A subjective take on clubhouse

A couple of friends have asked be about my opinions on clubhouse now that more of them have gotten access.

From a very personal point of view, I could see that clubhouse isn’t for me. I barely pick up the phone when I’m the one calling. I don’t thrive in conversations with groups larger than three people. And I don’t really have any urge to talk to strangers over the internet.

Having said that, I know a couple of people who love engaging in conversations in a clubhouse setting, whether on clubhouse or not. People who love having and organising zoom calls around topics, or who like going live on other platforms with a friend or two.

For those people, clubhouse is a godsend. It’s practically build for them to have friends who are engaged in the same topics as them, on demand, most hours of the day.

It comes down to whether you prefer asynchronous or synchronous communication.

On where the phenomena is going:

Credit where credit is due, this thought comes from Gary Vaynerchuck. And I subscribe to the essence.

In a couple of months, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok are all going to have a feature that pretty much does what clubhouse is doing. You’re going to be able to join rooms and have conversations with people. You’re also going to be able to join rooms where you’ll only listen, which I think is a key part.

What became obvious to me the other day about clubhouse is that regardless the platform, we’re drawn to celebrities and our role models. Elon got on Clubhouse and the servers broke down to the high turn up.

Elon and Kanye are going to have a conversation on there, and it’s going to do the same thing to the app once again.

That’s what the majority of conversations will be, some sort of live podcast where we can peak in every now and then. The only difference to a regular live is that more people are going to be able to chip in, if that’s desired, and it’s going to be possible to have an audio-only version of it.

An interesting part of all of this to keep an eye out for is who’s going to sign for what platform. I think we’re going to see an increase of original and exclusive content to the platforms via signing celebrities to do lives and possibly these types of chats on there.

The more private group conversations are still going to be held on zoom, whatsapp, messenger and so on.

The use of it:

Regardless of whether or not it’s going to be on clubhouse or some of the other plattforms, the function of having conversations in rooms with strangers is here to stay.

What you can, and possibly should, use it for is to design a community that enjoys your conversations in real time. In order for them to become big tho, you need two things: A clear niche and some big names.

If you don’t have those two things, there won’t be any traction and you’re going to be left out by the massive amounts of rooms there are.

For most people it’s going to be a lot easier to do that when the other major platforms catch up.

Democratisation:

I want to say a few words on this, because I think it’s an important aspect of what Clubhouse could do.

The possibility with clubhouse is to make anyone an authority on anything, since the platform is new. Just like we have people who now are dancers but only learned dancing and show their skills on TikTok.

That’s really useful for someone who’s trying to build a community, following or a presence online.

The other aspect is something Naval Ravikant brought up in a podcast episode. Facebook and Twitter (mainly those two, but essentially all Social Media platofrms) have taken in to their own hands to be editors.

By doing so, they’re more like newspapers than anything else. They distribute media, they pick media out for you, and they’ll remove media that they think are inappropriate.

If clubhouse would go the route of a cell phone carrier instead and sy that they’re just the platform and won’t take any responsibility for what’s being said in the rooms, we could end up in a really fun situation where clubhouse essentially become somewhat more liberal than the other gigants.

That could in turn lead to both a rise in following and usage, but it could also become something like 4chan in that it’s a quite secluded place of the internet for absurdity and mischief.

Why I’m bringing this up is to shine some light on what’s possible when a platform like this pops up and becomes big. There are obvious pro’s and con’s with being a carrier rather than an editor and vice versa.

Wrap-up:

I think clubhouse is here to stay, but we’re going to see a lot of things happening in this space over the coming 6–12 months. As for the individual user, I think more and more people are going to realise that they enjoy a well-produced podcast or series rather than a more random conversation.

What I want to urge you to do is to join the platform and make your mind up yourself. Clubhouse as a platform isn’t for everyone, but it might be for you, if only in a very small capacity.

Extra curricular:

One thing that struck me writing this is that Clubhouse, much like snapchat, soon could branch out in to other things than just the app. Here are some of those things:

A clubhouse cell-phone:

This isn’t as far-fetched as one might think. Snapchat released their snapgoggles early on, and created an insane hype. Clubhouse could do the same with a phone that’s exclusively used for their own platform.

They could also partner up with a bigger company and create something like the Facebook Portal.

Either one would go quite well with becoming a cell phone carrier all together, challenging the big networks in the US.

Physical:

Once we’re allowed back in to public spaces, it’s not impossible to envision clubhouse going physical around the world, organising events, workshops and public conversations.

A really interesting move here would be to partner up with Tinder or Bumble to create live dating-events in one way or another. Or partnering up with local pubs to create communities for sports-teams. Possibilities are endless.

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