Clubhouse App: The Good, The Bad, The Cringeworthy
If you are on social media, you have likely heard about the Clubhouse app by now. Clubhouse went live in April 2020 and gained significant traction at the end of 2020. It is essentially and audio-only social app. It's invite-only based on the idea that the app will avoid potential spammers and people who simply shouldn't be on there.
When you accept an invite from a friend to join the app, you're tasked with assigning categories based on your interests. These categories will then be used to populate available rooms in your feed which you can drop into. At first, I selected 15-20 categories, but quickly realized that I only need 2 or 3.
If you find a room with a title that appeals to you, you can join the room by tapping the name and from there you have two options:
Stay in the audience an listen to the people on stage
"Wave" your hand and request to be brought up on stage. If they allow you to come on stage, you'll be given a chance to speak.
Clubhouse is a great way to practice your audio-only public speaking skills and learn more than you will on most social apps. You can find inspiration for a new career or simply bolster your position in your current occupation.
After a few months on the app, here are my thoughts:
It can be very educational. If you find the right room, you'll find yourself there for hours.
The app is intuitive and very well-designed. It searches all of your contacts and shows you who is using the app and who isn't. If a friend of yours is not using the app, you can see how many friends they have who are currently using the app.
It's a great way to network and build a brand. There are countless people who have profited greatly largely because of Clubhouse. Find your niche and get to work.
Currently, it's only available to iPhone users. This is rumored to change as they adopt the Android platform, but a major drawback at this time.
Bluetooth functionality is spotty. It works with my earphones but doesn't work with a Bluetooth speaker. Probably just a beta issue.
Limited interest categories. There are quite a few categories left out which encompass large industries. I suggest they find a way for users to nominate new categories to be added.
Clubhouse is mostly about "me, myself, and I". Most speakers do whatever they can to make themselves sound smart, charitable, successful, and always find a way to never be proven wrong. So far, the most cringeworthy rooms are usually related to entrepreneurship. Apparently everyone in those rooms is worth 8 figures. While there is some good advice and educational tools on the app, please be smarter than most and take everything with a grain of salt. Don't get suckered into their seminar or webinar products. Most information you'll receive in one of these things can be gained for free.
Get ready for unnecessary post-SAT vocabulary. This ties into the previous note. Now, there are thousands of Clubhouse members who are very well-educated and truly do use advanced vocabulary on a daily basis. But, those who are trying to gain attention are using advanced vocabulary which they'll never use off the Clubhouse app. Just be yourself and once again, take everything you hear with a grain of salt.
Moderators can be dismissive. It's perfectly acceptable to screen anyone who raises their hand to ensure they're capable of bringing meaningful insight to the discussion. However, it's impossible to determine this based on someone's Clubhouse profile, twitter, or Instagram. I've seen moderators kick/ban people who counter their arguments especially if proven wrong or embarrassed. If these moderators don't get their way or if you don't agree with what they say, they use their power to limit the criticism. There isn't a way to control this, but it always hurts the room's morale.
Room titles can be "click bait". Every now and then, you'll come across a room with an absurd title which sounds incredible. You'll click on it, only to find out that it's simply not true. For example, there was a Bitcoin room titled "Apple buys $2.5B in Bitcoin, who is next?". This is obviously false and it's simply there to get people to join the room. If this tactic is being used, don't give the room creator the satisfaction of joining.
Contrary to what I just aggressively wrote, there are some truly charitable and kind-hearted individuals on Clubhouse. They are happy to take a conversation off platform and help you in anyway they can, even if it has zero financial gain for them. I usually find people like this in Real Estate and Bitcoin discussions.
However, especially when it comes to Bitcoin, a topic that 99% of the world does not understand, you MUST take everything you hear with a grain of salt. I first discovered this when there was a room of 900 people talking about how great Dogecoin is. That's just dangerous.
Here are some guidelines that I follow:
Don't be a fool
Don't get suckered
Always do your own due diligence
Seek additional advice elsewhere