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Tribes – Why I Don’t Belong To Third or Any Other

Sorry guys this is probably gonna be an odd rambling personal post.  My Third Tribe review is honest – I do indeed think the Third Tribe  Marketing service is over priced and won’t help most beginners make money online  and yes I knew I could rank for the relevant keywords. But it was a fundamental – emotional “yuck” response which I got first – well Cat confirmed that maybe t wasn’t just me …

70's Fashion at Wellington 7s 2010

Cat left a comment on my followup Third Tribe Marketing review which made me realise perhaps I should admit the real reason I made the original review  post. Cat said in part:

And that’s an example of what bothers me about this whole notion of being in a ‘tribe’ – there’s this impression of forced conformity – that you’re either on their side, in agreement with their whole philosophy, or not.

Frankensteins at the Wellington 7s Costume Parade

And that is something that has bothered me my whole life. I don’t know where it comes from either . When I was about 13 I was at a holiday camp run by a somewhat Evangelical Christian group – at the end of the week there was a big wrap up meeting – and towards the end we were invited to come forward and “pledge our lives for Christ” or similar – I was sitting towards the back – as people went forward they were hugged and kissed and welcomed to the group – after about 15 minutes there were a handful of us still sitting down – the vast majority were up in the “in” group at the front – I remember feeling terrified and cornered but physically holding the chair I was sitting on so I wouldn’t go up (I was there without my parents by the way) – it was the hardest thing I’d ever done NOT to go up  – I so WANTED to be part of that group- but I knew I was an atheist, I knew that wasn’t my group up there – but it was bloody hard to not become part of it – because the majority were.

"Rodney Hyde" and Maori Activist - Wellington 7s 2010

I was yesterday to a friend and we somehow got to subject of Amway and Landmark Education came up, all of us  had had friendships damaged with friends and relatives who had joined these programs and who in turn and pressured us to become part of them. My friend (who’s a bit older than me) knows exactly why she doesn’t like “tribal” marketing  – she had childhood memories of her parents talking about Hitler Youth (they were displaced persons from Austria and Holland) – because of that she’s always hated any marketing which involves you becoming part of the “in” crowd at the exclusion of the “others”.

Hot Cops - Wellington Rugby 7s 2010

Went I went to Brett McFall seminar I saw the same thing at work – on group a lot older than 13! At the end of the day the sales pitch was – go to the back and sign up in the next 15 minutes for a product which cost around $10k (!) – some people went – as he kept talking he dropped the price down – after 20 minutes my head count was that he had got at least 50% of the room to sign up for something … And the more people signed up – the more the people left became uncomfortable, many left the room rather than stay as the minority.

I thought I was only me that has an instinctive run the other way reaction  when I am pitched to do something as part of a group which will make me “different” from another a group – and often better.

I think most people who are trying to make money online are a little “odd” anyways – which probably makes the call to be part of a new “tribe” even more seductive – don’t fall for it.

The supreme irony should be obvious in this classic clip from Monty Python …

The photos? Wellington was very tribal this weekend with the Annual Wellington Rugby 7’s in town …

48 replies on “Tribes – Why I Don’t Belong To Third or Any Other”

I know what you mean, press is not the way to get through to people. Unless the press is for everyone to get out of a burning building but then you also see what can happen. Love the embed vids lately.

I appreciate your post Lissie. Its always interesting, and sometimes sicking to see group psychology at work. Unfortunately just because people move more of their lives online doesn’t mean that they necessarily abandon the group think mentality.

I agree that I’ve never been a fan of the “one true way” mentality – it reminds me of the bone shilling speech Bush gave – you are either with us or you are the enemy essentially.

While people in these groups and tribes may get all the kumbaya goodness, what they loose is their souls and their Will. You see, in order to keep fitting in with the group, you have to keep giving up any part of yourself that isn’t in agreement. Otherwise you will eventually be outed and face the wrath of the group for not truly being one of them.

I’m not sure Darren’s group is like this type of destructive group – I don’t know enough about them and am not the least bit interested in their products. What I see from their sales copy, on the other hand, disturbs me and reminds me very much of this cult mentality – because of that I tend to agree with you.

Tribes by there very nature were the survival unit of history – I don’t react negatively to this word in itself, but rather the way in which it is being used.

A more accurate term would be The Third Clique

Anyway, keep up the good work. Even if I don’t always agree, I love stopping in from time to time =)

Thanks for commenting Melanie – yes I’d forgotten Bush’s speech – seriously scary stuff. I don’t for one minute think that the Third Tribe is as dangerous as the Bush Administration was – but Clique is good – I could agree with that!

Kind of a tilt to come to this article from your signature link inside the Third Tribe forum. One of those things that makes you say “hmmm”.

Simple Matthew – I joined to see what it was about – my opinion is no secrete – Sonia and Brian have both posted on previous posts in this series. While I was there – and having paid – I figured I might as well take advantage of their open forum signature policy to make people click thru and go hmmmm

Hi Lis,

I hear you. Tribal marketing as you call it so fittingly is the one reason I don’t subscribe to the blogs of the “gurus.” Unless you suck up to them via social media or promote the crap out of each others products you are not “cool” and not even worth batting an eyelash at.

A lot of the online crowd likes to press themselves into a tribal mold. It happens with the metabloggers, it happens with freelancers, heck it happens in just about any industry.

Offline it’s the CEOs and the politicians who do the same, not because they are cool but because they have the power, the leverage to do so. Some call this networking, I call it sucking up to each other to hopefully catch a bit of the digital stardust.

I DON”T choose my friends because they are famous, have money or are cool. I choose them because I happen to like them for what they are – and above all I choose them because I love their integrity and honesty.

It takes guts to stay away from the “cool group” of online fame. If you look around you see them everywhere, especially on social media networks. Oh wait, let me tweet what I had for dinner last night, or… oh… no… am I not meant to tweet other people’s tweets to get recognized so that they tweet mine eventually – why else would I even bother?

… oh yeah, I forgot, it’s about building relationships… or is it? Yeah, like the relationship I built with a person who turned out not to be the person he/she portrayed to the online world.

I get it!

Quite frankly speaking, I don’t get social networking. Heck, I suck at it because I refuse to suck up to others. That whole tribal bull is wasting a lot of time for the people who think it’s where the action is at.

Lis, you will always come up against being pressed into a mould of specific groups like me. We battle the same beliefs about being integral about our actions (at least that’s the sort of person I believe you are), and we will always refuse to be pressed into these social schemes – at least I will.

The world revolves around tribalism though – just take a look at our lovely politicians. 😉

Sorry, got carried away but what pisses me off is all the bull about being one of the cool people – just because guru/politician/person A pats my back and promotes the hell out of my my wares it doesn’t mean that I’m cool.

I AM cool – to my real friends, my husband, parts of my family and perhaps strangers who value the fact that I am honest enough to admit my shortcomings and my failures. In the end, I don’t give a toss about who is cool and why – I judge people by their character!

If I don’t stop dropping the bull word you might even start to rank for it soon with a bit of optimization, hahahaha….

Well some people just call be pig-headed – I like “integral about my actions” more -I’ll try that next time I’m being stubborn! You would love the forum there was a huge thread started by someone who was not at all sure he was “cool” – but it was OK cause the tribe convinced him that he was – 1984 anyone? Yeah I seriously don’t get social media – though Facebook is quite a good way to keep in contact with (real) friends who have moved overseas

heh, good to know i’m not the only one to think that way. It is nice to find common ground with people, & I can understand the appeal of tribes – it’s not especially pleasant to always be the weird person who’s looking in from the outside, thinking wtf? But it’s better to stand apart & be true to yourself, than to give in to group-think that you don’t really agree with, in order to belong.

I don’t get social media either. It seems like such a huge time suck. I’m working around the clock on my PC at the moment to get to the income level I want – the last thing I need is to spend even more time using it for ‘recreation’ too!

First off, I still love seeing your pictures! It really makes me wanna visit!
anyway, I totally get what you mean about the whole “pressure” to join the group thing.
This was a telling post Lis, and I appreciate you being real with us readers.

Allyn you are still hanging out in Askimet hell – obviously your cleaned up image is not making the Askimet folks happy! Did I mention Tourism NZ is now sponsoring this blog? 🙂

Interesting post Lissie. I too used to go to Christian camp as a teen and I can recall those moments were there’d be all these young kids crying and coming forward to commit their lives to the idea of Jesus. I’m embarrassed to say I actually went up there once to get saved as they call it, with my best friend as well – peer pressure on top of pressure you could say! Ha!

On another note, the pics accompanying this article cracked me up!

I think the whole ‘tribes’ thing gets overblown because of the Seth Godin book by that name. It’s the cool thing to use the term since it puts a nice crunchy new age granola coating on 150 year old marketing ideas.

Clearly I am behind in my Seth Godin reading LOL Don’t like granola myself – do you think that’s why i don’t fit in?

As the video says we are all different but we had some similarities in some ways. Being one with an organization/tribes, you must feel the happiness and the comfort that it brings when you’re with them.

I could say that we are all in one tribe and that is through blogging. For me this brings happiness and comfort for me. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

No Cmaille I totally disagree – being one with an organisation just means you need to get out more really. And no bloggers aren’t all one tribe at all…

Thanks for another great post exposing the dark side of this business. I suppose people will always be seduced by the lure of quick money but every time posts like yours are published, hopefully, more people will be able to find what really works and apply it to improve their lives.
I admire you for your stance on these scams.

The interesting thing is Agrande, there is exactly no promise of quick riches with the 3rd tribe. You will be spending money on the membership fee and losing money by wasting your time participating in forums with other people who also have no idea.

Very interesting Lis …

Semantics is an interesting study.

My thinking is that we all belong to a “tribe” of some sort, we just call it something else – maybe a rowing club, a hiking or cycling group, a writer’s guild, etc. Those of us who refuse to join the cool crowd belong to the tribe that well refuses to join the cool crowd. But then what is the definition of a cool crowd? The self anointed are only so because those outside of it give it that moniker and therefore the power.

There seems to be a distancing in this thread to the “gurus” and their blogs. I take a different tack. I learn from their blogs and that which I think is worth it, I implement. They are not successful for nothing and I want to be successful. Do I follow them to the minutest detail? Absolutely not. But I think its a good place to start. On norm I find them approachable and easy to speak to. Hey. who knows. There may be a future “guru” in this community and that “guru” will have a different profile from the rest.

Lis, always a good read here.


I think most people if not everyone has felt at one point of time on the outside of a group. I also feel that it is true that we all need to feel like we belong someplace, however I also do not like it when groups of people prey on this desire and insecurity. I left my religion because the conformity of it made me a hypocrite. Now I have no desire to join any group – faith or ‘net – just so I can feel “in”. Especially if they ask for money. Besides, why would I pay for the cow when I can get the milk for free?

This is a great post on the dangers of trying to make money online. People can easily get sucked into these groups if there is no “other side” to the argument found.

Thanks Lissie 🙂

I can understand the appeal of tribes – it’s not especially pleasant to always be the weird person who’s looking in from the outside, thinking wtf? But it’s better to stand apart & be true to yourself.

I really enjoyed the Monty Python video, I haven’t seen that in years.

I agree, we can learn from the “gurus” without always drinking the Kool-Aid. Hopefully, we can hang on to our wallets in the process. : )


It is exciting that you found the time to join the third tribe so you can get the first hand experience and give an honest report of what it can do for someone that isn’t sure what they want to do.

I only dream of having the time to work on “any online project” due to being tied down to my now dreary automotive business. It really has become like a ball and chain, like a prison, and I look through the bars viewing the life I want to really live.

Anyway I listed my buildings an property for sale last week and hopefully some big wheel will show up and I can start doing what I want to do instead of what I thought I wanted to do.

To anyone reading this……….
Life is short, be your own person, think for yourself, use your brain, be excited to learn, and any so called “group” that you may become a part of? They will support and help the decisions that you make “or”, if they don’t, your out of there!


Good luck with the property sale – I’m about to do that with mine in the next few weeks – yeah life is far too short to have a mortgage! I hope your dream comes true Dirk – think it will – once you realise there is a life outside the bars there’s no going back!

Hey lis,

an idea just came across my mind and I wanted your professional opinion 8)

Here we go….another idea of mine about getting more backlinks.

When we write article for ezine people can download them and put them on their sites with a link back to ours – so…
If I start creating a network of blogs with my articles (downloaded from ezine) on them – then wouldnt I have just created a very efficiennt way of creating good quality bakclinks with minimal effort?

It sounds like a good idea to me —

let me know what you think



Yup- but you have the old duplicate content thing happening so the links won’t be worth so much – you can automate it using the RSS feed each of your author names has at eza too

Basically you take the rss feed and post it to a (usually) free blog – I don’t know the technical details but there are programs that do it for you

Hi Lis,
I wanted to say I am new to your site, but I enjoy your posts very much. well written, I will be back!

If Sonia or Darren thought I was trolling the Third Tribe forums they probably would have banned me instead of both thanking me for my contributions …

am not choosy person… i don’t choose friends because they are smart and known to the society, they fun to be with, they are true person I choose them for what they are .thanks for your post more power to your site God Bless 😉

You see, I reminded of my first day at school this year, I got back to college in order to get my marketing degree and a teacher of mine was talking about relationships and atraction and how different experiences are from products or services…. all my partners were amazed like saying WOOOOOOOOOOW!!!! this stuff is amazing, and I was like Gosh!! that is soo fuck%$&· basic!!! how can they be amazed….

Get the same feeling now, but I am the one amazed right now and you are the one saying GOSH!!!

As a level 1 begginer the conference with Truant was helpful to plan my course of action, besides I´m getting a lot from the forums, that´s helping a lot.

Truth be told though, I haven´t started earning money with that info yet…. I´ll let you know though, that might be a part 2 of this post, two possible headlines:

2) Ok, perhaps this third tribe things works for some



Maybe I’m missing something here but when I read your post and then read about Third Tribe Marketing I get the sense you are writing about something other than Third Tribe Marketing. It sounds like you are writing about the concept of conformity and assuming that The Third Tribe is a conformity movement.

From what I understand the Third Tribe concept describes a mentality that some people have. It describes a set of beliefs that various people have arrived at independently about how to market themselves and their products. And while some people may have been persuaded to become Third Tribers, the goal isn’t to convert people to this way of thinking. It’s to gather up people who already believe and allow them to help each other.

This post is about the larger picture Rodney. Third Tribe is not so much a conformity movememnt – its just a tag which allows people to identify and decide they are part of that particular group rather than another. Its a clever marketing ploy – along very similar lines which have been working in direct sales and Internet Marketing for years. The initial launch was to gather in the ‘faithful’ – but they have just moved to stage two – which is a post I am currently writing!


Thank you for responding to my comment. I guess I just don’t understand why what they are doing is a bad thing or why you think it is “just” a marketing ploy. I agree that it’s certainly a marketing tactic. But I also think that they may be onto something valuable as well. I have clients who seem to hate marketing but they like the kind of relationship marketing advocated by Third Tribe folks. I don’t think that necessarily means those ideas are right for all niches though. In some niches in which buyers are desperate and only have one problem they want solved they don’t want a relationship with you, they only want a solution and even list building is a waste of time in those niches based on my testing.

I can’t say I completely agree with your comments, but I can’t disagree with them either. If you’re not enjoying what you find, then there’s really no point in staying and paying the money, is there?

Being a part of a “group”,”tribe”, “clique”, or whatever you want to call it is a matter of choice. Being an atheist myself, I can completely relate to feeling out of place in religious situations. At the same time, I’m finding resources and connections I can use inside the Third Tribe, which was the whole point of my participation. People who blindly follow groups simply for the sake of “being part of something” have other issues that they need to address, but that doesn’t mean that everyone who decides to sign up for something enthusiastically is doing it simply for the label. If we’re going to talk about labels (and I’m honestly not pointing fingers, because this post didn’t really come across like this) then keep in mind that there are often just as many people who play the rebel for the same reasons. “It’s cool to be a rebel”, etc.

Essentially, my point is this – if you make your choice as an individual who is doing it for their own sake and not for the sake of following others, then who really cares about what the actual choice is? I’m finding value in the choice I made – you didn’t, so you made a different choice. Both are right in their own way.

The real point though Paige is are you making more money from your 3T membership than they are charging you? Networking is nice – but who do you want to really network with beginners or those who are at the top of the game you want to play?

That wasn’t really the point I was responding to. It doesn’t really affect you whether or not *I’m* getting my own value out of it. It’s up to the individual to determine the value of the product (in this case, 3T) versus the value of the money they’re spending. From what I’ve noticed, you prefer a different website’s method – that’s fine by me.

My response was to the part of your post that talked about “following the crowd” and “being part of the group”, not about whether 3T was actually worth the money.

I’m on a slow connection so I apologise if this point has been made already; I haven’t read many of them as the speed is little better than an old 28k dial-up!

My reservation about the Tribes is simple – they contradict the philosophy that so many a-list bloggers write about: that Web 2.0 and 3.0 when it’s born are about personal choice, about being yourself – sing your song with your voice and add value in your own way.

Networking with like-minded people is one thing; joining a tribe where the price of non-conformity is to find yourself booted out is a totally different matter.

Ok – I’ll get my coat and leave now before I fall off my soap box and break something valuable in Lis’s emporium!

Love and Light


This is an interesting point – I saw your article about the Third Tribe and I have to admit I much prefer being in that one than the first or second, but I honestly don’t see why there has to be tribes. I haven’t yet checked out the Third Tribe Program and I’m not sure if I will but there have to be people who fit neatly into their own box and don’t need to be labelled.

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