How ‘Digital Tribalism’ is Changing Socialby
Less Noise, More Meaning
As the information age progresses apace our daily lives are deluged with content - updates, notifications, alerts. It is difficult to keep up and many of us are starting to cut back, to unsubscribe, unfollow and unfriend. People are becoming more interested in content, not the number of contacts and are looking for a less noisy, more useful online experience.
Our basic human need to communicate and relate to others in a meaningful way remains, as does our desire to learn and develop but the way we do this is changing.
Matthew Bryan Beck, a NYC-based journalist and advertising strategist wrote about the birth of ‘mobile-tribes’ and a move away from the major social networks to mobile villages. The increasing use of smartphones to access the web is undeniable though whether it is an app or online platforms, ‘social-tribes’ are banding together based on generational cohorts and shared interests and choosing with whom they wish to connect and share.
In response, the big names are unbundling their mega platform offerings to allow people to create and be part of their own tribes. Delivering meaningful content to these groups in an effective way is also becoming a key focus. Mark Zuckerberg stated in an interview with Wired “…over a five-year period, people will start thinking about social networks not just as communication tools, but also knowledge tools”. The challenge for Facebook is how to make the knowledge that already exists discoverable and ultimately useful to people. Between 5 to 10 percent of posts on Facebook are about people asking questions of their friends. With over 500 posts a minute that is a lot of questions so there are clear opportunities to both the ‘big-boys’ and others to make targeted, generational specific information more readily available.
The Rise of the Tribes
Current platforms will continue to develop and evolve whilst new niche platforms and apps offering targeted content based on this ‘digital tribalism’ will enter the market. Early predictions of the Internet were that it would make us all homogenous but the ‘Rise of the Tribes’ will actually create a more decentralised and personal user experience.
Tribes are not a new concept – far from it – but the Internet and social media is enabling us to create and be part of our own. Consumers are looking to the technologists and entrepreneurs to facilitate this movement. The way we connect, consume content and share on social media is changing and GENX is part of the ‘Digital Tribalism’ movement…Viva la revolución!