The Clubhouse app has been a new presence in my life–I’ve been on the platform a mere 3 months, and already feel it has given me the sort of friends and connections I hadn’t imagined before. It is voice-only, which ensures more attention from the audience, and also does not require sprucing up your appearance. Unlike Zoom, you don’t have to bother with yourself before jumping into a conversation. This phone app lets you interact with people–with nothing but a profile picture, profile details and your voice. You can connect your Clubhouse profile to Instagram and Twitter, so they can contact you via direct messaging if they wish.
Only some of the reasons I used clubhouse were professional. Networking wasn’t on top of the list. With all the lockdowns and darkness of the pandemic, it was great to find pockets of peace where we could discuss books and movies, listen to songs and ghost stories, sort of like a virtual campfire. Since I joined, some of the rooms I visit have become my regular water coolers where I go to shoot the breeze and just be, with no pressure to perform or persuade. There are other rooms which have been an asset to me as a writer.
Clubhouse is great for writers, I think, because it creates a wonderful sense of community. We have ‘Sprint Rooms’ under various writers’ Clubs, where we write for a while and then take a break to chat. The chat can be on non-writing topics, but is often based on the craft. As well, there are formal rooms on specific writing craft topics, Q & A sessions with authors and publishers, and jalso chat rooms with freewheeling writing conversations, often with agents, publishers, and bestselling authors present on both the stage and in the audience. Writing Clubs that I follow: YA All the Way. Writers on the Storm. Epigraphs. Writers: Craft + Career. The Query Circle. The Author Conference.
While the writer in me is happy on Clubhouse, it is also a great place for readers. You could walk into book room to discuss books, reading peeves, book recommendations, reviews and on. You could also host a book launch, speak to authors, and argue about your favorite books, or advocate for diversity in publishing. I’ve had some wonderful chats with fellow readers, and got hold of new reads that I’ve enjoyed, all from book recommendations on Clubhouse. I regularly visit: What Are you Reading? Bookish for Friday. Book Talk for Introverts. Litbuzz. Diverse Reading.
A few pointers to enjoying your Clubhouse experience: (These are fairly basic, and the app very intuitive)
- Get a feel for the room and how things are handled by the moderators before you decide to jump into the conversation.
- Go ahead and ‘raise hand’ to request to speak. The community is very kind to those new to it (and Clubhouse helpfully provides a party hat for a week to identify new entrants).
- Keep yourself on mute unless you’re speaking. Let others finish before speaking–interrupting is bad form.
- There are a ton of rooms which teach you clubhouse basics–I visited those before I went to other rooms.
- Follow those whose content you feel would enjoy. Who you follow helps curate what rooms you’re shown.
- Follow those whose content you like on Instagram or Twitter– most of the helpful interactions I’ve had has led to speaking off platform via Instagram or Twitter as well.
- Spend time on choosing the Interests you pick in the Settings–and tweak them if the rooms you see do not interest you.
- Share your expertise if you feel it adds to the conversation. People will follow you if they like what you share.
- Be mindful of everyone’s space and common courtesies, just as you would in real life.
- Be careful about what information you share–Clubhouse needs the same caution you follow on other platforms. Voice interaction might lead to a stronger feeling of trust, but do as much due diligence as possible before risking your safety in any way.
- Start off rooms and clubs once you’re comfortable on Clubhouse.
- Spend your time on the app judiciously. It is easy to get carried away in the novelty of talking to so many fascinating strangers. Making connections is great, as long as it enriches your life instead of making it difficult.
Do you have a profile on Clubhouse? What has your experience been like? What clubs would you recommend? How much of your time do you spend on social media? If you’re on Clubhouse, I’m easy to find. We can chat in some of the writerly rooms!
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