The Triiibes online community, which I belong to, has produced a book. You can download it here. It’s a compilation of about 200 blog-like entries about groups of people and what distinguishes them. It’s edited by Seth Godin. I had a chance to contribute, but ran out of time.
I have not read it all, but a first glance revealed a surprising number of entries about “tribes” that I feel a part of, including rugby players and whiskey drinkers. One writer described a 30-year correspondence he has carried out with Jack Daniels (the distillery, not the dead guy).
That reminded me of a promotion that Laphroaig ran a few years ago inviting their patrons to join the “Friends of Laphroaig” club. One of the perks is they grant you the title to one square foot of land in their peat bog on the island of Islay in Scotland. And if you ever visit there, they will give you a pair of Wellingtons to put on and escort you out to your land to stand proudly on it. And when you return to the distillery, they will pay you your landowner’s rent: two drams of Laphroaig whiskey. (Sadly, rent can only be collected once a year.)
So I signed up to be a Friend of Laphroaig, and received a very nice welcoming package including a book about the distillery and its history (it was nearly coffee-table book quality), a deed to my plot of land, a map showing me where it was, and some other stuff I forget now. In the years that followed, I got Christmas cards from them and other periodic communication.
Since I moved the Moncton, they’ve lost track of me. So just now, I sent them an email to try and reconnect. That’s right, I am pursuing a vendor – practically begging them to market to me. How cool is that?
The only trouble is that, when I initially joined a dozen or so years ago, they had a few thousand “Friends,” and I’m pretty sure a real human ran the program. Now I see that they have over 317,000, so the warmth of the relationship might not be there any more. I’ll let you know how it turns out.