A Tribe is a large extended family connected by physical, emotional, and family ties as well as by heritage and tradition. My Tribe, the Grand Ronde Tribe, faces the challenge of dispersion. Thus, we must build our Tribe or community online. An online Tribal community is very similar to a company or brand establishing an online community. With that said, we can apply lessons learned in the business world to building our online Tribal community.
One source of knowledge comes from the blog post “Where to Start if Your Brand Wants to Build an Online Community” by Simon Mainwaring. Mainwaring argues it is best to focus on slow and steady methods which engage community members in a multi-faceted way. Dialog and communication between members and the company, or in our case the Tribal Council and administration, is the only way to establish lasting relationships.
Companies like Ford and Starbucks engage their customers and use the feedback to shape the delivery of products and services. This takes patience, dedication and persistence to (1) hear customers and (2) trust their advice through implementation.
We, my Tribe, need to focus on talking and listening to our membership no matter where they live or what family they are from. This is the only way we can continue on as a Tribe. Our conversations will take place in many different forms and venues. We will communicate via Facebook, Twitter, Blogs and other social media forums.
We will never agree on everything, but I plead with you to agree with me on this: We must come together and converse, listen to each other and agree to disagree so we can continue on as a Tribe.