Triberr is putting authors first.
I spoke with Dino Dogan, founder of Triberr, while he was recovering from one of the toughest issues a tech start-up can face: server downtime. Triberr, the blog-sharing uber-machine, experienced a database issue during what was supposed to be a routine maintenance session, and ended up down for the better part of two days. One of the amazing aspects of the outage, aside from Dino’s calm demeanor, was the simple outpouring of support from Triberr community members. With most other online services, where the users are free or paying, when there’s an outage you can hear the outcry for miles around. Not so with Triberr, where the support flowed on the company blog post that was providing server updates, to Twitter and Facebook and Google+ updates from members, to full-blown blog posts from members talking about how great Triberr and the Triberr community are.
So what is Triberr, anyways?
Dino calls Triberr a Blog Amplification Platform. The basic principle of Triberr (http://www.triberr.com) is that each member shares their latest blog posts, and other members amplify the blog by sharing each other’s posts to Twitter, as well as Facebook and LinkedIn. Members join Tribes based around specific topics and categories so that each blogger is sharing and reading blogs from other similar bloggers. I’ve been a member of Triberr personally for a while now, and can attest to the enormous impact it’s had on website traffic and reader interest. Triberr currently boasts over 50,000 tribes and over 2,000,000 visitors a month sent to member blogs.
What’s important though to Dino is putting authors first. “It’s not about the reach,” he says, “but about the quality.” He’s referring both to the quality of content, but also the quality of user experience. Clearly Triberr has been providing a great user experience so far, as evidenced by the support received during their outage, but Dino and team aren’t satisfied.
In February a number of changes were implemented to the Triberr system to help support bloggers and curb some of the unhealthy practices that had started to surface, like people posting vast amounts of updates each day just to get multiple shares. Tiered plans were implemented (retaining a free option), and a new overall design was announced in the works. This week, all members were giving the option to start using the new interface and it is very attractive and even easier to use, and includes a mobile-optimized version as well.
After going through a tough outage, and in the midst of implementing a completely new design and interface, most companies would take a break and try to catch up on, you know, sleep. Not Triberr. Dino and I talked for a while about what’s coming for Triberr members, and new features and changes are coming much sooner that you’d expect.
For a while now, Triberr has supported a WordPress plugin called, simply Triberr. Installing the plugin allows your self-hosted WordPress site to seamlessly interact with Triberr by sending and receiving posts, comments and even guest posts. The plugin enables you to reblog posts from Triberr, a typical WordPress feature, and have your posts reblogged on other people’s sites if they want to. Having your post reblogged is essentially the same as having your article syndicated. The post appears in it’s entirety on the other member’s blog, with your author information intact, as well as any links you may have used within the post. While the plugin works well, it is limited to only members with WordPress sites, and each reblog and subsequent comments exist separately. Meaning, comments on a blog post aren’t seen by people on another site that may have reblogged the same post.
Having the plugin installed also enabled Triberr to import and display your entire blog post. When a member logs into Triberr, the first thing they see is the Tribal Stream which is essentially titles and teasers for blog posts from all of their tribemates. This gives you the opportunity to review what others have been writing about and decide to read them or not, share them or not. Most members will first look at the post author. Is it someone you trust or have read before? They’ll then look at the title and determine if the post is interesting or on topic. You can click the post to read it, and if they have the WP plugin it will open the post in a nice modal reader within the Triberr site. If that blogger is not using the Triberr plugin, the post opens in a new window within the blog’s full website. if all you wanted to do was scan the post to make sure it was OK to share with your own followers, this is a bit cumbersome.
Thanks to a partnership with Alchemy API, all of that is about to change.
By the end of the month, Triberr plans to release a new and improved reader system. Now, members will have the ability to read every single post, in its entirety, regardless of the blog’s original platform. And, as a result of having entire blogs imported, Triberr members will be able to reblog any post they want! Whether they’re using WordPress or not, whether the plugin is installed or not, Triberr bloggers will be able to have their blog posts syndicated to countless other blogs.
An additional benefit to the new system is that comments will be consistent wherever a specific post is reblogged. If I comment on a post within Triberr, or on any of the sites that reblogged that post, my comment will show up everywhere. This brings an amazing level of community and engagement to your posts! You will be able to see all of these comments, and respond to these comments, right from within Triberr, allowing each blogger an unprecedented opportunity to easily interact with each blog’s specific community and readers.
You can see an example here, http://blog.triberr.com/2013/02/08/the-new-triberr-design-unfurled/, the official Triberr blog, and here, http://diyblogger.net/the-new-triberr-design-unfurled, Dino’s personal blog site, where he reblogged the same post. The article looks identical, comments are consistent across sites, and even the Twitter share button automatically mentions the original author (via @dinodogan) regardless of blog site.
Dino refers to this syndication system as the “Oprah Effect.” He said that Oprah doesn’t care what network or TV station carries her show, as long as it’s on the air and virtually syndicated. Allowing your blog posts to be so easily reblogged, and to completely eliminate broken and disjointed comment discussion, is a brilliant innovation for the blogging world.
The timing is also impeccable thanks to recent news from Google. Dino firmly believes that their new reader system, and growing membership, can effectively replace Google Reader for many users. “All the bloggers you’re following are already here,” said Dino. And there’s definitely some truth to that. I have Jeff Bullas and Mark Schaefer in my Google Reader, but they’re also both on Triberr and I do see the same new posts in both places.
Is Triberr done innovating? Not by a long shot. Dino refers to himself on his website as a “global force for badassery” and he’s not exaggerating. He said that, once the new features are live, they’re going to work to make sure that the syndication conforms to Google’s requirements to avoid duplicate content issues. And beyond that, they’re talking about integrating a new hashtag system that will link posts that may be “#news” or “#funny.” Exciting things are in the works for Triberr, and that’s great news for bloggers who truly want their blogs amplified.