Kajsa Hartig

A blog about Cultural Heritage and Digital Communication

Watch out for tribal co-creation and sharing #Blogg100

15 kommentarer

My second blog post today is an attempt to catch up with my 100 blog post challenge, 1 blogpost per day for 100 days, day 5.

My LinkedIn network, showing "tribes". Imaginge visualizing all the tribes in your target groups, and actually presenting content in a relevant proper way to each tribe.

My LinkedIn network, showing ”tribes”. Imagine visualizing all the tribes in your target groups, and actually presenting content in a relevant proper way to each tribe.

By participating in the Swedish blog challenge #Blogg100 I discovered this blog EntrepreneurialBlog by NiclasJ, that is one of the few in English among the #Blogg100 participants.

Niclas Johansson is a Swedish entrepreneur blogging about ”networking, creativity, news, politics, spirituality, martial arts, NLP, juggling, music, or just random oddities”. His latest blog post is called From Search To Collect To Curate And Beyond (Digital Media).

There he makes a great point that the audience online is taking part of content in tribes rather than crowds.

As with the term curating, tribes can be interpreted in several ways. Like in Jeff Bullas’  blog posts:

Is social media making us more tribal?

The Social Network Tribes – Plus Infographic

By tribes he means:

These tribes are not local or indigenous but global and the shared theme is not indigenous but of common interests, shared goals, aspirations and passions that span countries and continents.
Jeff Bullas

A tribe is a ”a social group with the possibility of collective action” (Emma Hallgren, in Segmentation of the Swedish blogosphere, essay in Swedish).

The notion of tribes and marketing goes back way before social media. But it’s truly whith social media the idea of a group sharing the same interests becomes useful to the cultural heritage sector.

How do we prepare and disseminate collections, exhibitions and knowledge in a way that attracts the active and interactive tribe? What are their expectations? As Niclas Johansson says about tribes:

…within those small networks, interaction from any person in the network has meaning and influence on the originator of the content – and on the whole tribe. And if the traditional media companies want to compete for our attention with their big-scale content, they’d better present it with a tone and a format that lets us engage with and, to a bigger degree than today, control it.

To make a tribe engage with your content, you have to be relevant to that specific tribe.

Today’s challenge: How do we present present our cultural heritage content to tribes? Have we even identified the tribes within the crowds? Take a look at my LinkedIn network above. What if we could actually visualize the relevant tribes we need to adress, what would it look like? To find out, it all boils down to knowing your audience.


15 thoughts on “Watch out for tribal co-creation and sharing #Blogg100

  1. The tribes find your content. Not the other way around – or?

  2. Hi Jocke,
    I believe the tribes will find my content, but it has to be presented the right way for it to be findable, useable, relevant, shareable etc. Museums put a lot of content online that doesn’t really make sense to probably anyone but very small and niched target groups. By knowing your tribes you can prioritize and present in a relevant way. Are museums willing to spend the time and money to find out?

    And ofcourse there is nothing wrong with finding your tribes by being present online in communities on the ”other side” of the museum walls. I.e. take a step out from the museum into the tribal residence and tell people about your content.

    I’d say option A is vital and B is the next step when you are comfortable with your content and know your tribes.


  3. Hi Kajsa, thanks for an interesting post, and a nice context to explore these questions in. I am assuming that your Cultural Heritage material has lots of interesting stories (perhaps experiences, but I know too little about that). Obviously these stories carry a lot of potential meaning to lots of potential tribes. And meaning is the reason why they exist (as tribal individuals and as a group).

    I think the challenge is to re-package your material so that they align with the tribe and where they are going. In other words: a great deal of tribal understanding and translation. I think you already have a rough sketch in your mind, but this could help:
    Finding tribes. With limited resources this might be the tribes you already are a part of.
    Understanding tribal values, myths, jargon, leaders, spaces, rituals, customs, totems
    (regarding your question of visualization, combined with your expertise, I think this could be it)
    Translate your material to become as meaningful for the tribe as possible
    Invite, conversate, re-mix, appropriate

    What are your thoughts?

  4. ”I am assuming that your Cultural Heritage material has lots of interesting stories.” Yes, wonderful, touching, exciting and mind blowing stories. 🙂

    Thanks for mapping out the road to tribal understanding! This is an area I want to explore. Very interesting!


  5. Hi Elia –

    I am quite interested in your approach – particularly the aspects of tribal translation and collaboration. My suggestion is that the act of translation itself should be the basis collaboration. That is, arriving at a shared understanding of the material by deconstructing it. And the shared meaning can be further remixed.

    The role of the specialist (whether it is a curator from a heritage institution or a nurse from the healthcare sector) is to actively participate in the process. In fact, this has been my area of interest for the past two years – how do we get specialists to participate in online conversations to make information accessible to communities that form around distinct interests.

    I’ll leave you with this thought and it will be very interesting to see what you make of it – when it comes to engagement and reaching out to distinct communities, shared values are more important than shared interests. And empathy creates room for new kinds of interaction.

    Any thoughts?

    • Thank you Abhay, I am very intrigued by your statement that ”when it comes to engagement and reaching out to distinct communities, shared values are more important than shared interests”. I am curious to find out how we can make of it when communicating the museum.


  6. Kajsa, can’t believe you wrote a post about tribe without referring to Elias site (http://tribaling.com)!
    My feeling is that most museums don’t have any shortage of stories to tell. They don’t lack expert knowledge either. But they have two weaknesses:
    – they don’t really know who ”their” tribes are, which is even more a serious problem in Sweden where the potential public (local and tourists) is smaller than in for ex. UK.
    – they don’t know how to format their stories, especially for digital channels but even offline.
    For most of them, stories have to be presented in clusters called ”exhibitions” around a theme. The focus is on the offline/on-location scenography and the best institutions can think of when it comes to digital is to force a curator to present an artifact, like the ”pick of the week”, posted on blogs with no follow-up on comments and which visitor statistics no one know about. Ok, i might be exagerating…
    But my point is this: finding, understanding and learning how to target or/and mobilize the relevant ”tribes in the crowds” with specifically formated content on specific channels is vital. And i think museums in Sweden are only starting to understand this. They don’t lack budgets, they lack roadmaps and trusted advocates that will help them prioritize. Elia, Abhay, you are needed here 🙂
    Most of the professionals i know would love to communicate their passion and engage in conversations with the ”right tribes”, not just through accidental encounters. It’s a pity it’s not already the case, with all the great video or digital producers we have here in Sweden.

    • I think you’re very right about that many encounters with museums are accidental. And that we need to face and do something about.


  7. Pingback: Taking On The #Blogg100 Blogging Challenge, Days 1-6 | EntrepreneurialBlog by NiclasJ

  8. Hi Abhay,
    thanks for your very thoughtful response. I think you are _absolutely_ right. It is ideal to involve people as much as possible. Think about it. Kajsa has already involved us – passionate about communication, co-creation and tribes – in her process of reaching out to them.

    Depending on the circumstances it may be necessary to take a first step. I imagine some stories about cultural heritage will cater to tribes with small modifications. Others will require much more work. The translation may involve giving a story symbolic meaning which it did not have at first sight. You often have to demonstrate what you mean, to invoke the dynamics of imitation and mediation.

    There are many factors that come into play here. What is your reputation within the tribe? How can you build trust? Are you and/or your organisation authentic by tribal standards? Do you share similar values? Ideals? How good are you at leadership and co-operation? Pitching a good cause? Getting people enthusiastic and willing to help?

    What is the complexity of the material? How much time will the translation require? What will the translation result in? Short stories? Videos? Experiences?

    Involving the tribe along the way will be necessary for success. It is a joint project. I think the major point of advice is to play it by the ear, be fluid and flexible. The steps I outlined should not be seen as a waterfall method, but rather small agile loops.


  9. Matthieu, thanks for the kind words. I think you have great advice and I share your analysis. One of the largest challenges, regardless if you are a museum or not, is flipping things around. That is thinking from the outside-in, bottom-up, and bringing in other perspectives. I think this is at the heart of co-creation to relinquish control, listen and share. Co-creation can only be planned and carried out to a certain degree. At some point the other collaborators must have their say and play their part. Cheers, Elia

  10. Kajsa, it occured to me that a good source of inspiration is the podcast ‘This American Life’. They are excellent at spinning stories evolving around cultural heritage and giving them new meaning.


  11. Pingback: Join existing conversations #Blogg100 | Kajsa Hartig

  12. Pingback: Are museums and tribes a perfect match? | Tribaling


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