For those of you who know me, I am very passionate about this project. Many of you have spent literally years listening to me as I developed the concept and the the actual product we now know as the Tribalize beta app. But now that I am promoting Tribalize, I find that (for good reason) I am very limited in the space I have for telling the whole story of Tribalize in the marketing platforms that are available to me. Then one night it hit me.
“Hey dummy, you have a blog. Explain the whole story there and anyone who wants to know more can read it.”
So, here it is
…the rest of the story
Why the name Tribalize?
For all of human history, people have gathered in groups. These groups — or tribes — vary in size and purpose from close friends and family to extended families and clans, study groups to universities, local sports clubs to major sporting franchises, neighborhood watches to the United Nations. These are all groups that were formed with a purpose including but not limited to:
- Safety from predators and natural dangers.
- Synergy of working together to accomplish tasks that are too difficult for one person or that are simply more efficient when working together.
- Companionship for support, entertainment, and relationships.
- Security for resources in times of scarcity.
- Accountability to a promise, idea, or creed.
Humans are social creatures. We seek interaction with one another. We are not, however, “universally social” — we are “selectively social.” We have different levels of interactions with these different groups. You share different things with your best friends than you do with casual acquaintances. You discuss different topics with your work colleagues than you do with your faith organization.
Tribes only come into conflict with one another when they argue or compete for power or resources. The positive effects, however, are multiplied when tribes work together.
Tribalize has considered these different aspects of gathering with groups and seeks to bring out the best of all these characteristics by supporting communication both within and between groups. We also want to support tribe leadership and promote healthy tribe interactions to maximize positive outcomes.
How is Tribalize different from other social media?
The content on Tribalize is what we call “Private First.” This means that your information and tribe content is private by default and then you decide how much to share.
Tribe owners set the rules for their Tribes and manage the content. We will not censor any content as long as it is not illegal. We are required by law to block certain types of content listed in our Terms of Service. Other than that, you decide what is allowed and not allowed in your Tribe. You have the ability to remove offending posts and mute, kick out, or ban users who violate the rules.
We will also be giving you more tools to organize how you consume your content. You will be able to group your tribes and change settings based on these groupings. You can decide which Tribes you want to receive notifications from and how frequently. You will easily be able to sort your content by date, popularity, or other characteristics. You control your content, not some algorithm.
We want you to always close the Tribalize app feeling that you’ve had meaningful communication, not that you wasted your time. We will provide you with the information that you want, when you want it. You’ll want to keep your Tribalize app handy because it’s a valuable communications tool tailored to your lifestyle.
What’s the difference between data collection and public content?
There are two ways your privacy is at risk with current social media service applications. The first is that the content of your posts is made public. You provide the information and entertainment that keeps these social networks in business. This is how these companies flourish.
Since the content is public by default, you’re not always sure who can view the information you publish. There are countless examples in which people post content that unintended audiences see. People have suffered severe consequences as a result — everything from being stalked to losing a job, all because of a misplaced comment on a public social media platform.
The second problem is not as well known to the average user. In addition to the profile information you provide to the platform, these companies also collect and store the content of your communications. Not to mention the metadata about your interactions, such as what days and times you use their service, what you read, and who you interact with. Professor Zenyep Tufekci has an excellent TED Talk (https://www.ted.com/talks/zeynep_tufekci_we_re_building_a_dystopia_just_to_make_people_click_on_ads) explaining how this works and some of the unintended consequences of unrestrained data collection.
How will Tribalize make money?
We have three main ways of making money.
Tribalize will have paid services that will provide value for a low fee. We have a premium membership that will allow you to opt out of display ads and data collection (see above). We will also have Premium Tribes with additional features, as well as being ad-free and free from data collection for ALL members while communicating in the tribe.
This is the traditional way of doing business. We provide a service and you pay us a small fee to use that service if you find it valuable.
We will also have Free Memberships and Free Tribes that are supported by selling advertising on the Tribe. This is how all the other free social media services get revenue to keep going. However, we will never share the content of your communications or any personal identifying information with any company or advertiser without your explicit consent. All information used for marketing and advertising will be in the form of demographics, anonymized information, or statistical analysis. We will also be transparent about how we gather the information and the algorithms we use to evaluate and analyze it.
Keep in mind, though, if you have a Premium Membership, you will not be included in any data collection even when you participate in ad-supported Basic Tribes. And members with Basic Memberships will likewise be excluded from data collection when they are participating in Premium Tribes. Basically, if someone is paying for it, we’re not collecting data.
Finally, in the future, we will provide a mechanism for purchasing content, goods, and services from other members for which we will charge a small transaction fee. We will let you know the details of this as we get closer to providing this service.
The next step is to build on what we started. We are committed to not only building a world-class communication and collaboration app and website, we are also dedicated to building a community of people who understand the value of the tribe model and who wish to be more effective in leading and motivating their tribe members.
For the app
Our next major feature to be released for Tribalize is public tribes. If you choose to make your tribe public, your tribe will be listed in a directory of tribes so others can find you. You will be able to either choose to automatically approve requests to join or you can manually approve those requests. Your tribe rules still apply and you will still have to ability to moderate your tribe and manage its membership. Your content will continue to remain private and is only shown to members of the tribe.
Organizational Tribes will allow for greater administrative control over members and content. They will enable special features such as:
- Tribe content templates and forms
- Event calendars with RSVP and registration features
These tribes are being developed with certain groups in mind, such as companies, schools, and faith-based organizations. These special tribes have tribes within them but still have the same group of leaders.
We will also create a web app that will allow you to access all your content from a web browser as well as additional management features that will make it easier to manage your profiles, content, and tribes. This will also open up Tribalize to desktops and tablets on all platforms.
We’re in the process of adding all the features you have come to know and love in existing social media platforms — and a few additional features specifically designed for groups and group collaboration.
- Photo galleries
- Event calendars
- Folders for scrapbooks/stories/events
- Embedded video
- File sharing
- Surveys and polls
For the community
The next step is to connect with thought leaders in the area of tribe management and leadership.
Once we grow a bit, we are looking for an office to serve as a base of operations for classes, seminars, and discussion groups to gather tribe leaders in the physical world to learn, teach, encourage, and support.