In the midst of all the pressure to shorten our thoughts and ideas into 140 characters, or to get impulse Likes, to curate links for an audience or to boost our Klout score, a social network that encourages us to re-engage with content and meaning seems like a very welcome change. With Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and other forms of microblogging platforms, people have become obsessed with real-time interaction. However, these networks do not promote engagement – we want to be the one with the first say, or the last say, or the only say. Too fast do we skim through tweets, only choosing those with headlines cleverly written to catch our eye. And while blogs, forums and individual websites are excellent sources of information, they lack the ability to facilitate live discussion, have limited discoverability, and are updated too infrequently to be a sole means of satisfying our constant need for stimulation.
Enter Tribalfish! I’ve heard about this for some time but the network only just opened to the public on Tuesday, so I quickly got on. Tribalfish aims to overcome the limited engagement of Twitter and Facebook, and to make the rich, quality content of blogs, forums and websites more accessible – merging the best of e-mail, social networks, websites and forums to provide an integrated, rich, engaging web experience. It thus enables a completely new level of live, meaningful discussions between private and public audiences.
“Tribalfish reinvents the term ‘Discussion Network’ by providing a 2011-level user experience that overcomes the depth limitations of Tweets and Facebook posts, the lag-time of blogs and forums, and the bloated nature of collaborative email threads,” said Lyle Ball, chief executive officer, Tribalfish.
Tribalfish founder Chris Crabtree believes that Tribalfish could become the most convenient and engaging way to discover content.“With Tribalfish, we found a way to combine the ease-of-use and connectivity of social networks with the rich publication features of blogs and the active feedback of forums…ultimately, providing a much more meaningful and satisfying connections among people, topics and groups.”
Users are prompted to explore and discuss what interests them. They can also hang out in The Reef, where new and trending topics are shown (much like Twitter). You can customise your own live stream of topics from other users, as well as popular RSS feeds. Like Facebook, you can join groups, and like Twitter, you can follow other users. You can publish your own topics and respond to the discussions in real-time. And like e-mail or Google+, you can choose to share certain content only with certain people or groups. And! Right now, Tribalfish is testing out a feature to allow users to link their external blogs to their Tribalfish account so new posts will be automatically published to the network. You can track your topics, your responses, shared topics and bookmarked topics.
I’ve been exploring Tribalfish the whole day and it’s heaps fun. It’s got an easy-to-use interface that looks a lot like e-mail, and unlike Twitter where you have to click out to view links, images and videos, Tribalfish has all the rich content already embedded within it so it’s also an incredibly convenient content browser. I’ve been randomly typing in topics and finding out so much more than just the standard things that you would find in a Google search or a Wikipedia page.
I’d be excited to see how fast people adopt Tribalfish and whether marketers and brands will migrate from using Twitter as a forum. Tribalfish would be a great place to host a brand/company forum, where customers and the brand can fully interact and engage with each other.
“The missing piece to an open social customer engagement is a network that allows a true customer engagement experience from start to finish without having to leave the network,” says Chris. “Today, the customer is shuffled off to some off-the-network silo to finish the engagement, while the rest of those that might have the same concerns are left clueless, and the company unable to help more than a single individual.”
What do you think about Tribalfish?