New Triberr Review – Better than Old (Legacy) Triberr?

Having done many projects from WordPress blogs to complex enterprise software implementations, I tend to ask these questions when a website/software will be redesigned or upgraded. Consider these as fundamental questions that should be addressed from the beginning or early inception of the idea. Here are some of the questions at the top of my mind now that I\’ll use to review the new Triberr:

  • What is the main objective of the upgrade/redesign?
  • What is working; what is not working now?
  • What are the features (requirements) needed by stakeholders
  • How will it benefit the business
  • How will it impact the customer
  • What are the risks that could potentially stall progress
  • How will you evaluate the success of the project


What is the main objective of the upgrade/redesign?

From a customer perspective, I believe that Dino and co.  hits the jackpot when he discussed in a blog posts that the old Triberr\’s usability leaves much to desired. The upgrade is supposed to bring complete design overhaul that will offer an awesome user interface.

Looking at the new Triberr you can definitely see the vast improvement in design. While this definitely gives Triberr the \”eye candy\”, UX is much more than aesthetics. Later on I\’ll discuss some small annoyances with the new Triberr.

What is working; what is not working?

This is based in my experience alone.

What is working : the idea about tribes, tribe invite system, freemium business model, blocking/muting, posts distribution through Twitter and other social networks

What is not working well: Triberr comment system (there\’s a huge room for improvement here), laborious manual post approval (workflow could be tedious when you have hundreds of tribe-mates , pagination is sometimes hit or miss, post filtering sometimes does not work and statistics not accurate.

What are the features (requirements) needed by stakeholders?

I could only speculate that most of the top requested features are the inspiration for the redesign but I believe there are more pressing issues that must be addressed within Triberr soon. Things like Triberr plugin to be available not just for WordPress but also in other blogging platforms. Not sure why Triberr can\’t just have universal JavaScript code that lets you import posts using RESTful API or something similar. Then there are requests for granular scheduling controls so that you can only permit certain time for sharing posts. Ultimately these will make Triberr more useful but it is not available yet.

How will it benefit the business ?

The way I see it — with the redesign, more users will take Triberr more seriously, consider it within the same league as Twitter and Facebook, and include Triberr in their social media strategy. More power users = more prime members = better cash flow.

How will it impact the customer?

My first reaction after the new Triberr rolled out was this:


After a while it turned to something like this:


It seems that Triberr is back to beta status. I seriously don\’t feel bad or disappointed because what Dan, Dino and company created is tremendously helpful to blogging community so I am not complaining. I\’m just concerned to prime members and how new comers perceive Triberr as a service or a platform. While paying members get to preview the latest version of Triberr before regular (non-paying) members get to see it, some major bugs are still in the wild after the new Triberr is released to the public.

The transition from old (legacy) version to the new version is also not seamless. Some users still love to use the old version but having to two versions only confuses some. For example some posts appear only in the legacy version forcing me to switch back and forth the old and new versions to approve certain post. I\’m not sure why this is even happening. The infinite-scroll feature also lags when loading more posts and this frustrates both new and old Triberr users. I know it is still work in progress but isn\’t better UX the primary goal of the redesign? It should have been the top priority.

The no-click approval feature truly saves time and prevent clicking fatigue and in my opinion, one of the best features introduced — but it doesn\’t mean it is flawless. Some users reported that it is not working as expected.

So far the experience is so-so. Half the time you\’ll read accolades, then half the time you\’ll read complains about certain feature that doesn\’t work really well.

What are the risks that could potentially stall progress?

Regular Triberr users have witnessed the long downtime last week and it shows that even a well planned event could go wrong. It also showed how many Triberr supporters are out there willing to understand the tough situation that puts Dino, Dan and Andres sleepless for several days.

With the amount of transparency and accessibility from last weeks trials, I wonder why the new Triberr doesn\’t feel as polished as I expected it to be. How do Triberr team prioritize and resolve bug fixes is beyond the scope of my review but Triberr could learn more from the difficulty last week so that they could cut the risks involved in bug fixing and day to day operations.

How will you evaluate the success of Triberr Redesign?

Only Triberr can answer this but if I were to measure the success of the redesign, I would use measurable data such as prime membership sales, post shared in all social networks, total engagements, new sign-ups and more quantitative information.


Over all it feels like the new Triberr needs more time to fully materialize. While the basic features work there are bugs all over the place. To add insult to injury, the database corruption one week before the public release of the new Triberr  made it a difficult experience to everyone not just to Triberr team.  In the end, the focus for better user experience seems to be overshadowed by unpolished features.

I certainly look forward to progressive improvements and rolling updates that will eventually solve the issues I have discussed here. More power to Triberr!

Update: The tribe has spoken! See the comments below. Team Triberr will have bug fixing marathon over the weekends. Stay tuned!

Read more Free Account Available Now – Who Has an Invite? Free Account

At first I was surprised that you can already register an free account when its goal from the beginning is to offer an ad-free service. It was made possible by offering premium paid-only service, at least initially.

Freemium model usually offset the cost of operations by displaying ads to non-paying users or by selling the data generated from the service to other business. There are many ways to carry out a freemium model so it does not mean will start doing one of those things I mentioned.

So how does an ad-free network where users already pay $36 yearly or $5 monthly to use the service benefit with the new freemium model?

Freemium is the way to go

You only pay the service because either it is so good and important or you need more features not available in the free plan.


To understand the switch from premium to freemium model you have to go back and read this article from The Verge where it details how expanded its current paid offerings by offering cloud storage on top of its social network. All paid packages now offers 10 Gb of cloud storage  since late January this year.

Even when you look back at the first project announcement is heavily inspired by services with freemium model namely Github and Evernote.

How to register free account?

In order to get the free tier account you must have an invite first. Free tier account users are similar to paid accounts but limited to following 40 users, file storage is much smaller – 500 MB,  and the max upload file size is only 10 MB.

While some paid user may think of downgrading to free account this could make more popular because now even paid users can lure more of their friends and family inside the social network without any obligation.

This will also benefit the community because only the trusted people will be invited greatly reducing the risk of spam. Also with the limitation of free account, spamming or nonsense rambling seems futile. As free users hit the limitation there is a likelihood someone will upgrade just like how Evernote and Dropbox users upgrade to paid plans.

I am not an user yet but I am interested on the service since last year. This might be the best time to try it out. Who knows, I might get an invitation sooner or later. If you are in already and have a free invite to spare, please contact me directly here.

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The Best of MV Tech Blog: 2012 Edition

If you have WordPress Jetpack plugin installed you should have your 2012 Annual Report by now. Below is the summary.


WordPress only reports the top 5 in the annual report so I used Google Analytics as well to get the top 10.

My top referring sites in 2012 are mostly social networks  – Twitter, Stumbleupon, Facebook, Youtube and  XDA Forums.

Also, according to WordPress some of my most popular posts were written before 2012 so my writing has staying power. Sounds awesome! Now, here\’s the list:

10. Windows 8 Consumer Preview VirtualBox Installation Step-by-Step: It seems that many people interested to test Windows 8 in virtual machine. VirtualBox is free so it\’s not surprising it is popular.

9. iGoogle Alternatives – Find a New Start Page Before Google Shutdowns iGoogle in 2013: After all, many people still use a start page. I\’m not sure if it was a good move for Google.

8. BlueStacks on Windows 8 to Run 400,000 Android Apps: BlueStacks is getting better and better and if they continue to make more Android apps run with 100% compatibility on Windows 8 it might become the best way to run Android on x86 machines.

7. Google Black Navigation Bar: Remove, Disable or Change It: People are still not stopping to make Google black navigation bar a facelift. Maybe Google should consider giving more options to people like how Microsoft gives more option to customize Windows start menu and Apple, OS X dock.

6. Windows 8 Release Preview VirtualBox Installation and Error Troubleshooting: This is a surprise because I have three Windows related blog posts in top 10.

5. 8 Blogging Lessons from Game of Thrones (Part 1): Game of Thrones is one of my favorite show this year and it will return on March 31, 2013 as  hinted in HBO teaser.

4. Browser Wars Illustrated: From #7, up to #4. I never thought browser wars is that popular.

3. Free Facebook Mobile Access (Philippines Promo): While the promo is not available anymore, some people are still looking for free Facebook access using their mobile phones. With the increasing availability of LTE phone I could see that it will stay on my top posts for quite a while.

2. Kindle Comparison Chart – Kindle Fire vs. Others: Same as last year, still in #2. I really think I should write more about gadgets.

1. How to Wisely Use DFA Passport Appointment System: Still my #1 post. I hope it still serves as a helpful guideline for many Filipinos who are confused on how to get the new Philippine e-passport.

I wrote a total of 83 posts this year and this is my most active year in blogging yet after my long hiatus in 2008.

I know I can do more next year so I am excited to start 2013 already. In just a few hours, it\’s already 2013. Happy New Year !

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New Crowdbooster – No More Free Plan in 2013

I\’m surprised no one has posted in my group about the new Crowdbooster yet. Maybe due to the holidays?

Well, it\’s nearly the end of 2012 and before I post my 2012 summary let this be my last social media post for the year.

If you don\’t know it yet, the new Crowdbooster is getting rid of the freemium model. And they announced it 2 days after Christmas. Just so happened that I did a short review of CrowdBooster in YouTube a day before Christmas. So now that review is quiet irrelevant already because there is no more free plan.  I don\’t know if they could have picked a better timing for the announcement but ditching a free plan is always hard for the first adopters of the service.

Starting March 1, 2013 the free plan will no longer exist and in order to continue using Crowdbooster you must upgrade to a paid plan, starting at $9. At the moment there is no $9 plan posted in their pricing guidelines yet. Let\’s hope that other perks, such as additional account slots, will be included when you upgrade to the cheapest paid plan.

I have been using this great tool for a while but I am not so vocal about it until lately. They should know what they are doing because Crowdbooster is changing its business model and all the risks must have been studied first beforehand.

It\’s been a great free service and I believe anyone who finds this helpful for their business would upgrade.

What do you think of this recent announcement by Crowdbooster? Let me know in the comments section below.

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Social Media Customer Service Fail

This article is a guest post written by Sean Clark.


As a business you can choose whether to take part in social media or not.

Whether you do take part or you don\’t, it won\’t alter the fact that the conversation will continue on regardless.

By taking an active role you have the opportunity to shape the conversation, make a difference and stand out from the competition.

Social media can be a very cost effective channel for customer service, when implemented correctly.

Which is why so many companies have embraced social media, creating accounts on various channels to provide a gateway for their customers and potential customers to reach them.

Nobody\’s Home

There is something worse than not taking part though.

That is to open a social media channel, and by doing so inviting customers to use it to reach out to you, then when they do, totally ignore them!

This is akin to advertising a telephone support number and never picking up when it rings, not even an answer-phone message.

This is really happening.

Customer Service Fail

Mark Shaw has gone to some length to highlight this phenomenon on Twitter with his EngagementIndex. His aim? To raise the customer service bar.

Mark states on the website:

\”Twitter is a game changer for businesses. Through EngagementIndex I want businesses to be able to track themselves so that they can see how they are performing, see if the resources they have allocated are sufficient and aimed in the right places…\”

Socially Devoted

On Twitter consumers may attempt to talk to you even though you may not have set up an account. When it comes to Facebook generally consumers will approach you via your Facebook page.

Yes the page your company set up! So why then are companies failing to respond?

SocialBakers, who provide a social analytics platform, have launched their Socially Devoted website to draw attention to the below-average customer care in social media, specifically on Facebook.

Their aim is \”…to encourage brands to shift their strategy towards more open and responsive social marketing.\”

SocialBakers have produced the infographic below highlighting Facebook Page response rates by industry:

Who\’s Socially Devoted To You?

If you\’ve set up a presence on social media with the aim of using it to promote your business, don\’t forget it works both ways.

So when customers use social media to reach out to you, ensure you\’re there and respond accordingly.


Sean Clark

Passionate Web Geek and Chess fan, blogging about Twitter, WordPress, iPad, SEO and Google. Sean helps startups leverage Social Media and Search to accelerate their business growth.

Check out Sean\’s latest online course: How To Use Twitter To Build Authority In Your Market Sector

Twitter: SeanClark

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Google Plus Redesign Introduced New UI, More Whitespace

Google Plus  Redesign

Among Facebook, Twitter and Google+ I am still most active in Twitter but I want to be more active in all these social media and I am happy with Google Plus redesign because I know Google+ is getting stale. Having this redesign will keep the platform fresh and give way for more interaction among users.

I think it\’s a great time to be a Google+ user because the new design introduced a revamped navigation and more customization. If you wonder what Google calls it, they call it \”dynamic ribbon\”. Now the major navigation is at the left side and you can drag icons and reorder them as you wish. You can filter your streams at the top. By default it shows all, as in everyone or everything that you have circled, but you can choose friends, family or any custom circles that you created.

The top banner now features what looks like a copy of Facebook timeline cover but you can still choose whether you want a big 960 x 185 banner or 5 little photos. The profile picture now looks even bigger when you look at the profile pages.

The new chat list at the right side looks like Facebook chat without the ticker and I actually like it better than what is on Facebook.

I think more and more social networks will move in optimizing photo sharing. Looking at how Facebook just acquired Instagram and the increasing popularity of social networks with focus on images like Tumblr and Pinterest, I am not surprised that Google+ is stepping in this direction as well.

MOAR White Space

Well, everything looks nice like except one thing– white space. There is so much white space in the new design and it is a trending topic in Google+ at the moment. If you are using  a small screen like a netbook or Macbook air, you will not see the big white space. However, if you are using bigger screen with 1080p resolution you will see something like the picture below.



Notice that I was able to fit 3 chat windows there without blocking any content? I am sure Google will use this white space — maybe on ads or more interactive content. You can search for #usesforwhite space to look for the parodies that users came up with.

Personally, I don\’t mind the changes Google introduced. I think this version of Google+ is better than the previous one. How about you, what do you think?

Watch the video about the new Google+ below.

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Bottlenose Lets You Browse the Social Web Visually

I have covered Bottlenose before and this time I\’ll talk about the latest beta, version 2.


New Layout

Bottlenose beta 2 features a new 3 pane layout. The sonar is at the right side of the stream instead of the middle and it\’s always visible with the single column mode.

The left pane always show the folders, assistants, topics, people and searches that are tracking.

The multi-column view is also changed for better viewing.

Bottlenose Improvements

You can send out message directly from Bottlenose and they are shorten by Bottlenose using short URL domain. I\’m not sure if people will interpret it as bot but it is not a bot. It\’s like Twitlonger service — a short version goes to Twitter but the longer message is hosted in Bottlenose.

Now you can also post a message to Twitter, Facebook and even email.

Photos, videos as well as article previews are now embedded. It adds more context on what you are tracking and it is now more visual.

Search seems to be much better now too. With the aid of sonar you can easily navigate your way through different topics and conversations and see the profiles of people.

The Profile tab next to Sonar shows the basic Twitter profile showing the number of tweets, followers and following using TwitterCounter. It also shows the influence of the profile using Klout score.

A smarter way to surf the stream

Using Sonar you can analyze the person and brand you are following. You can even use Sonar to analyze the news, conversations and trends in Twitter.

It\’s easy to get lost in social media conversation especially when you don\’t know where to start. Bottlenose helps you find the source and related information using Sonar.

For example, in the screenshot I used above, I don\’t really know why JK Rowling is trending. So I searched her name and I came up with helpful tags like #newjkrowling #RowlingReturns and non-Potter. Clicking these topics and hash tags reveal that JK Rowling will have a new novel for adults that is not related to Harry Potter.

You can also use it to analyze your profile or someone else\’s profile.


If you click on my profile, you\’ll find out that majority of my topics cover Google, Android, Apple, iPhone, iPad, Social Media, Pinterest, #privacy, Twitter, Facebook, Windows 8 and more.

Sonar can also shows you topics you\’ve been missing and surfaces the messages that matters most.

Let me know your opinion on Bottlenose below the comment section.





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