout to so-and-so” are no good. I think it’s all spam wrapped up in a pretty package. I used to use Twitter for current content but have stopped because of all the Tweets from Triberr usage. Now I use Twitter for Follow and Tweets for giveaway entries unless I see original content from a blogger I already follow. I wish I could get the word out to established bloggers that their attempts to saturate every market via Klout, Top Mommy Blogs, Picket Fence, Triberr, etc. are really tuning readers out. I don’t want to be a number to a blogger and I feel that’s what I’ve become.

  22. Jackie says:

    I love it! But I don’t try to read every little thing on twitter. I pretty much just scan. I’m only in 1 tribe and I feel comfortable with the content of every one of those blogs. I think triberr has helped me connect with others that I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to connect with otherwise.

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