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Digital Tribe Analysis

The term tribe or digital tribe is used as a slang term for an unofficial community of people who share a common interest, and usually who are loosely affiliated with each other through social media or other Internet mechanisms. The term is related to "tribe", which traditionally refers to people closely associated in both geography and genealogy. Nowadays, it looks more like a virtual community or a personal network and it is often called global digital tribe. Most anthropologists agree that a tribe is a (small) society that practices its own customs and culture, and that these define the tribe.

The tribes are divided into clans, with their own customs and cultural values that differentiate them from activities that occur in 'real life' contexts. People feel more inclined to share and defend their ideas on social networks than they would dare to say to someone face to face. For example, it would be ridiculous to 'poke' someone in real life.

If we didn’t know any better, we would say someone has been studying us. The digital world is an analytical animal that relies upon sophisticated algorithms to engulf and interpret data, which is then spat out as a wave of direct personalised messages that seem to “just understand you”.

Often without knowing it, we are building our profiles, one bag of dog food, one slipper fetish at a time. From these ‘résumés’ we unconsciously craft, digital interconnections are made and consumers are segmented into tribes.

Whether it be acid jazz or sushi as the common passion, we find ourselves apportioned to communities that draw lines around shared personal preferences and lifestyle choices. These ‘digital tribes’ are connecting and personal, and in some ways contrary to the common lament that technology has a dehumanising effect. And they have literally changed the way business does business.