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Prediction, Not Hype: Clubhouse Will be the Next New Thing

Wherever you go on social media, you can’t escape one main topic: Clubhouse.  The audio-only, invite only, iPhone only social media app has been taking the world by storm, allowing us to hang out in a lounge with friends and all sorts of business and personal contexts.

Clubhouse is Changing the Way we consume and contribute: It Found a Middle

Most of us are familiar with the 80/20 rule in business.  Nearly all social networks also follow this principle in the sense of a small number of creators with the main base of users consuming the creator assets – usually more like a 99% vs 1% consumption to contribution ratio.

What’s incredible about Clubhouse is that they have somehow found a middle ground of the standard way we understand contribution.  That is to say, you can be a passive listener in a group, practicing active listening.  When you feel like it, you can get on a stage – without the stage fright and the fancy blazer, and be a speaker in one tap, show up with a quick tip or question, and sit back down.  Creators will feel at home being regular speakers, and group / club moderators.

Running a Room is Harder Than You Think

Now that I’ve had several weeks of play in the app (and far too many hours, if I’m being honest), I wanted to give you a deeper dive into some nuances on running a room.

Before You Begin a Room

  • Schedule it so you have a link for people to share, Tweet, and add to calendar
  • You can have even more regularity if you have an approved club (application form)
  • Ping some of your friends into the room

Moderation is Key

Moderators can have different roles

  • Set the tone of how clubhouse is a circle where we all share power and stage
  • Open to everyone talking as long as they are respectful of others and keep it to 2-3 min
  • Moderators introduce themselves
  • Regular refresh / PTR (pull to refresh) of the room
    • Every 15 minutes or as an influx of new people enter the room
    • If it’s going well, we can ask participants to ping 3 friends to the room
    • Reminders to follow the moderators / speakers / each other
    • Ask people to mute/get off stage – or do for them
    • 5-15 on stage at a time has been a sweet spot

It is likely that two moderators are not enough. It’s possible that one moderator gets booted off and then it’s one person defending the entire room which is crazy.

After helping run some rooms and starting others, I’d say that 2-5 moderators is a sweet spot, but after that it probably gets unmanageable.  An interesting tactic I’ve seen well is rotating admins, especially if you have your room go over an hour long.

Take it from one of my favorite room co-moderators:

Juliana Jai Bolden, Digital Content Strategist and Producer:

“Clubhouse reinforces the power and intimacy of our voices.  Most rooms I moderate are filled with people who want to learn from one another, connect with new people and new opportunities. My job as mod is to listen intently, facilitate a pace and balance which allows everyone to be heard—and have fun where possible.

Moderating some rooms can get pretty intense. That is, when explosive conversations about politics, social justice and such, find people heatedly talking over one another.

There is a strong, collective desire for civility across enough of the community, however, to unpack and power through conflict to reach common ground.”

Jamila Bey, DC based Journalist:

“I find that Clubhouse is a perfect COVID-19 era substitute for the conferences  not held. There’s the added bonus, however, that you might be pulled onstage to ask a question or to add to the discussion.  It’s far more intimate than Zoom, and rather than feeling drained and a bit eye-strained at the end of a long session, Clubhouse let’s me engage and feel energized and better connected than when I started!”

How the Community Feels So Far

“This was a tough task to accomplish speaking 24 hours for 13 days +. I couldn’t have done it without the We Drop Gems Members and club. We made history and set trends throughout the clubhouse app for others to aspire to do to push the culture forward.” — MarQuis Trill, founding member of the popular We Drop Gems new user help / profile bio audit club 

“Clubhouse is SXSW, but audio only.  When you set the intention, you will find what you’re seeking.  If you’re looking for amazing minds, then you’ll find your tribe.  If you are looking for answers, you will find your mentor.  If you’re looking for an audience, you will end up growing a community.  Clubhouse gives others FOMO for a reason and the authenticity is surprisingly real.” – String Nguyen, 4x LinkedIn Top Voice + Founder, The Trusted Voice

“One of the reasons I love Clubhouse and why it’s trending is because it combines the advantages of both podcasts and conferencing. With audio, we have the most easily digestible content, so you can listen or participate while driving, doing dishes, etc. But then you also have the accessible community feel, so that it can be a powerful discussion, where you have a voice, or you can just be there to listen and learn.” – Bobby Umar, CEO of DYPB – Discover Your Personal Brand

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