When Sandy MacPherson, a former climate change scientist, launched Quibb in 2013, she set out to build a destination where an exclusive community of tech professionals could share and discuss industry-related content.
“I saw how tech professionals were using Twitter as a social RSS where they’d look to experts and thought leaders at other companies to get an understanding of what news and content was interesting,”she says. “But there’s a content problem—there are so many publications and so much content to sift through that it’s hard to see what’s relevant and what matters.”
Quibb is MacPherson’s answer to that problem: a social network for likeminded tech professionals where they can share work-related news, discuss what matters and see what colleagues are reading. “People today aren’t necessarily interested in where news comes from; they place a higher value on content that’s endorsed and shared by their peers,”she says.
Over the past two years, Quibb has grown to include thousands of users from more than 26,000 startups and companies. The site, MacPherson says, already has an active, loyal following, with 50 percent to 60 percent logging on weekly.
How to get on Quibb
MacPherson takes membership seriously: You need to apply to join Quibb —with either your Twitter or Google account, your name, the company you work for and your role. Just 41 percent of applications are accepted —and she vets each one herself. The vetting process, she says, has been key to maintaining the quality of the content and conversations that are shared.
“Early on, I’d take two or three minutes to look up each person on LinkedIn, see whether they have a blog, use Twitter and actually work at the company they say they do,”she says. “Now I use some simple tools that I built to help me run queries on each applicant to weed out stuff like people who apply with fake names.” MacPherson says now she spends just 5 to 10 minutes a day approving applications.
Once your application is approved —which MacPherson says is likelier if you apply Monday through Thursday, since she doesn’t approve applications on Fridays, Saturdays or Sundays —you’ll be brought to your main feed, which displays links and commentary from people you follow. If you use Twitter to apply to Quibb, for example, the site will automatically follow your Twitter connections who also use it.
What you will find in your Quibb feed and how it works
In addition to links that your connections share, your feed is populated with content that your connections have liked or commented on. “That’s the idea behind Quibb —you want to read what other people are reading, even if it’s something your connections didn’t exclusively share,” MacPherson says.
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.