eTribes : An anti-social network?

I have to confess to being a simple person, but I've never understood the appeal of etribes, which is one of Simon Grice's ventures.

I signed up for an account and was granted a "home page" with an etribes suffix; I couldn't locate any networking facilities/opportunities or find anything that improved on offerings I could get from hundreds of sites. Admittedly I didn't elect to get a "Premium" paid-for account, which might have been where the interesting stuff is housed.

Well, yesterday I happened to speak to one of the people involved with etribes and was saying how I hadn't sussed out how the social networking element within etribes worked - the response: "Its meant to be your personal website; Its an anti-social network". Isn't that an oxymoron?

posted by John Wilson @ 2:21 PM Permanent Link newsvine reddit


At 6:17 PM, Anonymous Luke Brynley-Jones said...

Hi John

I'm the Marketing Manager at etribes - so I *should* be able to answer this one ;)

I suspect the "anti-social network" line was a joke, but there is a grain of truth in it. etribes is a personal website service that lets you share your news, photos, videos, documents etc. with people that matter to you. It isn't a social network - so we don't make introductions.

That said, we are working on a Groups/Networks feature that will make sharing your content with people you know even easier.

Armed with this knowledge - I hope you'll give your etribes LifeSite another go! For inspiration - see mine at

At 6:50 PM, Blogger John Wilson said...

Luke, thanks for the note and for correcting my initial misconception that etribes was in someway a social networking service.

Having looked at your pages, you have a
- a blog
- your photos [password protected]
- your videos [password protected]
- profile

Hmmmm. IMHO the features aren't much to get excited about, unless etribes is your first experience of the web & you're unaware of the stuff out there.

I can blog with many services that specialise in this area, with better features & built in ways to promote your blog. Better yet, many widgets are being built to easily be added to the popular blog services.

For photos I can use a host of services inc flickr & zooomr, which can be embedded in my blog.

Youtube hosts my video & gives me privacy options about who I share with.

I guess I need a little more as to help me understand why etribes should be my venue of choice. Or as Kathy Sierra might say - "where's the experience that makes me a passionate user?"

At 4:48 PM, Anonymous Luke Brynley-Jones said...

Hi John

I hesitate to say "you're not our target market" - because it sounds like a cop out... but in this case it may be true.

etribes is designed for people who don't blog - but do want to share occasional news online - don't know how to get their photos out of their mobile phone and can't be bothered to go to the Trainline website to get quick train times.

etribes lets them do these things really easily without taking a course on using YouTube or getting Diploma in Flickr.

Like the other services you mention, we do plan to let you embed content hosted elsewhere into your etribes LifeSite - but our focus is on providing simple tools that do the job without unnecessary bells and whistles.

That said - posting photos and videos straight onto their website from their mobile phone is a feature that our customers get both excited and passionate about. The etribes Deskbar was also a finalist for CNET Internet Innovation of the Year. Not bad for an 'unexciting' service ;)

At 5:03 PM, Blogger John Wilson said...


Many thanks for taking the time to respond.

Fair point re target market - I am probably more web savvy than many. However, I think you're overstating the contrast between etribes and other services like Youtube & Flickr in respect of ease of use. And your comments re posting photos directly from mobile phones possibly suggests moderately able folks are using etribes - indeed this element of the service is very similar to

Re CNET, allow me a little cynicism on this given that your MD, Simon Grice, is very well connected with folks at CNET. Didn't he and Tom Bureau have a business together or something like, which they mentioned to me post a Mashup event when we enjoyed a late night drink ;-)


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