I had been hearing about Clubhouse for a few months, but wasn't sure exactly what it was, maybe you're in the same boat. Now that I am on it, I can absolutely say it is completely underrated. I have been on it for a few days, as you can see from my profile picture still rocking my "newbie" party hat!
So what is Clubhouse?
At the core level, it's an audio app. There are different rooms that you can enter on various topics and when you set up your account, you choose your interests. When you enter a room, you enter as a listener and it's kind of like sitting in on a conversation. If you have something of value you'd like to add to the conversation or ask a question, you hit a button to raise your hand and the moderators can make you a speaker. If this happens, you get pulled up to the stage - make sure you are quick to hit the mute button! As of right now, when you get to be a speaker, the platform does not automatically mute you.
Should you participate in a big room or small room?
It's like a live podcast that you can have the opportunity to hop on as a guest speaker. In my few days on the app, I've noticed there are some really big rooms with hundreds of people all the way to smaller, more intimate rooms with a few people. A cool thing about the big rooms is that there is a chance you get to have your voice heard and there are sometimes industry leaders in them. I have been in rooms where some of the moderators or even industry leaders gift their books or products, and even offer jobs to some people after hearing them speak! For the smaller rooms, the topics are still just as amazing, it's just a more intimate environment. I have had some incredible conversations, even as a speaker in these smaller rooms. It has given me the opportunity to go off the Clubhouse platform and personally connect with others. I've been able to speak and connect to people I would have never even known about, it's been such an incredible experience!
So what about followers?
Who you follow essentially creates your experience. This can go one of two ways. One, you follow people you are genuinely interested in and you have similar interests in and you will love the rooms that populate as recommended rooms for you. Or two, if you just randomly follow anyone and you don't have similar interests, you might have a ton of rooms show up that you have no interest in going to. On that same note, you could be introduced to topics you would have never thought about, but may find a new interest in. There is no fear about worrying about your follow and follower ratio. If you choose to speak, people listen to you regardless of your followers. We are all kind of equal here on this platform, which is awesome. It's more about human connection than worrying about vanity metrics or who you are. From my understanding, the people you follow impact the rooms that show up as recommendations. When you are in a room as a listener, you can ping (invite) people who follow you to come to the room if you think they might find it valuable. There is also a little bell icon you can click on when you follow someone and it will notify you when they are speaking in a room. There are also rooms about growing your engagement on other platforms and they are basically doing mass adding. The problem with this is that it will crush your engagement from the algorithm on the other platforms. Sure your follower numbers go up, but if they aren't your people and share an interest in what you have, they won't be engaging with your content.
It's all about value...
The overall theme of Clubhouse is providing value. The majority of the moderators are on the platform to share and give value in their rooms. I don't know if the integrity and intention of giving is going to stay this way, but that's where it's at right now. Of course you will always have the people who are in it to feed their own agenda, sell their products, etc. I think these people will eventually fizzle out.
Falling into the clubhouse rabbit hole...
There is so much value being shared on this platform and since it's live, you can't go back and listen to the content. This creates massive FOMO (fear of missing out). I have experienced this first hand! My first two nights on the app, I stayed up after midnight. Living in Italy has a lot to do with this since I am at least 6 hours ahead of the US, so the talks in the room are going well into my evenings. After seeing how my recovery is being impacted negatively from lack of sleep these past two night, it's apparent setting boundaries is one of my biggest take-aways. I need to set a time and no matter what, turn off the app. My health is more important and I cannot allow the FOMO to have power over me!
If you are on Clubhouse and want to connect, you can find me at susie.bower