I’ve got a confession to make. I’ve been cheating at Twitter.
Some of those Tweets I’ve been sending out? Haven’t read them, can’t vouch for them, don’t know what they contain.
And I feel really bad about that.
You see, I’ve been using an online tool called Triberr to maximise my reach on Twitter, to broaden my scope outside of the travel blogging community and, ultimately, to increase the amount of traffic going to my blog.
I’ve gone from having just over 2,000 followers to something more in the region of 3.4 million potential readers every time I put up a new blog post.
The cost? The credibility of my Tweets.
What is Triberr?
Billed as a sort of blogging super-weapon, Triberr has been described by more than one blogger as a way that “David blogger can beat Goliath”.
How it works is not at all dissimilar to your standard pyramid scheme. When a blogger signs up to it (it’s free) they’re put into “tribes” where if they connect their RSS feeds every new post is then imported and shared by the other members.
The deal is that you will then do the same for your tribe mates and share their new blog posts with your followers. The theory being that each post will be opened up to a larger potential audience.
You can also sign up your Facebook and LinkedIn accounts – but I haven’t gone that far down the rabbit hole.
Why I love Triberr
It was all going swimmingly until only a couple of weeks ago. I was in a Tribe of, say, 15 fellow travel bloggers with a combined reach of roughly 80,000.
I’d seen most of them on Twitter before so I knew their stuff, I knew what they wrote about and I knew that it was good – even if I didn’t have time to read every single new post.
So they would retweet my new blog posts and I would do the same for theirs. It would add up to just a couple of minutes to send out a couple of tweets every day but immediately I saw a small jump in the amount of referral traffic coming my way via Twitter.
I’m sure it was win-win for them, too. I’d feel really guilty if one of my “tribe mates” had sent out my latest blog post and I hadn’t reciprocated, so it soon became just another part of my daily blogging routine.
This brings us to a big issue on Triberr and the reason why I’m considering giving it all up: the bloggers who do not reciprocate.
Why I hate Triberr
I soon realised which of my Triber mates had embraced the true spirit of the platform and those who hadn’t. Therefore I’d always send out the tweets of the people who sent out mine and largely ignore the ones who didn’t.
Sound fair enough? I mean it’s not rocket science – either you’re going to help me out as Triberr was intended or you’re not.
Well a couple of weeks ago I was invited to join an even larger tribe, “the power sharers”. Suddenly I was in a tribe of, say, 150 people, with a combined reach of a couple of million.
For the first week or so the traffic to my blog was off the chart. According to Google Analytics I was getting twice as much referral traffic as I was before. Sure, I was spending half an hour or more instead of five minutes every day approving all the new posts – many of them well outside my usual niche – but it was worth it.
Until it wasn’t anymore. The tribe grew bigger, now I can’t read every blog post even if I tried, the quality is way down on what it was when I was in a travel-only tribe of like-minded bloggers and, strangely, my posts are being sent out by fewer and fewer people.
Apathy has set it. The decline of the mega Triber super-tribe appears to be nigh, even as more and more people join it.
And get a load of this: the creator of Triberr is in one of my tribes and yet he has never ever shared any of my posts. Not one.
How’s that for an advertisement for Triberr?
So it’s gotten a bit out of hand. I can see that now. I shouldn’t have been so quick to sell out.
Lately I’ve been sending out only the tweets that are related to travel or blogging in general – so nothing about the best pumpkin soup recipes, how to knit sweaters for your small children or how to ride a unicycle backwards.
But still the cost is too high for any gain I’m seeing. I’m disillusioned with Triberr. What was once a very useful content distribution system is now just a waste of my time and a burden on my credibility on Twitter.
So the moral of the story is this: get a group of travel bloggers that you trust and already have a relationship with on Twitter. Band together and start your own tribe. (Send me an invite!)
Don’t be blinded by the potential of many millions of Twitter followers as I was. Triberr can be a false community but the travel community on Twitter is the real deal.