What I learned about Clubhouse this weekend

What’s Clubhouse?

Clubhouse is an audio only social network. It’s currently invite only and currently only on iPhone (Android is in the works). Here’s the official description:

Clubhouse is a new type of network based on voice. When you open the app you can see “rooms” full of people talking—all open so you can hop in and out, exploring different conversations. You enter each room as an audience member, but if you want to talk you just raise your hand, and the speakers can choose to invite you up. Or you can create a room of your own. It’s a place to meet with friends and with new people around the world—to tell stories, ask questions, debate, learn, and have impromptu conversations on thousands of different topics.

Clubhouse iPhone App I was surprised

I’ll admit that I wasn’t extremely excited to see a non-visual network start to get popular. After all, I’m a visual communicator and photographer. Everything I have done over the past 25 years has been visual. However, there are definitely some advantages to an audio-only platform. For one, you don’t have to get dressed up for it. You don’t have to worry about your lighting and background. Since it’s an iPhone app, you can do it anywhere you have WiFi or great cell service. Also since it’s audio-only there are no visuals to prepare. No demo to break. It’s just talking and actually, that’s a refreshing change.

Think of it as a Zoom meeting with no cameras allowed. With that said though it’s actually better than an audio-only Zoom meeting because only the moderators of the room have microphones. So unlike Zoom, you’re not having to constantly tell audience members to mute their mics (that’s the most frustrating thing about Zoom). If you want to talk as an audience member, you raise your hand and the moderator(s) can bring you up (to the top portion of the room/screen) and that enables your microphone so that you can talk to the room. You still have your own Mute control once you’re a speaker and I was pleasantly surprised to see that people are diligent about muting themselves when they’re not speaking. In most cases, the Moderators will leave guests in the speaking part of the room for the duration of the room, but they can also move you back to the audience if they want.

I think I’m hooked

I found hanging out in various rooms on Clubhouse pretty relaxing. Since it’s audio I can just have it on in the background instead of the TV. In many cases, moderators invite me up to speak (another feature of the app) and in most cases I accept because the rooms I’ve been in thus far have been mostly photography-related or creative related and they recognize me. However, in the bigger rooms of like 50 or more people, I can usually just sneak in and listen.

Clubhouse proposes rooms based upon your stated interests when you signed up. So far my experiences have been GREAT. I’ve found the various topics to be...