For those who don’t know, Triberr is a platform that allows bloggers to band together to support each other by semi-automating the tweeting of each other’s blog posts. 

When Triberr was first conceived by its founders, users were urged to ‘tribe up’ with Tweeps they knew and trusted because the idea and expectation was everyone would tweet out everything their tribemates posted to their blog and funnelled through Triberr. Since the loss of fully automated tweeting, this idea has fallen more and more by the wayside. Navigating the politics of any given tribe can be treacherous. Tempers flare. Insults are exchanged. 

Some tribes have rules. Everyone must tweet everyone else’s tweets. Tribemates must not post more than once a day. Tribemates must post more than three times a day. There is no obligation on tweeting at all.
And some tribes don’t have rules. 

Where there are no rules, or the rules are quite relaxed with no expectation of tweeting, then tribemates can clash. 

Sure, you may not be obligated to tweet me, but if you don’t tweet me, why should I feel obliged to tweet you? Triberr is and always has been an ‘I scratch your back, you scratch my back’ arrangement. 

So in the absence of strict tribe rules, I suggest the following common sense guidelines may help to manage the politics:
  • Sure, if you really feel someone posts nothing but crap, don’t tweet them. But if you are tweeting less than half your tribemates for quality reasons, you are probably in the wrong tribe;
  • If you don’t tweet someone, don’t expect them to tweet you back. Definitely don’t think Triberr is a place you can funnel your RSS feed through, set and forget, and never login in to approve tribemates posts. If you do, eventually no one will tweet your post. Why should people make an effort for someone unprepared to return the favour?
  • Don’t tell me you don’t tweet posts because of your ‘brand’. If you have real ‘brand’ issues, tribe up with bloggers who are all about your brand. There is no point tribing up with people you know from the get go that you will never tweet. And incidentally, don’t assume your followers are one dimensional. Fantasy readers, for example, come from all walks of life, and they have varied jobs. One of my readers enjoyed a post I tweeted about big rigs and dams, even though there’s not much in that I personally relate to.
  • If you do make a decision not to tweet a particular person, I personally think it’s courteous to notify them and let them know you don’t expect them to tweet you, but that one may just be me;
  • Tribe leaders, I do think you should encourage tribe members to bring disputes to you, rather than have them back-stabbing each other in the schoolyard as it were. Also, if someone really isn’t pulling their weight in a tribe (or is posting offensive drivel as happened in one of my tribes), you need to know about it because that person is dead weight (or downright dangerous) and isn’t adding any value to your tribe. There is little point having statistics on your tribal reach if in fact half your members are not tweeting to their followers, as that number is then just misleading. I have a few tribes where tribal leaders have removed people who were either not tweeting anyone at all, or were posting really offensive, discriminatory posts.
  • Unless you’re in a tribe that requires multiple postings per day, it’s unreasonable to expect your tribemates to tweet you more than once a day, especially if you are in a large tribe, and especially if the tribe contains a lot of daily bloggers;
If in doubt, you can always ask your tribe leader what the rules are, if any. Tribes of people you know well and really trust dowork best. I have three of these, and they are my absolute favourites! But practically speaking, I recognise that’s not always possible. 

And a word to the wise – Triberr stats have lately been unreliable, so don’t assume someone who shows as tweeting ‘0’ of your posts really is. Check your Twitter stream before you give them the kiss of death!

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This is part of the A to Z Blogging Challenge Series. If you missed the previous posts, you can find them here – A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P , Q, R and S.

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