The term tribe or digital tribe is used as a slang term for an unofficial community of people who share a common interest, and usually who are loosely affiliated with each other through social media or other internet mechanisms. The term is related to "tribe," which traditionally refers to people closely associated in both geography and genealogy.
The concept is closely related to social networking, and dates back to at least 2003, when tribe.net was launched. Cory Doctorow wrote a science fiction novel that expounds on this concept released in 2004 called Eastern Standard Tribe.
Research into tribes
Not only do Twitter tribes have mutual interests, but they also share potentially subconscious language features as found in the 2013 study by researchers from Royal Holloway University of London and Princeton.
Each tribe has a campfire around which they gather. These campfires tend to enable one or more of the following three tribal activities:
However, some brands are building their own tribes around platforms outside of these.
- Digital Tribes – Creating Behaviour Change in Users, www.theuxreview.co.uk, 2012
- People with same interests or occupation form 'tribes' on Twitter, www.dnaindia.com, Friday, Mar 15, 2013
- Word usage mirrors community structure in the online social network Twitter, EPJ Data Science, 25 February 2013
- Cragg, M., The rise of the Twitter tribes, The Guardian, April 2, 2011
- Rodrigues, Jason (15 March 2013). "Twitter users forming tribes with own language, tweet analysis shows". The Guardian.
- Cory Doctorow, Eastern Standard Tribe, TOR, 1 March 2004, ISBN 0-7653-0759-6
- Seth Godin, Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us, Portfolio Hardcover, October 16, 2008, ISBN 1-59184-233-6
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