Clubhouse – Yes, I Do Need A Social Audio Network
Here is where I am coming from.
I am a member of FICPI and our president Julian Crump is very open to new technologies and to new ways of doing things.
And president Crump told me: “Martin, you need Clubhouse.” He even sent me an invitation to Clubhouse.
My immediate thoughts were: “No, I do not need another social media network. I am using LinkedIn and Facebook and that is more than enough.”
But I finally installed Clubhouse on my old iPhone (click here for downloading the app) and I did sign up to Clubhouse.
And after testing it, I think that Clubhouse – despite being audio – is a must-have for people that enjoy working with written texts.
Here comes why.
Clubhouse may be the market leader for the new area of “Social Audio”
Not being on Clubhouse for a person that professionally mainly works with written text is similar to not being on LinkedIn. Clubhouse is for non-visual people that do not need pictures in order to get a message.
That makes Clubhouse so attractive for me: it entirely avoids pictures. And that is a big difference. Pictures are known to have a unique way of going right at people’s emotions, while words are addressing the domain of thoughts. And Clubhouse is a medium that is insofar different from Facebook: it is not about pictures and it is not about faces. All you can do on Clubhouse is talk to people and hear their voices.
I also hear people say that clubhouse conversations can be very inspiring, for example, while they are walking their dog. It is recommended to bring a pen and a notebook along, for capturing notes because people were saying such inspiring things that they wanted to write them down so that they can better remember them.
A further point is that the speakers are drawing an interesting crowd of thinkers, high-level thinkers, teachers, coaches, and people that they are used to work with words. These are interesting people with interesting thoughts that you find on Clubhouse. That is the kind of audience that Clubhouse attracts or that these conversations attract.
A further advantage of Clubhouse is that the conversations are all based on topics that are related to the title of the event. There is no place elsewhere in this world where you have access to conversations based on a whole range of topics, where you can see and search for the topic and then even take part in that conversation.
Clubhouse has done some very successful marketing, by inviting a lot of celebrities on the platform. Celebrities draw the press, and press in turn draws more people. I believe that Clubhouse will be the future market leader in the Social Audio area.
Clubhouse is all about conversations
The Clubhouse app is focused on so-called “rooms”. When you open the app, you first see the so-called “hallway”, and in the hallway you see a list of active rooms, all the rooms that are running right now. These are the rooms that you can join yourself. There may be hundreds of them if you keep scrolling.
You can click on a room and you will then enter that room. Once you enter a room that is hosted under a club you can recognize that by a greenhouse at the end of the host name.
Under the title of the room, you can see the “moderators”, these are the people that are running the room, they have a green bean. And then there are some others as well. Those others are called the “speakers”.
When you scroll down in the room, you can see those people that are followed by the speakers, the “listeners”. These listeners might be interesting people to follow because they are already followed by the speakers. And then there are others in the room, and this is the general “audience”. That’s it.
What I find interesting is that you can only hear what the moderators and the speakers are saying. You don’t hear the audience. So you can listen in without any risk that people are hearing what you are either talking about or complaining about on your end.
So that is Clubhouse and that is a room.
Let me introduce you to Clubhouse. What is it, or better: how does it work? And what can you do with it?
Clubhouse Is Similar To Amateur Radio Communications
Clubhouse`s tagline is “A Drop-In Audio Chat”, and that says it all.
The Clubhouse technology reminds me very much to the old days, when only licensed radio amateurs could have direct wireless communications with each other. Each room in Clubhouse would be the equivalent to one distinct radio frequency. Anyone can listen to what is talked in a room (or on that frequency, in radio language), but only after deliberately accessing that room.
There are thousands of different rooms (same as radio frequencies) used at the same time, and they do not interfere with each other: speaking in one room is not heard in other rooms.
In these Clubhouse rooms, there is only audio, and no data, such as video or text. But here end the similarities of Clubhouse with Amateur Radio transmissions.
Clubhouse Is Different From Amateur Radio Communications
One of the major differences between amateur radio transmissions and a room in Clubhouse is that the host of a room can decide which listener is allowed to speak in that room, or not. With radios, all participants were able to transmit at the same time so that some common sense was required from all participants.
Another difference is that Clubhouse users must willfully sign up to Clubhouse, and they have to leave their contact information for the other Clubhouse users to see. During the old radio amateur days, all participants could remain anonymous if they did not want to reveal their identity.
Then there is a Clubhouse calendar for so-called “events”. These events are conversations that can be scheduled in advance. This event information can then be used for inviting others to that event. In the good old radio amateur times, such scheduled meetings were called “rag chew session”. More sophisticated radio amateurs organized club meetings called “nets” (as in “networks”), which were moderated by one station that was referred to as “Net Control”.
Clubhouse members can also form so-called “clubs” and that tells me already where Clubhouse is going. I am not a “club” person, so this limits my interest to Clubhouse.
Clubhouse Events Are Similar To Old-Style IP Lawyer Convention Talks
In very short words, it would be very easy to turn one of those last century`s talks at an IP convention into a Clubhouse event. The only difference would be that you do not see anyone else because you can only hear the speakers’ voices.
Slides could easily be shared with the attendees via SlideShare (click here).
A group chat for the Clubhouse room can be organized as part of a parallel LinkedIn event.
The advantage for us listeners would be that – if you don´t like the talk – you can sneak out silently for coffee and come back at a later time. In the old days, this practice was called “dodging a boring colleague” (says my colleague Sharon Peri).
Nobody would notice that practice in Clubhouse. Good.
Some Restraints and Caveats
Clubhouse is audio only, and nothing is recorded unless someone records it externally.
You cannot simply decide to join Clubhouse, you need to have an invitation by an existing Clubhouse member. No problem, please send me a message and I shall invite you. I need your name and your smartphone number. Best is to send me a Whatsapp message to +49 172 8410064. You can also send an email to “martin-schweiger ( at ) ip-lawyer-tools.com” or contact me on LinkedIn (click here).
Here is a step-by-step instruction manual about how to invite someone to Clubhouse: https://www.alphr.com/send-invite-clubhouse-app/
Clubhouse works on iPhone or iPad only. Full-stop. (UPDATE 06/2021: Clubhouse is now also available for Android phones!)
Download it from the Apple Appstore (click here).
I found two introductory videos about Clubhouse. Both are good.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kT0NZbXnbTE (10 minutes)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o7gv7U-rZl8 (15 minutes)
Similar Social Audio Programs
There is of course not only Clubhouse. Twitter is experimenting with a program called Spaces. Spotify has an app called Locker Room. Microsoft is planning to buy Dischord. LinkedIn is telling us that they are going to release a competitor to Clubhouse. Slack is doing the same.
Social Audio can no longer be neglected.
I find that social audio is very well suited to training, coaching, consulting, knowledge-based services, and all this for the kind of people that love words.
Can you do the same with Zoom? No.
I can see this flying.
I am still not convinced of entertaining other people with my works, and I will therefore continue to write articles and books.
But Clubhouse is a must-have.
Get your smartphone out (Apple or Android, both is possible!) and download the Clubhouse app from the AppStore, click here.
If you need an invitation, please send me a Whatsapp message to +49 172 8410064.
Then secure your unique Clubhouse ID.
Then browse through the events and start listening.
Then enjoy the good old radio talk show feeling.
And wave with your hand if you want to contribute, they will let you speak, I am sure.
Martin “Clubhouse Ham” Schweiger