Yes, Clubhouse is the new shiny trend we’re all enjoying and trying to understand.
Yes, it’s not super inclusive as it’s iPhone only. But I won’t discuss it here.
In the last few weeks I read a lot of great articles about this app (check the list at the end), and listened to a lot of great conversation on it. Today, I’d like to share some considerations on the fact this forming platform’s success (or failure) will truly depend a lot on how users will behave as it opens up to more and more users.
Clubhouse is a highly-interactive, real-time, people-moderated cocktail of voices.
Users attitude will make this mix delicious or nauseating.
People before Technology and Processes. Before we discuss the UX, before we talk about monetization and brands involvement, before we get annoyed by servers overload, let’s truly look at the way we should be using this app.
This is exactly why I chose the word Galateo:
Galateo: The Rules of Polite Behavior was published in Venice in 1558. A guide to what one should do and avoid in ordinary social life, this courtesy book of the Renaissance explores subjects such as dress, table manners, and conversation.
0- Before we start, know the rules
All clear? Great, here’s a list of some unofficial but practical guidelines you should be aware of, especially if you’re new to the platform.
1- Be authentic
Don’t use any brand logo for your avatar, don’t include any salesy paragraph in your bio. Keep it short and add your Twitter & Instagram handle to confirm your identity. You don’t need to be a public speaker to enjoy this app, but don’t pretend you are either.
2- Listen first, then speak up
It’s all about getting the context and then intervene, not the opposite. Practice the 5+5 minutes rule:
- When you’re in a room, take at least 5 min to understand if it’s interesting for you. If it’s not, then search for a new one.
- If it is, then wait 5 more minutes to make sure you got yourself acquainted.
Some rooms might have been going on for hours before you joined, and you don’t want to repeat some concepts already mentioned in the past. Good moderators will reset the room every 30 min or so doing a recap of what has been discussed. And they will cut you short if you’re saying something repetitive.
3- Respect the line
Conversations move quick. When you feel you’ve something to say do raise your hand. But before you do that, please be mindful of who the last non-moderator speaker was. Take a look at the number of people after him/her on the stage: most probably they have something to say as well, and they might have not talked yet. If you respected #2 above, you should know. Let the people invited to the stage before you to talk before you do, just like in real life.
Also, some moderators bring users back to the audience a user once their contribution is over, limiting the number of speakers on the stage. This should also make your life easier, so don’t get mad if you raised your hand and you’re not in the stage yet, there might be a long queue.
4- Don’t disrupt the flow
Ok, you’re a speaker now. You muted yourself waiting for your turn. The moderator calls your name and 3,2,1… showtime! Feel free to greet everyone and give a brief intro (if that’s ok with the room’s guidelines) but then get to the point. Even if it’s not explicitly called out, try to share your thoughts in a couple of minutes max. That will keep everyone engaged.
If the flow has moved to a different topic, don’t feel like you have to bring it back to the previous one. Nothing’s worse than running in circles.
5- Remember the names
Hearing someone say “what that person said” or “the man/lady whose name I don’t remember” it’s not the best experience. It makes the speaker look weak and the mentioned person feel not important. It’s a little thing, but if someone says something that you really like, note it down and make sure you clearly call out his/her name when you talk. This approach is used by professional speakers, entrepreneurs and salesmen in real life too!
6- Don’t talk about Clubhouse
Especially when you’re new , it’s very hard not to discuss the elephant in the room, that means interrogating ourselves on what Clubhouse could become, regardless of the topic. Still, do your best to stay on-track and bring value to the conversation.
7- “Leave quietly” is there for a reason
If you don’t go back to the audience after your contribution (remember, you can do it yourself even if the moderator doesn’t) because you might want to interact again, please consider supporting other speakers by clapping (quickly press mute/unmute). But most importantly, when it’s time for you to go, there’s no reason to say goodbye to the room. You’re not being rude. In fact, you will sound rude and self-centered by sharing your departure with the other speakers and listeners.
8- Avoid “silent groups” to grow your follower base
The last one and probably the most controversial one. More and more silent groups are created every day, where you’re supposed to join, don’t say a word, browse through the participants’ bios and follow them, so they can follow you back. This approach defies the purpose of Clubhouse, focusing on a vanity metric that is totally secondary for real growth. Please hide these groups by swiping right on them as soon as they appear in your home screen.
If we do this right… Clubhouse seems one of those promising places where users are really developing a genuine sense of belonging. We know that ads are coming, we know that sponsored rooms are coming, we know that Android users are also coming. But if we stay true to this Galateo, it’s going to be fun!
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