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Why tribes, not money or factories, will change the world.

Seth Godin argues the Internet has ended mass marketing and revived a human social unit from the distant past: tribes. Founded on shared ideas and values, tribes give ordinary people the power to lead and make big change. He urges us to do so.

What do you think?

{ 4 comments… add one }

  • Jake Belder May 16, 2009, 1:42 pm

    A good point, I think, but here’s the first thought that comes to mind: Africa. Tribalism continues to be one of the biggest problems hindering Africa’s growth and development. Africa’s history, too, is riddled with inter-tribal warfare (and I’m sure this goes for other parts of the world where tribalism is a more prominent feature). So, if the future is a more tribe-oriented culture and society, how do we do that without fracturing ourselves into warring groups? Can we leave peacefully and integrally as a tribal culture? Just a thought.

    By the way, Lon, love the new look here. Looks great.

    • Lon May 16, 2009, 10:39 pm

      really great thought Jake. I think Seth Godin talks in his book about people being a part of multiple tribes, not necessarily just one, you can lead some and be a part of many others in our world… and with very divergent tribes… maybe it can just translate to as friendly competition?

      i really don’t know where a more tribal culture will lead us… I do know it’s better than completely isolated individual kingdoms… and it’s got to be better than passionless and generic widespread conformity that doesn’t rally behind anything or anyone…

  • Jeremy May 19, 2009, 11:20 am

    My official disclaimer is that I am just coming off of a lot of Shane Hipps (brilliant) and his book Flickering Pixels.

    The internet does help bring together people with shared ideas, organizing them into “tribes. But we also do not develop the necessary skills to deal with conflict. I for instance can read Lon’s blog, but skip the posts I don’t like or agree with. I can keep distance where it becomes difficult. Hipps would say the internet age is creating tribes of individualism.

    With regards to Africa I agree with Jake partly. But a lot of there conflict has been a product of our greed. Think imperialism – coffee, sugar, chocolate, oil… But in spite of all this African christians have tons to teach us about what it means to forgive. Desmond Tutu might be the high profile example, but beautiful stories of reconciliation spring up from all over Africa.

    I think we have to embrace the internet as a tool, but can not afford to let this become a surrogate for real community.

  • Lon May 20, 2009, 7:38 am

    Hey Jeremy, my copy of Hipps book just arrived, looking forward to it.

    awesome point about the internet and conflict, i’ll have to chew on that one some more. I feel like we tend to pick and choose the path of least resistance in just about anything in life… conflict that we can learn from usually comes from a true commitment to community, relationship, common cause, or values… whether real or virtual space. course the anonymity and ease of just moving-on online doesn’t help much.

    i think the tribes that godin tries to refer to is that with the internet and globalization, there’s something now for everybody. not full comprehensive community, but if you want to find people who are passionate about chocolate covered bacon, you can. passionate very loosely connected people are more impactful than a diverse bunch of people trying to stick it out…? course the real gold would be an intimate, diverse and globally connected community of passionate people… but I think that’s where the church is suppose to come in.

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