You are invited to join a tribe by the tribe leader - someone who knows you well enough that they're comfortable sharing your posts without reading each and every one before tweeting them. And you can choose to join or not join the tribe based whether you are comfortable tweeting their posts.
Now comes the tricky part... the tribe leader determines who else joins the tribe. You may or may not know them, and you may or may not agree with their point of view.
Don't get me wrong - I love my tribe, and I knew most of the members before joining. But something happened this weekend that caused me to rethink whether I want posts flying through my tweet stream that I haven't read. That something was the feud between a group I will call the Dog Bloggers and the Blogpaws Team.
Mel Freer, one of my tribe members, posted about her disappointment that a certain web designer was invited to speak at the recent Blogpaws conference. That post went through my tweet stream before I had a chance to read it, but I felt the post was not disrespectful - just an honest sharing of her feelings and perhaps an opportunity to open a dialogue with the Blogpaws Team about the vetting process for potential speakers.
Blogpaws fired back with a scathing response to Mel's post questioning her journalistic integrity, and the opening shot of the feud had been fired!
The Dog Bloggers gathered around Mel defending her honor and firing back at Blogpaws for poor decision making and being downright mean. Blogpaws fired back by attacking the Dog Bloggers for their comments on Mel's blog, as well as on their own. Now remember, all of this is flying through my tweet stream without being seen by me first!
Finally a voice of reason appeared on Saturday. Everyone began to calm down, and Blogpaws issued an apology, which Mel accepted. Still some of the Dog Bloggers refuse to accept the apology and continue to write blistering posts about the Blogpaws Team. Again, these posts are appearing in my tweet stream!
For the sake of clarity, let me say that I do NOT have a grudge against either the Dog Bloggers or the Blogpaws Team. I think there was clearly a misunderstanding between the author of the original blog post (Mel) and the individual who responded on behalf of Blogpaws (Tom). An apology has been extended and accepted. Let it go people.