Where two or more humans are gathered, there will be drama, and in this post, I will tell you how to avoid drama on Clubhouse. The app is now open to everyone and overnight, sellers of invites went out of business, while the bot and troll populations have exploded. As of Sunday, moderators are now challenging listeners before inviting them on stage to speak. As I edit this post, some moderators are starting to eject speakers who get on stage to ask, “What’s the topic.” Read ahead and learn how you can avoid getting clubbed as a newbie.
First things first. You need a bio. The best way to get clubbed is to not have one. Your profile should explain your interests and tell everyone why you have joined Clubhouse. You are there because you want something. Say it out loud. If you are registered and have no bio, stop reading this and update it right now. When I joined in mid-June, people were complaining about extra long profiles. Now, listeners without bios might get booted from rooms due to the ongoing troll and bot problem.
Add a profile image, logo or something representing your objectives. Drama people like to do screen captures of avatars, so make sure that yours is something you would not mind seeing on Twitter. Mine is the cover of my novel The Quarter Percent and it is also my first minted NFT. The image prompts questions and because my answers match everything in my bio, people with shared interests feel comfortable contacting me.
The second thing you need is a linked, updated social media account, website, or email. Clubhouse is designed for drop in socialising, and communication is supposed to continue off the app. You may link Twitter and Instagram but almost everyone on Clubhouse is on Instagram. Every day, someone asks me why I do not use Instagram. And that story goes back to its acquisition by Facebook. Clubhousers prefer Instagram even though they get action blocked, hashtag banned, accounts suspended and posts smoked. If you want to avoid discussing the petty grudge you’re nursing against Mark Zuckerberg, link an Instagram account.
Third, recognise that drop in audio allows speakers from all over the world to be in the same room and participate in a conversation. Avoid expressing surprise when a person says they are going to bed when you are starting lunch. “How dare you have lunch? I just woke up,” sounds weird, so stop it. People have been waking up as others were going to sleep every day since we crawled out of the mud and coughed up our gills. Because time zones. The app doesn’t check passports because it is not the police. More and more moderators are having their rooms disrupted by speakers doing passport checks only to leave abruptly afterwards. As a result of the rude behaviour of others, you might get blocked. For more advice on social audio etiquette, please visit this post.
Fourth, focus on large rooms to listen, ask for advice, and share information. This will raise your engagement quickly and safely. The fastest way to get clubbed is to immediately align yourself with a person or small group. Your colleagues’ objectives might change, or they might be drama people. Scan your hallway and hop into a small room that looks interesting. But leave immediately if there is a hint of hostility. Be like water and flow where support and positive engagement take you.
Fifth, spend your first week following clubs related to your specific interests. Use the calendar feature to manage your time. In these rooms which are topic-specific, you already have something in common with listeners. They will read your profile and look at your social media feeds. Be equally discreet and read bios to find out more about your roommates. As mentioned above, the moderators are definitely reading yours.
Sixth, ignore pings. If you don’t know anyone, you are not receiving a cordial, thoughtful invitation. Nine out of ten people who ping you will not respond when you ping them, so do not play. Especially ignore pings that invite you into single-host private rooms unless an appointment is arranged in the backchannel. I wish I had received this advice before joining Clubhouse. Assume that you are being roped into a speed dating event without your consent. The hosts will vanish once they find out you are not living in their neighbourhood. Save yourself the irritation and avoid responding in the first place.
That should do for your first two weeks. Social audio is constantly evolving. One day you’re with a group of friendlies and the very next morning, you wake up in the middle of a knife fight. On Clubhouse, use the application actively by knowing your purpose and staying on brand. Keep up with conversations, avoid controversial topics, and stay open to new experiences. Practice good etiquette at all times. You never know whose avatar is sitting next to yours on stage.
Postcript: Abstract paintings are from nine hours on Sunday learning how to use Procreate. I live tweeted the results, and Procreate’s Twitter account liked my final report. So I’m adding the artwork here for you to see.