I don’t know about anyone else, but I got on social media by accident. Helping out with a week long, in-residence fire service leadership course, I agreed to help manage the Facebook page. But I didn’t have a Facebook account. And I couldn’t get away with not having one to manage the page. I figure I would get rid of the account after course. That was a few years ago. I know more about social media now than I did before. Don’t worry, that’s like saying I graduated from 4th to 5th grade. Sure I know more, but there is so much more to learn. Depending on where you look on the internet, there are 6 – 7 types of social media. (see HERE and HERE for articles talking about the types) That’s not the same as how many social media platforms there are. (see HERE to learn about over 103 platforms)

So when people started talking about the Clubhouse app near the end of last year, I thought to myself, “Nope, I don’t need any more social media in my life. I didn’t really want the ones that I have. I’m just too deep in the social media game to get out now.”  Initially it was only on Apple products. Good, can’t get it even if I wanted to. Then near the beginning of the year Clubhouse became available for Android. Still not worried about being on the App because you have to be invited to join. Now I’m thinking “If it’s a club that is only by invite, isn’t that the ‘good Ole boy club?’ Doesn’t really sound very inclusive to me.”

And then, one day…

It wasn’t until I was speaking with a fellow comic in a writer’s group that I host that I accepted an invite to try it out. Once again, I am on a social media platform by accident. What I have learned so far about clubhouse is that its like talk radio for the internet. People host clubs, which are broad subject areas (for example, on club I’m in is Podcasting, Seriously). Inside the club, there are rooms that get more into detail (for example, there is a weekly room on Wed were people ask questions about podcasting).

So after a few months, here are my initial thoughts: 

The Good

  • Users are able to connect with people across the world on a particular topic
    • Helps to give a worldly perspective 
  • Users are able to be in the “room” with industry leaders. Les Brown is regularly seen in rooms. Tiffany Haddish and Kevin Hart also hang around in there as well. This weekend I was in a room with comedian Dane Cook. 
    • I’m pretty sure these are people I wouldn’t normally be in the same room with
  • There are rooms that help new users to learn the ropes
    • I have found these very useful to help learn the ropes.

The Bad

  • Like all social media, there is the potential to find yourself on there for hours and not accomplish much else
    • I use an app on my phone to track that I don’t spend too much time on social media
  • Clubhosue is still pretty new, so there are somethings that are being worked out. Not really a bad thing, just something to be aware of.

The Ugly

  • Just like the internet, EVERYONE can be there
    • Not  a fan of the fact that people have to be invited in, versus just being able to get in.
      • Doesn’t seem to stop disruptive people from joining anyway.
  • Not everyone operates in the rooms the way the operating guidelines are laid out
    • Not all of the people running rooms are skilled at being moderators
  • There are people running scams and selling products, so beware of where you agree to be in the room

So what I have been doing with it?

I’ve been using it as a way to ask questions about subjects to people with more knowledge (podcasting, being a public speaker) and to see what other are doing in the spaces I am already in (storytelling and comedy). So far, so good. I plan to use t more for professional networking, although looking through the titles of some clubs and rooms, it seems like anything goes really. Seems like an interesting why to connect with a broader audience that seem to be looking for meaning conversations around topics.

So, what about you? Are you on Clubhouse? What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear your thoughts. And if you are hanging around, maybe I’ll see you in one of the rooms! So far, Clubhouse is proving to be another place to tell your story on purpose. 

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