Drive Tribe – A Facebook-like / social media hub for motoring enthusiasts went live on November 28, 2016. With much anticipation of the launch just shortly after The Grand Tour video release via Amazon (which is unrelated to the Drive Tribe), the automotive community was waiting to see what the online Drive Tribe hype was all about.
What is Drive Tribe?
Drive Tribe is led Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May and is described as a “next-generation digital media platform dedicated to motoring and adventure”, an online blogging platform that is dedicated to anything on wheels. Users can sign-up and join tribes, to include Clarkson, Hammond, and May and who all have their own tribes. You can also manage your own tribe which allows you to share photos, videos or just blog about whatever you want, automotive related. And when I say whatever, even the porn sites and spammers wasted no time in creating a tribe and spamming the world. Of course there will be a few glitches, tweaks, and smoothing out that will be required as time moves on.
Drive Tribe Trailer
The Drive Tribe Review
A couple of months before the launch several automotive enthusiasts were invited to become a “Tribe Leader” which translates to a person running their own blog section within the Drive Tribe portal. Signing up for the approval process was straight forward, enter your tribe idea, give a description of why they should choose you, provide links to your current work and wait to see if you were selected. I applied back on July 6, 2016 and within 6 days I was selected to become a “Tribe Leader.” Knowing how involved it is to run a social media channel, I was skeptical as to what value it would bring to running on another social media platform but excited that someone sees the value in what we have to offer.
I was contacted by the Drive Tribe Talent Relations Community Manager at the end of August, which kinda sounded pretty official, but not really, that was just the kid in me getting excited to be apart of something new. Several email exchanges went back and forth with us trying to iron out the idea for my tribe. If you don’t know me, I am the type of person who lets you know what I am thinking, mainly to ensure we are on the same page and to lay everything on the table so I know the expectations can be met up front.
After the initial submission / bid to become a Tribe Leader, I received an email in the beginning of August that included my “tribe card” which was an image that would represent our tribe. The Drive Tribe Staff grabbed a random image from our website and created a tribe card. The tribe card was meant to promote your new tribe through your other social media channels, websites, etc. My creative thinking kicks in, I want to make sure whatever we publish represents us and it catches on. I initially was going to use “carshowz” as a tribe name, then decided on something else, but ultimately went back to carshowz. Producing content for multiple platforms becomes a challenge so why not continue to spread the carshowz name through a new channel.
In the beginning of October an email was received letting me know that tribe leaders were being invited to launch on the 3rd of November and they were phasing in selected groups over a period of two weeks. Also in the email it mentioned to have your tribe name, description, tribe card (image) and content ready. This information was already provided, but I had it readily available.
Knowing we had a trip coming up for Vegas in the beginning of November to visit SEMA, timing could not have been more perfect. We would have fresh content to launch during the Drive Tribe launch and it should not be too hard to produce new content since our team was attending other prestigious events throughout the U.S.
After returning from Vegas, November 3rd came and went, I fired an email over to the Talent Relations Community Manager asking if I missed something, this was on November 8th. On the morning of the 9th I received my invitation code to login and 5 minutes later received an email back from the Manager.
As you can see a lot of going back and forth and working out the details before the launch. Like with everything I always think too far into things and try to plan as best as I can.
Drive Tribe Launch Video
Jeremy, Richard and James launch DRIVETRIBE, live! Jeremy Clarkson Richard Hammond and James May launch DRIVETRIBE live. Grab the popcorn and enjoy. Posted by DRIVETRIBE on Monday, November 28, 2016
After receiving my invitation code, I visited https://drivetribe.com/, plugged in my code and it prompted me to set-up an account. For your convenience you can use your Facebook credentials to login. After logging in disappointment immediately set in. No tribe, no cool tribe card (image), nothing. After all of the back and forth in getting my tribe figured out, I was left to create my own tribe and start from scratch. With several tribes already established and up and running I felt behind the eight ball.
I sucked it up and continued to surf around to check out the interface. While the platform is real simple, after designing and maintaining the carshowz website for a few years now, I can understand the simplicity, especially while managing bandwidth, etc. However, with the backing that the Drive Tribe has, I did expect the site to be a bit fancier when it comes to graphics and the layout.
The excitement of something fresh that is automotive related and perhaps gave everyone a level playing field no matter where you fell in the food chain of the motoring world, quickly died as I continued to surf around. The platform is honestly no different from any other social media platform, Instagram, Facebook, etc. I was looking forward to seeing some great content, but that was trumped by seeing a shitbox of a car posted and to see how many “bumps” it got only because it was posted by a celebrity. Bumps = likes on Drive Tribe. I’m not mad, I was just hoping for something different, a different platform that would deliver cool car content and give us a break from Facebook or other social media platforms.
Continuing to search around, I noticed that some tribes has the verification check next to their tribe name, just like Facebook does with their verified pages. Verifying a page is the official seal to validate that the content owners are a legit business or the profile / person is verified and is indeed the person running the page. I reached out to the Talent Relations Community Manager asking what the verification process entailed. If you have a “blue tick” on any of your other social media channels than you would qualify to be verified here. Which is one of the major problems with Facebook is no one knows what exactly the process is. Yes, if you have a business page in the settings there is a verification link. You can verify by using a business phone number or you can submit business documentation to say you are a legit business. With billions of users on Facebook, there is no time-frame as to when your business will become verified and you end up in a black hole of users. Some businesses have waited years for verification. I hope Drive Tribe is not following Facebooks foot steps but, with Facebook being the sixth most valuable company in America at a worth of about $350 billion, for Drive Tribes sake, I’m sure they hope to follow in FB’s foot steps. So for the none millennials out there, we are screwed and have to suck it up and enjoy what is given to us.
Aside from setting up a Tribe and stealing content from the internet, I wish those who supply original content luck in successfully building their Drive Tribe community.
Brilliant idea, but to me the execution could have been a bit smoother. An incentive for the influencers / Tribe Leaders would have been a nice, thank you for driving traffic to our site for the launch. The bar is set high and the expectations are set, knowing you are or at least could be interacting with automotive icons is / is a great motivation. However, I am not convinced the celebrities who are within the Tribe are actually writing their own content, how in the hell do they find the time? Magnus Walker has his own profile and the “Magnus Walker Outlaw” tribe, but his profile isn’t even set-up. That may be because he is too busy to set it up? Is it too early to make judgments, perhaps, but for me to spend additional time in building my tribe I cannot find the benefit. It’s just another, “oh look at me, I have x-amount of followers.”