One of the common things that I see in the Triberr bonfires (akin to bulletin boards) are requests about how to get started using the network. For the uninitiated, Triberr is a network of bloggers that associate in “tribes” to pool their social distribution. The creators of Triberr, Dino Dogan and Dan Cristo (and their colleagues) are writers and have created Triberr with writers in mind. Every aspect of the site is created to increase the distribution of your writing and to give you opportunities to be paid for your writing. So it’s well worth your time to learn how to use the site, because it can do nothing but benefit you.
Sharing on Triberr happens primarily on Twitter, but also on Facebook, and LinkedIn. All sharing is voluntary and it prompted by the user (you). And there are systems in place so that the more you share, the more likely it is that others will share your stuff.
It’s pretty brilliant and more than a little confusing for bloggers that just come into the network. And it’s a shame, because a lot of good writers could gain a lot more distribution by setting themselves up properly on the network and by actively reading and sharing other people’s stuff.
Since it’s been awhile since I signed up for Triberr (and they’ve made beaucoup improvements since I joined), for this post I wanted to create a new blog and go through the steps to sign up, associate my social and blog accounts to Triberr, find and join a tribe and share content.
Signing up for Triberr
So I set up a test blog, aptly titled, “Every Gray Hair My Kid Has Given Me” and wrote one test post about my kids telling me poop jokes (if you haven’t had this parental experience, it is the opposite of awesome… but anyhow). I’ve got my personal Twitter handle that has a thousand and some odd followers, and now I’m going to sign up for Triberr.
On the Triberr site in the upper right hand corner I click “Register.”
I get a pop out screen that asks for some admin details about me and my blog:
(note that I dorked up the URL there and put the feed instead of the website. Don’t do that.)
After submitting that form, the site prompts me to associate social networks (Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn). I am going to associate my Twitter account:
And when I prompt for Twitter the login screen pops up. To reiterate the way that Triberr works, all tweets that Triberr posts to your social networks are explicitly approved by you. Articles don’t publish without your explicit permission for each post.
After associating your social account to Triberr, you are sent to a welcome screen that shows you how to navigate the site. Here’s the main navigation:
Let’s take a look at what you can do with the site starting from left to right:
Triberr logo: returns you to the mail page (refreshed stream)
Search bar: searches the site (the arrow to the right allows you to search for either People or Topics)
Stream: This is the default view. It shows you all the posts from writers that share tribes with you with sharing / queuing tools.
Tribes: This is where you can manage your own tribe and the tribes that you are a part of.
Bonfires: This is a bulletin board of news, questions, tribe requests, guest post requests and miscellanea.
Campaigns: This is a tab that shows you paid content campaigns that you can participate in.
Inbox (envelope): if someone sends you a message
Notifications (globe): informs you of all comment and tribe-related happenings
Account: This area help to manage your preferences, and is the area where you will initially import your posts from.
Getting your distribution on
So, once you’ve set everything up Triberr prompts you to add some interests so that they can suggest tribes for you.
Once you enter your interests, a bunch of posts pop up in your stream and you probably are wondering what to do next.
It may seem counterintuitive to the bright, shiny objects before you, but next we want to take a step back and create a tribe. This is because we’ll discuss a couple of strategies to initially grow your distribution network: invite people to your network and ask to join someone else’s network.
First we need to set up a tribe. We go to the tribe tab and click on the box that says “+add tribe.” You then name and categorize your tribe:
Once you’ve created your tribe, you’ll want to go back to the “Stream” tab. This is where we can start to implement our “invitation” and “ask to join” strategies.
From the information that you provided at the outset, the list of articles in front of you should be seen as a list of people that write about similar stuff. In other words, there should be some continuity between your networks if you share their stuff and they share yours.
If you hover over a friendly face (like Pam Moore’s), you’ll see some statistics about how much content they’re posting and sharing. What you want to do is qualify them as a sharer in the network (if they’re not participating then they wouldn’t be a suitable distribution source).
Once we’ve identified a sharer (and Pam is a generous sharer), we click on their picture (recall that we were hovering our cursor over their picture to get the qualifying info). Clicking their picture brings us to their personal Triberr page.
You can see that a personal Triberr page has a lot of information on it. What I want to focus in on is the Twitter handle, the “send invite” button, and the “member of” section.
Let’s do the easiest thing first. If we want to be connected to Pam, we’ll send her an invitation to the tribe that we created. We press the “send invite” button and choose our tribe and it should give you a prompt that says “invitation sent.” (apologies to Pam for sending that, btw).
You may choose to follow up with a quick tweet to Pam, or just leave the invitation open. I can tell you from my experience that there is such a low risk to accepting an invite that I’ll generally accept an invite so long as the content is congruent. But that said, a personalized touch is probably more effective.
Now we’re going to attempt to get an invitation to one of Pam’s tribes. This is straightforward, but more difficult in execution. We’re going to send her a tweet or an InNote (her LinkedIn profile is listed in her profile) asking her to consider adding us to one of her Triberr tribes. It’s an elevator pitch in 140 characters, but the benefit to an add of this sort is that your content is put in front of everyone in her tribe for sharing consideration. So it’s a big deal.
We can also find a tribe that she manages (or uses) and “follow” the tribe. If you follow a tribe, the manager has the option of adding you if they are actively managing their tribes. The feeling that I get is that active management is probably a lot to ask for busy people who have a lot going on, so a follow up Tweet or InMail message would be appropriate in this case as well.
Here’s the prompt afterwards discussing that you will see all of the tribe content as a follower, and also allowing you to request membership from the tribe manager.
Of course you can use the search bar and the discovery bar at the bottom of the tribe page to find appropriate tribes to join and people to invite to your tribe. Keep in mind that anyone who is writing regularly and maintaining social distribution and working full-time is going to stretched thin, so a personal touch (a brief tweet or a message) is probably the best tactic to get what you want as frictionlessly as possible. That said, it’s a lot of work to build a network and if you’re not enthused to build those connections you probably ought to use Facebook post “boosts” or AdWords to buy your distribution.
Import content into Triberr
Assuming we now have network of some size, what we want to do is import our content into Triberr. There are two options for this.
Option one is simple (but only for self-hosted WordPress blogs) – download the Triberr plugin (link). It’s pretty straightforward to setup and once you have it on and running, all of your posts are automagically imported into Triberr when you post them. I don’t use it because it adds a little bit load time to my pages (and I am a horrible editor and always proofread once after publishing), but I’m pretty sure that most of the people who are active on Triberr do.
Option two is to manually import your posts after you publish them. There’s a little more friction to the process, but it’s not so onerous (and I do it for all of my posts).
First you go to your smiling face in the upper right hand corner of the page and select “settings” from the drop-down menu.
Second, we want to go to the “my blogs” tab:
We see the details of our blog. In this picture you can see that the RSS feed is missing, so I went into “edit” and added the details. Once the RSS feed shows, click on “check feed”:
If everything went right, you should see the details of your imported posts underneath the blog details as such:
Now your content is imported into Triberr and will be available for your tribemates to share (note that with the manual way, you have to do this every time you post to your blog).
Make like a preschooler and share
Now that you’re all set up you need to share other people’s stuff. Triberr is actually set up to promote your posts to the top of tribemates feeds if you share their content, so it benefits you to share as much as possible.
First we want to determine how often we’ll share stuff. Going back to settings, we want to click on the “stream” settings.
The “stream settings” timing tells how frequently you will post to your social networks. To interpret the account in this image, it says that every 30 minutes I will send an approved Triberr post as a tweet. You can adjust this as you feel comfortable.
After you do that, you go back to your “stream” tab (or the Triberr home button) and start queueing posts to share. Hovering on the green square on the right of the post until it turns green will place it in your queue. And you can place many posts in the queue at one time.
At a very basic level, use the golden rule to treat others as you want them to treat you. For Triberr that means to share other people’s stuff generously in hopes that they will do the same.
That’s a very basic synopsis of the setup. If you have other questions the Triberr help page (link) is an awesome resource as well.
Leave a comment if you have a question or if there’s a detail that I missed.