Ok, so I know I’m a bit behind in the news, but tribe got purchased by Cisco. I am surprised and saddended by the impending death of tribe. Tribe has had a tumultious past, with the CEO’s leaving, people hating the new everything, and the CEO’s returning. For all this talk about the awesomeness of virb (more on that later) tribe should have been the myspace killer.
A ‘tribe’ is simply a group with a forum, events calendar, photos. Your personal landing page is a smorgesboard of information–stats, friends, friends’ blog entries, photos, etc etc. My favorite piece of info is the prominently displayed randomly selected photo from one of my friends. I can easily drag and drop modules, edit their titles, and hide the ones I don’t want to see. I can hook in multiple feeds to my profile (ex: jumpcut movies, flickr photos and blog entries). When I am looking at someone’s profile, within 4 degrees I can see all the ways I am connected to that person. (Facebook used to have this feature, but it’s nowhere to be found)
All these lovely features aside, the best part about tribe is the community. Tribe is pretty much the online hangout of the artsy-burningman-alternative-lifestyle crowd. If I wanted to find something hip and underground-ish to do on any given evening, I went to tribe. If I wanted to find belly dancing lessons or welding classes, I went to tribe. If I wanted to reconnect with someone I met at a party , well, if s/he didn’t have a tribe profile that was the end of that relationship.
Unfortunately, their userbase is not that big. In some ways I am very glad that tribe never picked up the myspace types (that bubbling cestpool of trashy preteens and spammers). Though I am happy for the employees and the investors, I am deeply saddended by this purchase. Tribe has had a rocky past, so maybe this is just another bump in the road. Cisco may prove me wrong and turn tribe around. One can only hope.