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January 13, 2015

Business Messaging Team of the Week: Triberr

Triberr Dino Dogan

Dino Dogan, Founder and CEO of Triberr, has a lot to say about business messaging. We adore him for his outstanding online persona, and the insights he shares in his numerous speaking engagements. Dino is frequently featured as an expert commentator on new technologies, in addition to the latest social media developments. He is also the co-author of the book Engagement From Scratch.

Have a look at Dino has to say about business messaging and communication!


Please give us some background information about Triberr.

Triberr was founded in 2011. Our mission is simple. We help great content find an even greater audience. We focus on building tools that help small publishers (bloggers, podcasters, and YouTubers) grow their audience. 

What were your needs in business communication in the very beginning? How has that evolved?

When we started, Triberr was just two hackers trying to figure out how to run a company. Not much has changed except that our team is little bit bigger now and efficient communication has become a mission critical component. 

What are some tools you are using to communicate now?

I live in my inbox, and as flawed as it may be, email is the primary way to have an out-of-band conversation. For real-time convos we usually use Skype. For project management we’ve tried several solutions but we could never find one that fits just right, so we ended up using 3 different imperfect solutions.

Which aspect of business communication generally annoys you the most, and why?

I try to root out inefficiencies wherever I see them, and scheduling conference calls was a huge drain on my resources. So I employed a little hack to avoid the back and forth involved in setting up conference calls. 
“Pick a time that works for you and book it using the scheduling link in my signature”. That’s the exact text I include an an email when I want to schedule a time with you. My signature includes a link to my calendar where anyone can request a time. I use ScheduleOnce for this.
This eliminates a lot of inefficiencies. I don’t know how I survived without this technique. I highly recommend it. 

Do you have employees (or freelancers) that work remotely? If so, how do you all communicate?

Email and skype. Since Triberr is a startup, there are no “business hours”. I will routinely have a conversation at 2AM Eastern time with our devs in Amsterdam who are just coming into the office to start the day. 

What are the pros and cons of team collaboration via the web/mobile devices, versus in-person?

They say that only 7% of communication is verbal. The rest is posture, inflection, and facial micro-expressions. A ton gets lost when you don’t have that direct eye-to-eye contact. One thing that helps is to always assume the other person means well. With that in mind, it helps when you know the person and can read their communications in their own voice. Someone who’s always playful and likes to joke around will usually send emails that reflect their personality. It’s important to read those emails in that person’s voice otherwise the email can come off as dumb, or even offensive. But when read in the way it was intended, it’s funny and insightful. 

How can the cons from answer #6 be fixed?

Face-to-face meetings and Skype video. 

How is leadership over virtual teams different from teams on-site?

It sucks. You feel like you have no control over anything. Which makes it doubly important to work with brilliant people who can manage their own time. On a positive note, there is no need for middle management. Everyone has an actual job they need to do. Makes things more efficient. 

Do you have some productivity and collaboration tips (tried and tested by Triberr) that you can share?

I use a Chrome extension called Boomerang to send myself reminders of when to follow up with people. For example, if you tell me to follow up with you in a month, I’ll click on Boomerang and set that email to appear in my inbox in a month. It’s been a really useful productivity hack for me. 

What are some team communication tips you can recommend?

It’s important to like the people you’re working with. If you don’t you will do everything in your power to avoid talking to them, until you can avoid it no more. But by then, whatever the issue was, it has metastasized. On the other hand, if you do like people you’re working with, you will probably call them, email them, or Skype them with random stuff that will hopefully brighten their day. This helps build rapport and fosters receptive attitudes for when it matters. 

Click here to visit Dino Dogan’s website
Follow @DinoDogan and @Triberr on Twitter