IBB: What did you just say?

I am about a month into Clubhouse, and thankfully it does not keep me up at nights. I know for many, it does. It’s not Facebook, and some people call it Twitter 2.0. I don’t know how it can be when Twitter limits conversation, while Clubhouse is all about long-form and audio-based conversation.

I logged on almost every day for the first week, but this tapered off to just a few times in a week.

As a journalist, I love information and knowledge. A room about Quantum Physics fascinated me, before another room about Medtech, then the Peace Foundation caught my attention.

In summary, there is a diverse range of topics being discussed in each room. A room may not be the best way to describe the topics being conversed. A room suggests permanence. In ClubHouse, when the conversation, discussion, or forum, whatchamacallit ends, so does the room. What remains is an overarching idea what the room is about, the founder, and its moderators.

The clubs are permanent too. Because ClubHouse is still in beta, it can be difficult to set up a club, and there is at least a long time period, or a long process involved.

Rise to fame

Clubs rule. “Rooms” rule. Founders and moderators rule.

Some rooms claim to fame are the Silicon Valley celebrities who drop in to have a chat. There is a thrill of being in same conversation sphere as people like Elon Musk, and any number of company founders and  investors and funders.

Because of the star power that ClubHouse attracts, sometimes there are rooms where all visitors do are read other people’s bios, and add to their contact list.

Scores of listeners would throng certain events/rooms in the hopes of catching a rare sighting.

What do I love about ClubHouse?

If I am lucky enough to catch the newsworthy topics when I happen to log on, I can forego the process of reading about it.

For example, instead of reading what Crowdstrike’s co-founder opined about something, I can hear it straight from him, and get an idea of the whole thinking process behind him saying what he said.

You can imagine right now, how the topics, soundbites and trains of thoughts that weave in and out of different rooms, appeals to a journalist like me.

Difficult topics and ideas are aired in these rooms, and when the moderators are competent and nuanced enough, every person who has something to say, will get their say. This is no easy task as some rooms can have up to few thousands of listeners. The highest capacity I have seen a room accommodate is 7,000.

A potential negative however, is it can get to a point where “Did this person really say what he just said?”

There may be thousands of listeners who heard it, but really popular rooms can go on for hours so some of the messages can get buried under so much messages and rhetoric.

 Dangerous ideas

 How often do experts and opinion leaders gather on a platform to share their views?

Many discussions or conversations in Silicon Valley for example. make it to this part of the world as magazine articles, often already coloured by third party biases and opinions.

I have already been in a room where cybersecurity experts and foreign policy were talking about ideas and beliefs contrary to popular ideas and perception.

Some topics may not concern this part of the world, for example, whether Donald Trump should have been de-platformed from social media like Facebook. But the conversation does reveal how Facebook’s oversight board was conceived, the role that it plays, and how it views some of the most difficult questions that exist today around free expression.

 IT BYTES BACK! says: I am sure there will be many more thought-provoking discussions like this cropping up as I continue exploring audio-based communications on ClubHouse. But what about you? What are you looking for on ClubHouse?