Twibes is ruining my reputation – UPDATED

In the past 48 hours I’ve been added to 100+ twitter lists and I’m mortified.

Normally I’m elated when I’m added to someone’s list. It’s a a form of validation and (usually) a sincere recommendation that can increase your reputation and visibility. Then came Twibes.

Enter the Beast

I discovered twibes and upon first look it seemed like a good way to utilize a stub community alongside twitter so I signed up.

During the signup process Twibes prompts you to add some keywords to indicate where they should list you in “their” directory.

twibelist1

Since I’ve seen this before in directories like WeFollow I saw no harm in adding a few keywords. After completing the registration I spent some time playing with the service and decided that Twibes could be useful and filed it in my “things to keep in mind” folder.

The next day I started getting notifications that I’d been added to some twitter lists based on these Twibe lists. (I monitor list membership via @listwatcher) That’s cool, a few more lists. No big deal.

Then I got notified 100 more times. What is going on? How do I make it stop? What have I done? ACK!

So why am I so bothered by this?

Twitter lists are powerful. They are the easiest way to discover how the twitter community classifies someone and to decide if they are worth following. It is the penultimate stamp of approval from other users.

If you’d checked my lists on Wednesday you’d find some very kind people had chosen to list me in social media, information security, and Arkansas twitter lists. A brief glance tells you a lot about who i am, what I’m interested in, and even the place I call home.

Unfortunately, my current list membership is overwhelmed by lists named twibes-blogging and twibes-twitter. While it’s true that I’m a blogger that has an affinity for twitter this isn’t real data. It is list spam.

twibesscreen2

These twibes lists are offer no value. They aren’t created by people as a recommendation system and the lists themselves are populated with firehouse users and accounts fed solely with twitterfeed.

They make me appear as if I’m gaming the system or part of some system interested in inflating my list membership numbers. They don’t represent AT ALL who I am, and who I am is my reputation.

The worst part of this tale is I’ve twice asked @twibes and its founder @adamloving how I can remove myself from these lists because there is absolutely no information in FAQ. They are in the business of twitter and they haven’t had the time type a reply in 48 hours.

My impression of twibes was in freefall.

In closing, I’d like to say that this blog has never been a platform to skewer companies or call them out. I’m share this experience to remind you of the unintended consequences that can come in the world of social media. Of course I would be elated if it prompted Twibes to actually respond and help me remove myself from these lists.

I’m sure Twibes is a wonderful site with many benefits but had no idea their twitter lists would overwhelm my profile and diminish the real recommendations from friends.

My question to you

Am I wrong about this? Should I get over it and accept the bump in list memberships?

Am I right to take offense to this hijacking of an influential twitter feature?

You tell me.

UPDATE: Twibes’ founder, Adam Loving, contacted me with the following. Let it be said he was not only helpful but gracious.

“thank you for your post. other people have also complained, here is how I plan to fix the problem http://bit.ly/6LlxBn” – Reply from Adam Loving

The link leads to this video uploaded 2 days ago,

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mPtu9HmxJI[/youtube]

Adam also expressed that he is working on combining lists to help solve this issue.

Following his instructions I’ve removed myself from the lists via the tweet method and hope to see my twitter list membership drop. Thank you to Adam for taking the time to assist me. I’d humbly suggest they add this info to the FAQ.

14 responses to “Twibes is ruining my reputation – UPDATED”

  1. Louis Gray says:

    It is list spam, and like anything, it has been gamed. I checked out Twibes also, and went from 1100 to 1600 lists. Oh well! I don't monitor additions though, so there is very little impact.

  2. Adam Loving says:

    Hi guys, this problem has gotten out of hand and I am working to solve it! Thanks for your patience. I didn't anticipate certain lists like “socialmedia” being so much more popular than the others. Here is a YouTube video I made on the subject… http://bit.ly/6LlxBn

  3. Keith says:

    Thank you for taking the time to respond. I hope the updated post will accurately reflect your responsiveness to this issue. Thank you Adam.

  4. Keith says:

    I realize this feature may have grown bigger than twibes expected but an updated FAQ or a “Due to popularity warning.”

    Live and Learn.

    Thanks for the share. I really try to be positive and almost didn't publish this post.

  5. faryl says:

    Thanks for sharing this. I was wondering why I was on so many WordPress lists! 🙂

  6. lelapin says:

    like you wrote being added to someone's list may be interpreted as a recommendation and a form of [flattering] validation; on the other hand being part of a massive listing is a close cousin to spamming.
    Thank you for documenting here how you proceeded to address that problem

  7. Mahendra says:

    Keith, you are absolutely justified in taking offense. Thanks for sharing this experience.

  8. Thank you @adamloving for producing this video.

    Thank you @TsudoBlog for pushing this issue and for such a great blog post.

    Hopefully now I'll start falling off lists and feel like I have some control over my online reputations.

  9. Keith says:

    Paul thanks for the kind words. I had mixed feelings about publishing this piece but felt strongly about it.

    I haven't had my lists reduced any but I've stopped be included in more lists. So at least it isn't getting worse.

    Thanks for reading and taking time to leave me a comment. -@tsudo

  10. […] Also… getting thousands of fake followers on Twitter by leveraging Twibes (read… twibes is ruining my reputation for some real perspective) is not a business objective I would stand behind… and neither […]

  11. Steph Woods says:

    I want off Twibes lists as well! That's actually how I found this blog post “how do I remove myself from Twibes lists”. There should be an easier way than having to message a hundred people to remove you. This post was over a month ago and am wondering if there have been any updates (I can't stand watching videos BTW – just want to read it quickly if possible).

  12. Keith says:

    Steph good news, yes I was removed from 90% of the lists within the next 2
    weeks. Just follow the vid instructions

    Login to twibes, go to your twibes profile, then edit list memberships.you
    can also email him at adam@twibes.com good guy

  13. Keith says:

    Steph good news, yes I was removed from 90% of the lists within the next 2
    weeks. Just follow the vid instructions

    Login to twibes, go to your twibes profile, then edit list memberships.you
    can also email him at adam@twibes.com good guy

  14. Joe Duncko says:

    Nobody looks at lists.

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