People I talk to look at me strangely when the subject of social media comes up. “Facebook,” someone might say, grimacing. “My kids do that, I think. Not for me, thanks.” A shake of the head.
“Well,” I say, “I spend a lot more time on Twitter than Facebook. It’s a great way to meet . . .”
“What the hell do I want to know what somebody had for lunch?” An incredulous laugh.
These people are not in the tribe. The tribe of people connected through the hours spent at a computer, reaching out to other people sitting at other computers. Living rooms. Dorm rooms. Library carrels. Internet cafes. Offices, dens, laptops, iPhones, iPads, Blackberrys, the whole big neural net.
- If I want to tell someone about the neat trick I pulled off ranking one of my blog posts at number 1 on Google for one of my favorite long-tail keywords, I need a member of the tribe.
- If I want to find a really good ecommerce vendor who can cashier payments, act nice with my email vendor and doesn’t charge an arm and a leg, I need a member of my tribe, they’ll know.
- If I want to get my blog performing better and looking more like a blog should, I need another blogger, that is, a member of the tribe.
- It’s a tribe of reciprocity. People help each other more than in any other venture I’ve been a part of.
- It’s a tribe of giving, because we’ve all drunk the kool ade and have the giving mindset firmly in place as a first principle.
- It’s a tribe of achievement. Members of this tribe are on a nonstop quest to better themselves, their income, their readership, their influence, their authority and their authenticity. As soon as they find out their one true niche.
- This tribe is empowered. I meet them in the self-publishing trenches, around the blogs, in forums, LinkedIn discussions, over at the Third Tribe headquarters, and all points in between.
- They are searching for meaning, for a place in the world, for the perfect domain name and a shot at immortality. We’ve grown up—or grown older—as the internet has matured.
- Twitter is the closest thing to a brain this tribe has. On Twitter I can meet and immediately identify other members of the tribe. They’re informed. They’re opinionated, if you don’t mind. They’re passionate about wanting passion in their lives.
- They tweet like songbirds, like telegraph machines, like drunken sailors. They tweet Rumi and Jung and Rodney Dangerfield in quick succession.
- They tweet hope, and outrage, and links to the 7 keys to a successful book launch.
- Tweets arrive at all hours of the day and night. Bored? Got two minutes while you wait for the carpool? The tweets are flowing, robust, demanding, selling, informing, whole novels in 140 characters.
And when I’ve had my fill, I can set my feed to “public” and just stand in the waves of languages, cultures, interests, concerns and endless endless human stories cascading over me in an ecstasy of info-flow.
Okay, now you know. Go play with your kids.
Image: Flickr.com / Guttorm Flatabø