Is Twitter About Curating Content or Curating People?

In the left corner, the heavy weight of Social Media Mitch Joel. In the right corner the challenger Danny Brown. Tonight’s fight is refereed by Triberr. Fight hard. Fight clean. Go back to your corners and come out swinging.

Recently, Mitch Joel of Twist Image wrote about how much Twitter automation sucks (my phrasing, not his.)

To which Danny Brown retorted, hey! Screw you man. I’m busy (again, my phrasing, not his.)

So, I put on my Goldielocks outfit and I went to read Mitch Joel’s post and I thought to myself “this bed is too hard.”

Then, wearing that same Goldielocks outfit, I read Danny Brown’s post and thought to myself “this bed is too soft.

Then, I went to Triberr and thought to myself “this bed is just right.”

Is Mitch Joel Right?

Before I rip him a new one, I want to say that Mitch Joel is one of my favorite dudes in Social Media.

Mitch Joel’s Six Pixels of Separation book is required reading for anyone engaged in Social Media and you can take that to the bank. But…

The rules are different for Mitch Joels of the world. They have the exposure and they have the audience. They got into the Social Media space while getting was good and they rode the wave upwards. The rest of us…?

The rest of us have to make our own wave.

Mitch brought up a question of content curation. If you automate your Twitter stream then you’re not curating the links being fed to your followers.

While on surface this sounds logical, this logic suffers from one serious flaw. It assumes that Mitch knows what his 27 thousand followers are interested in reading RIGHT NOW!

This is not really a knock against Mitch. I have a much lower number of followers and still, I wouldn’t presume to be able to guess what they are interested in reading right now.

There are just too many variables. For example:

  • Who is watching my Twitter stream right now?
  • What state of mind are they in right now?
  • Is there a more compelling headline in their Twitter stream above and below mine?

I could go on and on but I think you get the idea…

Is Danny Brown Right?

Nah…I think Mitch is. Automation does suck.

But let’s face it. We ARE busy. We DO have jobs, lives, families, dogs, and on and on and on…

Maybe some degree of automation is appropriate? Maybe, as long as we’re not spamming the shit out of our followers, some degree of automation is necessary even?

In my previous life, I was a Network Engineer.

For the uninitiated, this means that I am an Uber Computer Geek.

My platform was Unix, Linux and cisco (cisco is also Unix based) and in *nix world, we have a rule.

You do everything only once. As in, if you’re going to do something twice, you still do it only once by writing a script that will execute it automatically. This is the mindset that I come from. And it has saved me A METRIC TON of precious time.

Is Triberr Right?

Of course I’m going to give you a resounding yes. That shouldn’t come as a surprise considering that Dan Cristo and I are Founders of the platform. But let me see if I can convince you as well.

Triberr allows you to curate people, not content.

You bring people into your tribe who provide valuable content on regular basis and what you got yourself is the bed that is just right.

Curating content is like brining a glass of water to your followers. Curating people is like digging a well in the middle of town. And Triberr is only automating it…like indoor plumbing. ~Dan Cristo

You’re not spamming your followers because people who are in your tribe are quality-content producers. But you are automating just the right amount, which leaves time for your job, family and the dog. In fact, it leaves you with more time for true engagement on Twitter as well.

For the curation stickler, Triber does have a Manual Mode.

The rest is up to the gods of serendipitous circumstances to decide if your followers will click or not.

So tell me. What is Twitter about for you?

Is it about curating people or curating content?

As Mitch has graciously pointed out, there may not be the right answer, but only the right answer for you at this time.

Related posts:

Dino Dogan

Global Force for Badassery | Founder of Triberr | Refugee from Bosnia | Writer for Technorati | Speaker | Lousy Martial Artist | Pretty good singer/songwriter | Hi :-)

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  • http://www.FirepoleMarketing.com Danny Iny

    Hey Dino, I’m new on your blog, and I’ve been hearing about Triberr a lot lately. I don’t quite understand what it’s for, or how it works, and the articles I’ve seen haven’t been too clear – can you point me to a good nutshell explanation?

    By the way, I love your bio box. I’m also a lousy mixed martial artist! ;)

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      Hey Danny. I saw your sign up to m email list yesterday. Welcome to my inner sanctum dude :-)

      Start here http://triberr.com/blog/faq/ and then browse the rest of the triberr blog.

  • http://twitter.com/lavenderuses Patricia Millman

    Brilliantly put Dino. I don’t like automation but I do like Triberr :-) it’s not spammy and it’s not intrusive so what’s not to like??!! ;-)

    As triberr grows more people will get it…..just like it has taken time for people to understand the power of Twitter. Will be interesting to look back and see the impact Triberr has had and we can all say with a smile….I remember when Triberr was young and I was there and look at it now. It’s going to be HUGE :-)

    Patricia Perth Australia

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      Hey Patricia. Thank you for your insights and of course, I must agree. Its funny…we have created a platform but like any other platform, we cant tell people how to use it. Makes for an interesting balancing act :-)

  • http://twitter.com/iwritereadrate iWriteReadRate.com

    Great stuff, interesting thoughts. Personally use it to find like-minded writers and readers, as well as a great source of articles and content through following said tweeps. I have retweeted to our followers.

    Best regards
    Adam Charles
    http://www.iWriteReadRate.com

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      Right on…thnx for your comment Adam. And I think I saw you signed up on Triberr as well…nicely done :-)

  • http://dannybrown.me Danny Brown

    Hi mate,

    You gave both of us way too much hair… ;-)

    I’d say all three are right – for their audiences. Like you say, automation does suck (if it’s nothing but automation), which both Mitch and I agree on.

    Curation of people is also right, because you’re vetting what goes out. That’s one of the benefits of Triberr – though it’s also one of the great benefits of something like Twitterfeed, which works in a similar way (though far more choice when it comes to what feeds you send to your connections).

    And semi-automation is right, when sometimes you want your content (and that of others) shared when you wouldn’t normally be able to share it (time zones, traveling, work, meetings etc).

    At the end of the day, as I mentioned in my post, it’s right gor how you need it to be right. ;-)

    Cheers!

    • http://live-your-love.com/ Brankica U

      I believe I read and commented on Danny’s post you are referring to, Dino and the automation he is talking about it great. The only automation I use are Triberr and Twitterfeed (yes, because I can’t Triberr-share all people I want). And I know Danny isn’t automatically following back or sending self promotional DMs.

      So anyway, I am with Danny on this one, which I think you are too, but you just love writing words like “suck” and “Screw you man”….such a pertyyyyy boy and such bad words, LOL

      • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

        hehe…of course I agree with Danny. I just love the combative narrative and the use of profanity when it comes to making my points. Makes for an interesting read..I thought :-)

  • http://billdorman.wordpress.com Bill Dorman

    For me, it’s people. As I grow my network I am finding out real quick I better start finding a way to be more efficient and automate what I can. Even with the limited group that I have I still feel like I’m drinking from a water hose at times.

    I did respond to Danny’s post and advocated there is good automation and bad automation. Your platform w/ Triberr does seem like a good blend.

    I am not the geek…………..just the dork, and whereas the technology doesn’t intimidate me sometimes I don’t have the patience or time to dig in and see what it’s all about. Back to my first sentence and maybe I did come in through the back door, but I’m so busy engaging I haven’t made enough time for the other. Yes, it has limited me at times, but I do feel ‘plugged in’ even if it isn’t always pretty.

    Just from my almost invisible perspective I think it’s more who you know and chose to be connected with than ‘blow me away’ content. I’ve seen posts on essentially the same subject and the one connected and promoted thru the ‘A’ team gets all the oohs and aws and comments where the other is doomed to obscurity. I guess that’s just life in the big city, huh?

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      yup…I said it before and I’ll say it again…content is king my ass. I saw a post by Mark Harai yesterday that is way better than any post on any A lister’s blog…but guess whos going to get more attention?

      Anyways…Triberr is just my way of evening the playing field and making sure awesome content creators like Mark get their fair shake.

  • Anonymous

    Fear can suck – especially that fear of becoming irrelevant because someone you shared about is actually more interesting than you. [grin]

    You can look at curating people in terms of lifting the voices of others and sharing your self (you share people that resonate with you). Or you can see curating people as a threat, competition, and, ultimately, the defeat of your master plan to build following and reputation on the quips, opinions, insights and inspirations… of others.

    If the latter, just go on back to your content marketing cave and have that good cry. You missed your chance to rule the world about 12 year ago. Sorry, dude/babe. The social web install is underway.

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      Amen brother Stan…amen :-) Increasingly Im starting to see people through the prism of scarcity and abundance. It really affects the way people behave on a very basic level.

  • http://www.itinerantentrepreneur.com/journal/ Robert Dempsey

    Social media is about connecting with people. You can do that slow or you can do that fast. In people space we get reach via books, events, television, etc. All of those mediums are controlled by companies. You connect with the companies to expand your reach. The same goes for Twitter, and is enabled by Triberr.

    Since being a member of the mighty Jaffa tribe by daily traffic is 3x what it was before, even on days I don’t post. On days I do, a catchy headline works wonders. Regardless, my being connected to others have given me more reach and it’s the same for all members of my tribes.

    When I started blogging I saw companies like Pay Per Post and thought they were polluting the Internet (sorry Ted, that’s what I thought). However, the more I’m in business the more the rose colored glasses are pounded into sand.

    We much always keep in mind that we’re engaging with real people, but the rules of social media are the same rules as any medium that gives you a greater reach. Only difference is that you’re expected to reply back when people talk to you. TV can’t do that as easy.

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      Thats a great point you made at the end Rob. So here I am. Replying back :-)

      Also, thnx again for out skype-chat today. that was very helpful :-)

  • http://www.thejackb.com/ The JackB

    It is all what you make of it. The best tool can be used improperly and or ineffectively. The question is how you do it and whether it works for you.

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      So true. The last thing I want to do is control how people are using Triberr as the platform. Mainly because it cant be done. Not effectively. And not sustainably. Cragslist, Amazon, twitter, facebook, ebay…the platform users determine -to a great degree- how these platforms “work” and how they evolve. Why not go with it :-)

  • http://www.getting-unstuck.com/http://fearlessdating.wordpress.com/http://www.getting-unstuck.com/ RILEY HARRISON

    Hey Dino,
    I think how you use twitter and its advantages does depend on the size and popularity of your blog. I do think that Triberr does have a major advantage over twitter in that it fosters a sense of community that is real. Both facebook and twitter try but, in my opinion, fail miserably. On Triberr the group is small enough to cultivate a “band of brothers” spirit. I see you got a couple of UFC guys there in your picture. They seem like pussy cats compared to Nick Diaz.
    Good luck with Triberr.
    Riley

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      Those two dudes are Diego Sanchez and Clay Guida. Both amazing fighters. Nick Diaz is also one of my favs. That dude looks like a strong wind can knock him over, but he fights like a lion. And thats l it matters, really :-)

  • http://www.newbielifeline.com Sheila Atwood

    Dino,

    I have shied away from automated Twitter tools but when I saw how Triberr worked I was impressed for exact reasons you stated. I am proud to RT the people in my group. Building with in this group is another whole social media event.

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      Hi Sheila…there really is something really cool about having your own tribe, isnt there? And when you focus on quality and you dont have to worry about what youre retweeting, doing an old, manual retweet will be so strange.

  • Karen Bice

    Dino,

    To me, Twitter is about curating both content and people. Great post, as usual, and thanks for the hunky wrestler pic! :)!

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      You should see the pic on the homepage for this post… talk about hunky :-)

  • http://twitter.com/ArveyColumbus Cheri Allbritton

    I have a couple of questions. If you are bringing others just like you into your Triberr group then really who are you creating your content for? Do you believe you are writing in language to appeal to your Triberr members or for the folks like me who still learning how to sift the chaff (mumbo jumbo blogs) from the wheat (blogs with great ideas & information)? I personally love reading blogs. LOVE them and RT them copiously on a daily basis! I’ve discovered some gems amongst the 185 million registered blogs (gosh I still have a hard time wrapping my mind around that number) and comment and RT them right along with yours and Danny Brown’s when they contain new and interesting I haven’t read before. Do you feel you might be missing out by not reading and promoting blogs outside of your Triberr group? Or do you?

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      Hey Cheri…that is an awesome question.

      With Triberr, what you have is the Chief who has done the homework for you already and is saying “these people produce great content.” The Chief has basically already sifted the chaff from the wheat.

      As for reading and promoting blogs outside of my group, I most certainly still do that. But I also have to be honest and say that when I sit down to comment and read and RT, I start with my tribes.

  • http://twitter.com/dancristo Dan Cristo

    If I could sum up your post in one little nugget…

    You shouldn’t put your twitter stream on full auto-pilot, or it’s not authentic, BUT the purists need to understand that PEOPLE DON’T SCALE. If you want to be efficient, you need to find ways to speed up repetitive tasks.

    If people still refuse to use technology, because of some superstitious belief that any form of automation is, “evil”, then I’m sorry, but they are a fool.

  • http://www.twistimage.com/blog Mitch Joel – Twist Image

    I can’t help but cringe when I hear a turn of phrase like, “the Mitch Joels of this world.” I said it in my original post and I’ll say it again:

    1. I would feel the same way if I had zero people… in fact, even more so.
    2. I don’t believe I can build trust and credibility by sharing things that I, myself, have not vetted or think that my audience/community will benefit from.
    3. As great as some of my fellow Bloggers are, I simply won’t retweet everything they say/Blog about simply because I think they’re great. That’s also inauthentic and – to be honest – it’s boring. If I’m tweeting everything they Blog, why not just tell people to follow them directly?

    I tell my community to follow specific people all of the time (and I’m not even talking about #FF). I also have a very robust Blogroll. These are better ways (for me) than automating tweets from Bloggers I respect – especially when I don’t always respect or want to retweet everything they say/do.

    Ultimately, tribbr seems to work for some people. Great. It’s just not for me. I’m not curating people… I’m curating content. This gives me more flexibility.

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      Dude…its an honor to have you on my blog again….as far as Blogger-baiting goes, this one seam to have worked :-)

      btw, Mitch Joels of the world was meant as a compliment, meaning superstar bloggers (that is, if you take superstar bloggers label as a compliment, which you are, so get over it :-)

      The combative narrative of course is simply fodder for the brain..makes the story more compelling. You know that I respect you and your position.

      I couldnt help noticing that the method you do prefer are….well…old. Blogrool is ancient.

      I wonder if some blogger will regard Triberr the way you regarded Blogroll as a better way that whatever new thing will happen in 5 yrs :-)

      Thought for food :-)

    • http://twitter.com/dancristo Dan Cristo

      It’s funny…
      Twitter curates people who curate content. That’s what makes Twitter win over RSS readers.

      At the same time, humans can’t scale. There’s only so posts a person can read and tweet in a day. At some point, if you want to continue to expand, you’ll need to start automating repetitive, non-decision making tasks.

      Is Triberr the solution? Not for everyone as you pointed out. And actually, the whole auto-tweet every post is still very primary. But imagine if an automated system could fetch your most trusted content sources, weed out the stuff you’re likely not interested in and prioritize the stuff you’d most likely tweet about. Then if you read and approve the tweet, it adds it to a queue and sends it at the time of day when your audience is most likely to read it. Maybe it even sends it only to sub-sets of the audience who would be most interested in reading and sharing it.

      With this type of tool it’s not replacing you, it’s just making you more efficient.

      Thoughts?

      • http://www.twistimage.com/blog Mitch Joel – Twist Image

        What makes Social Interesting is the human factor. What makes Social Media less interesting is automation. Again, this is my opinion. So, do I want the type of automation you talk about above? No. I don’t want it for me and I don’t want to follow those who may use something like that. I love Social Media because of the human curation. Meaning: “I discovered something. I read it. It fascinates me. You should read it too.”

        To me that’s miles ahead of starring things, tagging things and automating things.

        • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

          I think truer words have never been spoken. I agree with that statement “What makes Social Interesting is the human factor. What makes Social Media less interesting is automation.”

          Of course, I also think that Triberr is the right kind of automation that makes thing more interesting but I am biased :-)

          In either case, thank you Mitch so much for engaging and offering your 2 cents. This has been a wonderful debate :-)

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  • http://betsycross.blogspot.com/ BetsyKCross

    I personally don’t like to over think things. And I’m not a mind reader. I’m still relatively new to Twitter (May, I think?). So I still think of it the way I did when I started. Just give me something to read please! And make it easy. I learned pretty quickly how to get around and to find more of what appealed to me. I might not read everything my friends and tribemates put out, but I put it out because someone has to! I do feel bad for people who really can’t get to their computer to personally tweet post for whatever reason. Too stressful. Too many rules make people crazy.

    • http://diyblogger.net/ dino_dogan

      Amen. #ThatIsAll :-) @BetsyKCross