Seth Godin recently released his latest book Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us in which he describes the power behind a tribes ability to enact change. The tribe is a loosely connected group of people behind a leader, a common interest, or an idea. The best example of a tribe can be found in the 2008 Presidential Election. During the course of his election Senator Obama was the leader of a large tribe founded on the premise of Change.
Twitter, an online micro-blogging service, has been bringing people together 140 characters at a time since 2006. Twitter has experienced an exponential increase in popularity over the past year and is commonly used to live blog from various events such as MacWorld, Apple's WWDC, Teradata's Partners Conference, TWDI World Conferences, the PASS Community Summit and recently MicroStrategy World. Live blogging and the use of hashtags (e.g. #tdwi) to group news events allows the tribe as a whole to follow along regardless of who they are actively following on Twitter. Live blogging aside, Twitter provides a medium for people to connect, share ideas, or simply answer the question "What are you doing now?" with their tribe.
The Business Intelligence and SQL Server tribes have begun to thrive on Twitter--so much so, that lists have begun to pop up to help others connect with members of the tribe they may not know existed on Twitter. Shawn Rogers created a list of BI professionals and vendors using Google Docs so that members of the tribe may contribute to the list. SQLServerPedia editor-in-chief, Brent Ozar, decided upon a wiki to maintain the SQL Server tribe's list.
Tribe members often share announcements about blog posts, articles, or whitepapers being published and are kind enough to "retweet" those they find interesting to help spread the word virally. Tribe members also share ideas and problems they are currently facing and often receive answers from tribe and sometimes an unexpected source. The best part about these unexpected sources is they often lead to a mutual following and the tribe benefits.
According to Godin a leader often surfaces within the tribe and helps set the direction for the tribe. So far no apparent leader has come forth within the BI tribe, but I don't think we are worse off in the absence of a leader. The tribe is only worse off for those who have yet to contribute.
Posted January 23, 2009 12:54 PM
Permalink | No Comments |