So, here's Triberr in a nutshell, for those who have no clue what I'm talking about:
- Bloggers (who are also on Twitter) join tribes, with the idea being that you tweet out the headlines of and links to your Tribesmates blog posts through the Triberr site.
I joined months ago, and while tribes have merged and reorganized, I'm still mixed in with a group of mainly Canadian mom bloggers (pretty much all part of the same niche).
Every day I log on and "approve" which of my Tribesmates' posts I would like sent out through my Twitter stream, to my 2400ish Twitter followers. What I started out doing was approving them all. I know these women write quality, appropriate content and realize that topics that might not be of great interest to me just might appeal to my followers, so why not share it all? And of course, since they're all (theoretically) doing the same for me, my posts are getting promoted to a much wider audience (as I currently have a total reach of over 111,000 Twitter followers through my Tribesmates' accounts). Seems like a fantastic idea, right?
Here are some of the tidbits that have plagued or just niggled away at me:
- Just to start with, does the 111,000 "reach" stat take into account that my 21 tribesmates and I probably have a large number of overlapping followers?
- While Triberr (and Triberr enthusiasts) assert that the Tribe membership doesn't need to be "quid pro quo", that really isn't how I see it. I thought the idea was to join a Tribe you would be proud to promote, and other than sensitive issues you want to avoid (e.g. religious or political topics, "adult" posts) you should pretty much be approving all of your Tribesmates' work. Then I realized that while I had tweeted out up to 60 posts a month for some bloggers, they had not bothered to approve a single one of mine, and only 5 or 6 other bloggers are regularly tweeting my posts. I realize that everything I publish isn't award-worthy, but it's clean, usually uncontroversial, and (I believe) certainly in the league of my fellow Tribesmates, quality-wise. So what's going on?
- One blogger let the rest of the group know that she would only be tweeting out posts that fit in her "niche" (let's say it's crafts). I appreciate being informed of that, but since I very rarely post about crafts, she will never be sharing my work...so is it fair that I'm always promoting hers? Many would argue that it's not supposed to be about that...but if that's why I joined, then maybe it's time for me to "unjoin"?
- Another kind (and I mean that sincerely) blogger shared with me that she is actually part of several tribes, and the list of posts to approve is prohibitively long for her (which I totally understand). But while there isn't supposed to be a pressure to "reciprocate", I kind of resent spending so much time retweeting posts for others who are literally never doing the same for me. (Especially considering I only post 8 - 10 times per month; I'm not exactly flooding the tribal stream.)
- Despite the fact that I only have 21 other people in my group, I do agree that it is time consuming to go through and make the approvals. (Posts with forbidden keywords -"giveaway", "win", etc. - require an extra step to retweet as well, adding to time spent.) And I will openly admit that I do not read every single post that I share. I don't have the time, and I have faith in the work of my Tribesmates, so I have never thought it necessary. Others pride themselves on reading every word of posts they share, which is admirable and probably what I should be doing too.
- I'm starting to feel like my Twitter followers are getting "spammed" by me and these links all of the time. At one point I was sending out at least a dozen of these a day, yet sending out authentic tweets with my own thoughts only a few times per week. The ratio didn't feel right. I feel especially guilty since I'm sure my group members and I share a lot of followers in common, who are then seeing the same links pop up ad nauseum in their Twitter streams.
And of course I am thrilled to get extra traffic coming my way...but I don't actually find it's that much. In the last month, my most popular posts got 10 clicks thanks to my Tribesmates tweeting them out. Most of my posts get clicked on around 3 or 4 times because of Triberr.
So what is my future on Triberr? I have now started my own little "quid pro quo" check before clicking on "approve". If I've written 9 posts this month and someone only sent out 1, then I think it's fair to cap her at 40 per month from my end for now.
I really would love to know what others think about this. Are there non-bloggers on Twitter who are annoyed by these Triberr tweets (usually ending in "via @twitternameoforiginalblogger"), or do you appreciate the exposure to the work of others? And Triberr members: am I the only over-sensitive one out there, or does anyone feel the way I do? Do you feel it should be fairly reciprocal, or not at all? Do you feel like you're investing much time in it, and if so, do the rewards outweigh the time spent?