A few months ago, Seth Godin embarked upon an experiment that was largely intended to help market his new book Tribes: We Need You To Lead Us. He started a group on Ning for people who wanted to commit to buying his book, sight unseen, and start discussing various topics related to the behaviour of people when they band together – what they do, how they get together, why, and most importantly, how change can be brought about by a truly committed group of individuals. The group was limited to the first few thousand people all over the world who took the initiative to sign up (or, those like me, who were sufficiently curious). Soon, the group, called Triiibes, stopped accepting new members (We’re at over 3000 now).
I started out being a pretty reticent member, content with viewing from the sidelines what was going on or being talked about in the group. Then the Tribes casebook (PDF), based on Seth’s original book, came out. Plans were consequently put in motion to compile a Q&A eBook that answered the most common questions with regard to the creation of tribes. I got enthused, and started contributing actively. I think it was seeing the sheer enthusiasm and variety of really solid content that people were contributing with no selfish agenda. It was a long process, from questions being thrown into the hat, to anyone who had a view responding with their thoughts, to creating sub-groups for the final group of questions, appointing leaders for compiling them, asking for volunteers to help with compilation and the final proof-reading. Megan Elizabeth Morris and the rest of us on Triiibes who volunteered did a remarkable job getting this done, even if I do say so myself. Paul Dawson‘s design for the book is especially beautiful. I am proud to say I was part of the effort.
You can view the outcome here – presenting the Tribes Q&A eBook.
Though I did order Seth’s book from Amazon and it duly arrived, imagine my surprise a few weeks ago when I received another copy in the post – absolutely free. Seth had sent a copy to everyone who was a member of Triiibes, with instructions to give the extra copy to someone else if we were sufficiently motivated by the book. Mine’s going to Alex, a colleague of mine at work!