Title: Clubhouse - A social platform for live audio conversations
Clubhouse is a audio centric social media platform that has gotten a lot of buzz since it rolled out to invited folk early 2020. Think of it as a way for groups to create and share live audio podcasts (called Rooms) within Clubs. Clubs: allow people to establish social rules; name people as Administrators, Moderators, or Members. Rooms can be private to people explicitly invited (a 'Closed' or private room); open only to people who the Moderators of the Room Follow (a 'Social' Room); open to anyone on Clubhouse (an 'Open' room). A Club Member can be granted the right to create Rooms 'under the banner of the Club' which are open only to Club Members, or people invited by a Room Moderator. If you spend a little time tuning and tweaking, you'll end up with an audio feed of pod-cast like events that you can browse and listen to in the background - like talk radio - listening more carefully when something important or interesting is being said. Occasionally you'll stumble into something very interesting - possibly unique.
As of Feb 2021, Clubhouse requires an iPhone/iPad and an invitation from a current Clubhouse Member. [If you have an Android phone and an iPad you can register with your Android number, then download and use Clubhouse on an iPad, referencing the same phone number] You can also download and install the Clubhouse app to add your name to the waitlist. A Member with an unused Invitation can also invite you in - but Invitations are scarce and only granted to Members on an ad-hoc basis. You may also find yourself at the front of the queue if your name and phone number are listed in the contacts a Clubhouse member optionally shares with Clubhouse. This allows self-nomination of new members (you must still be approved by a Member). Clubhouse also uses this to also suggest people you already know who you might want to Follow or Invite to Clubhouse. I'd advise you to share your contacts when you start using Clubhouse. You can turn off Contact sharing later, and turn it on only when you want to allow Clubhouse to offer suggestions or check status of your contacts.
Although the iPhone/iPad App is written in English, Clubhouse is becoming a hot ticket in Japan, Korea, China and Europe. Rooms and Clubs with titles and descriptions written in non-English languages are your only clue that conversations in that Room are generally in that language. Clubhouse will be adding internationalization and UX support to allow you to declare the language you speak, and the languages spoken in a Room to enable automatic filtering.
Onboarding to Clubhouse can be confusing, since there's not a lot of formal documentation, and the service is changing all the time. There's also an unfortunately large number of snake-oil salesman and get rich quick artists who jumped into Clubhouse in order to promote themselves, sell ebooks, and generally scam the rubes.
Clubhouse does have rules and procedures to swat down scammers, but until you give Clubhouse's filtering algorithms some hints to work with - by Following good people and Clubs (see below). You'll see a lot of dodgy rooms promising breakfasts with billionaires, instant instagram success, free money, free publicity - you know the drill. Ignore them, and swipe scammy Rooms left to hide them forever. The best Clubhouse onboarding advice is to join a ‘Welcome to Clubhouse’ room run by the Social Society Club, or Community Club, listen, and ask questions (see below).
Three Suggestions for Clubhouse Onboarding
- Browse ClubhouseGuide.com for suggestions on getting started with Clubhouse, Info, Community, News and Support
- Follow the Community Club and Social Society for helpful and enjoyable Clubhouse onboarding advice as well as a chance to participate in a Room by asking questions. Use the Calendar to find the next 'Welcome to Clubhouse' event in your language and a time zone when you're awake and join that room for excellent advice - you can add that Event to your Google or Apple calendar as a reminder. Follow Welcome moderators like Abraxas Higgins (@abraxas) to get notifications when he opens a Welcome event.
- Follow good people you would like to talk with and listen to! They may be people you already know - suggested by Clubhouse from your contacts list - people you follow on Twitter or else where. Click a person’s Profile photo to see what people and Clubs that person follows. Review those Clubs and people, and decide if you want to Follow them too. Clubhouse will use your Following choices to greatly improve its suggestions. I have a few more personal notes below.
Greg Lloyd's Clubhouse Tips
I joined Clubhouse as member 'grlloyd' on 1 Feb 2021 and may or may not have an invitation available, but if you email firstname.lastname@example.org I'll to invite you when I have one free. If you're already in my personal email/phone address book, you may find yourself automatically at the front of the line, waiting for someone to approve you without needing to use an invitation.
New users - Follow Community Club, Social Society, and Talk Club; look for and listen to Social Society Welcome events - a good one in English generally starts at 7am EST every day and runs for a few hours. Jump in at any time.
See Clubhouse Guide for onboarding help; reference links; a brief explanation what pages of the Clubhouse app look like; what the buttons and controls look like and how they work.
- Photo - a clear head shot is recommended - like everyone else
- Bell button - For a Person you follow, choose to always, sometimes, or never notify you when X is talking
- Bio - all words in a profile are indexed for people search
- Stars button - suggests other people you might want to Follow who are similar to this person
- Connect your Twitter and Instagram accounts - so Clubhouse people can ask and answer questions out of band
About the Hallway
The Hallway is the initial List of Rooms created based on people and clubs you follow plus Clubhouse recommendations- follow wisely! Your Hallway may also include rooms based on Topics you choose. Your Hallway is based on the Clubhouse algorithm, which is under constant development.
- The top section of Hallway view shows upcoming events for you
- Swipe left on the Hallway to see if people you follow are active, and the room they are in now
- Swipe right on a room to show a hide button. Hide rooms you don’t want to see again in your Hallway.
- Hallway quality will improve as the Clubhouse algorithms improvements
- Clubhouse will capabilities for you to list languages you speak and languages used in a Room. For now you can just hide Rooms that use languages you don’t speak. The language used in the title of the Room is your only clue.
- Avoid snake oil salespeople and scam artists in the Hall! Hide them - or report them you see a serious violation of Clubhouse rules.
- Block someone if they harass you (not just to mute them); Report someone if you want Clubhouse to investigate. While in a Room, you can double click on someone’s Profile photo to Block them or report trollish behavior.
- “Follow for Follow” rooms are banned - report any room that requires you to Follow its Members to become a Member yourself.
Improving the quality of Hallway and Notifications
- Suggestions are based on people and Clubs you follow, and TBD magic
- Appears that more Suggestions are based on who people you Follow Follow
- Follow good people and clubs you would really like to talk with or listen to<
- Following big celebrities may broaden suggestions too much
- Click the Notifications bell in the Profile of people to tell Clubhouse to Always, Never, or Sometimes notify you when that person begins speaking or takes some notable action.
- Use the Explore page to find names of people, and name of Clubs you may be interested in. At the bottom of the Explore page you’ll find a list of Topics. Click a Topic to get a list of Clubs related to that Topic you may want to Follow.
- If you’re Following an interesting person, review the Clubs that person is in, and people that person Follows for ideas on people and Clubs you might also want to Follow
The Stage - A section at the top of Room that shows all Speakers
- Circled speaker shows who is currently talking
- Norm: if you're on Stage, mute your mike if not talking
- Clap: click quickly on Speaker’s mike button
- First few speakers are likely founder and early members
- Founder - created room, first Admin
- Moderator - can add/remove/ban members; grant/remove Admin rights; Moderators are shown wiht green badges. Tip: follow Moderators to get notifications when they are scheduled to appear in an Event and when a Room with them as Moderator opens.
- See Moderation good practices
- Ping button (+) Show a list of people you follow, click to invite them to this room
- Hand - Raise your hand to request to speak. Moderators see can see raised hand queue, but can also invite anyone to Stage
- Mike - When you are moved to the Stage, the Hand button changes to a mike. Click to mute or unmute your mike. Normally keep your mike muted unless you are speaking.
- Anyone can create a Room, add anyone who follows you
- Room can be: Public; Social (Open to all Followers / Club Members); Private (listed)
- Room disappears when closed or last Speaker leaves
- Clubs have Members - nominated by other Members, accepted by Admin/Moderator
- Club can grant Members right to create Room 'under banner of' that Club
- Members get notification when Rooms under banner of that Club is scheduled or created
About Events and Calendar
- Event: An announced plan to open a Room at a specified time, with a brief description of that Room and hits hosts (Moderators and guests). An Event can be published under the banner of a Club, or as a stand-alone Room.
- Anyone can add an Event to the Calendar
- A/O Feb 2021: There’s no way to search the Calendar or easy way to find an Event more than a day in the future (by scrolling).
- Tip: when you create an Event, save its link and post that as an announcement on Twitter etc.
When I discover something particularly interesting about Clubhouse, I'll add a note as a grl space comment. You'll need to sign in to TeamPage to see these comments.