Posts Tagged ‘tribes’

Social Media and Tribes #3: Mob mentality

by Deepika Bajaj on June 23, 2010

Tribes today have shifted to multiple affinity tribes.   For instance, professional tribes, social identity tribes, etc. People move into and out of tribes online…..for work, fun, and play!

Herd mentality implies a fear-based reaction to peer pressure which makes individuals act in order to avoid feeling “left behind” from the group. Herd mentality is also sometimes known as Mob mentality. A related idea is that groups which hang out together tend to stick up for each other. As can be seen on MySpace, FaceBook & Twitter, members of a tribe will work to promote each other.

The Classic Mob-Mentality

When we think about play, from Facebook to MySpace and now Twitter, Mafia-themed games have more or less taken over. Mobsters, a game created by development company Playdom, is the most popular application on MySpace’s platform. The mechanics of the tribes of this games involves that  you can  join a “mob” with friends on a specific social network on which the game has been built on. You can carry out missions, including “killing” other players in rival mobs, in order to earn points. Your activities are broadcast, via news feeds or Twitter posts, to your friends.

Tapping into Ego

Every tribe has ego associated to it. And that is why violence is a popular factor in making these games successful. When someone kills your character, you tend to avenge it forcefully and engage in missions that feed your ego. Similarly, the tribe derives special pleasure when they “get on the top” or “get recognized” (a.k.a. earn respect of your tribe) for some mission. This gives the biggest boost to your ego.

Social Tribes reinforce your beliefs

Contrary to popular conventions about the Web opening minds, people are more likely to read information or participate in social groups that reinforce what they already believe. In some cases, a tribe can show dramatic increase in the undesirable action compared with doing nothing at all, because it demonstrated that lots of others engaged in the behavior.

Is the Tribe capable of making a positive change?

Yes.

It simply depends on what is your message to them. And its quality.

Look for early adapters of your message and bring them into your fold. They are more likely to have a BIG impact when you have a critical mass. It has been seen that you get more comments on a blog where other people are commenting, you get more subscribers when you show the number of people who have subscribed or number of tweets for a specific post.

Try to keep the message positive and focus on where you want to go. Most likely people will have no fixed thinking of the future and you can then enable to act in a positive behavior. And since they belong to this tribe of positive change, soon they will adapt the behaviors that will have positive impact on the Tribe’s future.

Recently, I have been to many conferences where people are talking about how they have an email account that is just set up to receive garbage emails. One guess for the what are garbage emails. These are emails from marketers shoving their premier offers on you. Asking you to buy this OR that. And somehow they even get your work email and stuff starts showing up in your Work Inbox. And if you are an iPhone user like myself, you spend 5 minutes in the morning TRASHING garbage in your inbox.

What does this mean for the marketeer?

They are still using this fast dying technique to spread the word on something they want to market. They fail to realize that EMAIL has become a JOKE. And it is the user on the other end who is having the last laugh. Dumping it because there is no scarcity of such offers so there is no value they hold for him.

What does it mean for the career of the marketeer?

He is outdated and the technological advancements won’t stop. Email is DEAD. The newer web marketing is based on the foundation of TRUST with your Tribe.

So, how do we go about BUILDING Trust within our tribe.

Getting back to BASICS.

Tribes are a concept that has existed for a long time. Like as in the older times, cyber tribes are build on the people coming together, being authentic with each other and being in constant communication – which is nothing like the one way communication we see in email marketing.

A marketer who has mastered the ‘The art of building a tribe” is Lady Gaga. She doesn’t just sing and entertain.  She has connected people on an emotional level and has developed a Gaga “tribe” through a story.

Here is how to build TRUST with your tribe:

  • Tell your story: And tell it like it is. Don’t look good. Don’t even try. When you hide things, people can sense it – the disaster recipe if you wish to build TRUST. Lady Gaga is one person who is not trying to look good – she is just who she is – if she ever sat next to you on an airplane, I bet you will not be able to recognize her – she has a new wig everyday and she does a class act of being herself.
  • Build and Nurture your tribe: This does not happen overnight. It is a discourse. Be in touch with your community. Tell them about what you are doing, share your challenge. At the same time, hear their stories. Leverage social media to stay in touch. So that people can relate with you and with one another. Don’t ignore building a Tribe since you are what your Tribe says you ARE.
  • Authenticity, Authenticity, Authenticity – Please Authenticity. This word is used so loosely that it is almost shocking how it is misused. In the world of self-centered email marketing, people are craving for authenticity – for the real deal.  You can’t just make something up and expect to build a tribe. You must deliver on what you promise. Be accessible, tell who you are, what you after creating, what is the possibility you are in the world – repeatedly and consistently communicate it

Branding within a tribe requires two-way relationship. Be accessible, tell who you are, what you after creating, what is the possibility you are in the world – repeatedly and consistently communicate it. We can differ on how good an entertainer Lady Gaga is BUT her brand identity is visible by how her tribe continues to grow.

So, I invite you to become the part of your Tribe. If you have a Twitter account, you can join 99tribes by simply clicking on “add me to the tribes”… and if you don’t, create a Twitter account, join 99tribes and create your own TRIBE!

We left off in the last blog with the tribe being very practical and safely bringing the sun back from the eclipse through ritual drumming.  The Chief, Shaman, and members of the village saw the need for executing the ritual – cause and effect. The idea of not drumming is so terrifying simply talking about it could have serious repercussions. The Chief could land very hard on anyone foolish enough to talk about modifying, let alone abandoning, the ritual.

This brings us to the third purpose of myth – social order – or more simply, sociology. As seen with the village sociology can tie very closely to the second purpose of myth, cosmology. This co-mingling can lead to a very thorny issue, i.e., the use of power. Before looking at power directly some background is needed.

Dirt and Mothers

The phrase “human being” has its roots in the Latin word “humus” meaning “rich earth.” It’s all about establishing roots, being accepted and nurtured, and eventually striking out on our own. It’s the Circle of Life. This reality is reflected in earth-based religions by the primary god Mother Earth. (Father Sky is the other primary god but we’ll save him for a later blog.) How the world moves (cosmology) and the rules for being in it (sociology) are intertwined and taught from the moment of birth. The weave can be so tight they appear as one. It is good for stability but can create an obstacle for change. Vision can be clouded. Let’s see how that can affect business.

Obi Wan, Darth, and Case Studies

Imagine during the eclipse the Chief turns to a village and says, “The drumming is not enough, you must sacrifice all you have so the sun returns!” How much pressure does the villager feel? Are the situation and feelings any different than when a boss (being practical) tells a subordinate to unquestioningly produce more? Like the Chief the boss can consolidate his investment in power by keeping the social directive (sacrifice and productivity) tightly bound to the cosmology (business processes and goals).

The boss could also work like the brave Chief who separates the two and does the equivalent of allowing Newtonian mechanics to be embraced. Doing this, though, could put his power base at risk. He could lose his grip and no longer be the keeper of the rules of the universe. It would no longer be His cause or His effect. And while like the villagers employees would be free to expand their lives the boss has to find another reason for the employees to respect and follow him. A more entertaining version of all this can be found in the Star Wars saga with the struggle between Obi Wan and Darth. With the best of intentions Darth believed life is a case study. Cause and effect could be audited and projected into the future and the social structure controlled. Obi Wan was much wiser. He saw that there are guiding principles and a (business) leader earns the trust and following of others. In other words, in a changing situation power is let loose and the leader leans into the situation and lets a new social order arise as the cosmology changes.

Helping Clients Change

If you are having difficulty with your light saber or simply need to address the challenge of change send me an e-mail at gwmonti@mac.com or visit www.ctrchg.com

Social Media and Tribes #1: Tribal behaviors 2.0

by Deepika Bajaj on May 26, 2010

Media was designed to be an medium for the message of man. It was a way to broadcast a message to be able to connect with a community that might have interest in what you might have to stay. MOST importantly it was the extension of our Human Tribe. A Tribe which was based on interaction of the social community – where commerce was created through referrals, recommendations and participation. The objective was to tap into the intrinsic behavior of the TRIBE and most often people were motivated by certain social behaviors and NOT necessarily by money.

In traditional media, the idea was to blast something to everyone who had a device like TV, radio to receive it. These medium was designed to interrupt people like an ad within a TV program, a song on the radio or an article in the newspaper. It was an intrusive way of marketers to grab attention and shove their message. They wished that people will be touched by their message and will be moved into action to buy, refer or participate.

Here is the major issue with all of this, the media channels eventually took over the control of what will be printed. Newspaper won’t print anything you sent them. Sometimes, you have to advertise with huge sums of money to get a spot on TV, radio or newspaper. Over time, the power of community to share information over media got depleted. And the Human Tribe which was based on many-to-many communication was reduced to a DICTATOR model of one-to-many communication.

And then arrived social media, suddenly you could print anything on your blog, upload any video and even make your podcast on whatever you fancy. And media became TRIBAL.  We were able to share our opinions, our businesses and our tribes.

Speaking of tribes, the predominant characteristic of tribes throughout time is the need to communicate. So what social media can do combined with a tribal structure is very quickly mobilize a shared interest and becomes a powerful way to communicate. In effect, as Godin, the author of Tribes, says every tribe becomes a media channel.

Keeping this in mind, ActiveGarage team launched 99tribes, a premier site to discover people on twitter who share your interests and become part of their own media channel.

Here is how tribes are shaping their media channel:

  1. Communities as Tribes. People are able to find like-minded people and declare their interests. This allows for them to make themselves “discoverable” by those who share their interests. Given how hard it is to find people in the real world who share your interests, here is a way to become part of YOUR tribe – your own media channel.
  2. Think Tribes Not Market Segments. Modern human tribes are based on our need to use language and communicate. This enables the tribes to reciprocate, help or even hoard each other. This is your tribal broadcast media channel.
  3. Chalk your Tribal path. Each person becomes a valuable contributor of the Tribe and shapes its journey. And brings along people who then shape the tribal path – what will your Tribes journey look like now depends on you. Share and shape the journey on your Tribal media channel.

So, I invite you to become the part of your Tribe. If you have a Twitter account, you can join 99tribes by simply clicking on “add me to the tribes”… and if you don’t, create a Twitter account, join 99tribes and create your own media channel!