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New to Clubhouse? Don’t get clubbed + Drama free drop in audio

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. 

Sub Lined

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. 

Tuning

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. 

Connected

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.

Good Road

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.

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creative writing fiction technology women writing

Oh, Gloria …

Where seconds before, castanets were rapping their clat-ta-tat-tat, a deafening silence fell on the host of avatars in the room. Friendly banter was interrupted, a question went unanswered, and earphones were unplugged from devices to broadcast the newest tirade over speakers. Someone in Brussels unwrapped a lunch sandwich and listened in.

Gloria was in the room. This morning, she presented with glossy grey locks, which billowed in a nonexistent breeze. Her flawless, peaches-and-cream skin was buffed to a high shine. But that was not why everyone was squinting at their screens. They were accustomed to seeing a dark-haired vixen in a slice of underwear, sat with her knees exactly fifty centimetres apart. (Someone attempted the pose at home.) Today, everything, including her shoulders and most of her neck, was covered.

A stream of pings followed. “Everyone, get in here. Gloria is wearing clothes.”

Master had stopped the castanets mid-clat to croak at the host of avatars, “Reverence! Gloria is having a bad day.”

“And today’s crisis is…?” thought everyone. And they waited to find out. In New York, a spoonful of breakfast cereal was returned to a bowl. “What… exactly?”

A summary was sent in a backchannel. It read, “Dental emergency at the dentist, who has Wi-Fi, so Gloria can be here with us shortly before receiving treatment for the dental emergency, and then stay here with us, in fact, during the entire procedure, so we can be there for her.”

“Surely,” went one dictated response, “the care and feeding of her children comma who materialised out of thin air only last week comma should be the focus of concern question mark.”

After that update, volume buttons were pushed all the way down. But unable to see this, Master squeaked again. “Praise Gloria. Genuflect, you peasant scum!” No-one heard him. The rebellion had started.

Three hours later, Master punished everyone by giving Gloria his proxy. “Lead us, will you? For your teeth, dear.” A dubious honour it was, to be the doyen of disenchantment, dueña to disconnected souls.

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about me art entrepreneurs fashion opinion People technology women

Scrum Mastered

Scrum for creative focus

Are your goals clearly defined? Your next step is to collaborate with likeminded individuals. Work with practical, updated information. Record results and refine your process as you go. To master the practice of scrum, recognise when it is necessary to regroup and realign. Then do it.

Screen caps from the desktop version

The first iteration of this installation was a mass of crawling text that broke WordPress. Yay! But after it broke my phone’s browser, I decided to update this post with a collage of screen caps from Reader and the main site.

Glitched text on main page and in Reader.

Thankfully, I had saved the screen caps for the tweet design below, so it was easy to make another pass with the two typography posters. I hope you enjoy them.

It’s art and it is business
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artificial intelligence technology women writing

Clubhouse v Greenroom: Tuesday AM Beef

Where two or more humans are gathered on a social media platform, there will be beef. And, on Tuesday morning, social audio delivered two servings of beef to me before I even got out of bed.

It started when I woke up at 1 AM to have some water. I checked my phone and noticed an invitation to join a Greenroom networking session. The room looked like an exploded space ship. Avatars were floating about, and all mics were muted. In the notifications was a hyperlink to an adjacent Clubhouse networking session, so I beamed myself in. After saying hello to the group, I bid everyone a good night and promised to visit again.

Five hours later, I was awake. Now, I checked new messages in a Discord server for creators. Almost all of the members were posting screen captures of notifications showing that they had been blocked from entering one particular room on Greenroom. These individuals were all button-down suburban types, and not ratchet gang-gang Crips v Blood folk. The person accused of starting the drama was a new member of the server. I thought that for sure, the server was under attack (!) so I sent a message to the administrator.

Seconds later, I was back in the Clubhouse room from earlier that morning because I wanted to see if the group was still active. I noticed that the room had a different title, and that the host was discussing the blocking incident. He explained how groups worked to “steal networks” from influencers. The app is only three weeks old, but Evil never rests. I turned off my phone, put it on my desk, and went to work.

As I reflected on the storm that was swirling in my phone, it occurred to me that burnout on social media is caused by emotional attachments to vanity metrics. In the end, these metrics are a rendering of specific data points in virtual space. Many of us do not have a clear purpose for using social media applications. Too often, we misuse them and then blame “social media” for dampening our creative spirit.

I reminded myself that I should focus on communicating with the smart technology that runs these platforms. And how do I define effective communication on each platform? Knowing that they have different functions, learning what they require for sustenance, and feeding them.

On Sunday, for example, I practised a focused detachment on Twitter. Applying a formula to composing my tweets, I noticed that each one was retweeted. Then, I focused on networking on Greenroom. In a short time, I got a dozen new follows. These individuals searched for my profile on Clubhouse and followed me there, too. Stress level? Zero.

Yesterday, I took a break from my tested formulae to whine about “rude people”. My tweet was ignored. I allowed myself to get irritated by a creepy person leering at an attractive woman posing in underwear. I was taking things personally, and not being purposeful about promoting my business. No-one followed me. I promised to manage my time better.

To be honest, Tuesday’s incidents were nonstarters and quite boring. But I could see how people get addicted to feelings and then lose sight of their objectives. On Wednesday morning, everyone had moved on, so Tuesday’s energy expenditure was nullifed.

There is nothing I can do to convince anyone to feel less possessive over imaginary fiefdoms populated by the digital imprints of purported people. Perhaps my scepticism is based on the understanding that anything existing in electronic form can be made up, invented, copied, duplicated, forged, faked and reproduced. And it goes without saying that given how easy it is to do all of that, beefing over vanity metrics means next to nothing if you cannot convince your followers to show up for you when and where it matters.

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opinion technology women

Social Audio Etiquette

Are you a writer, artist or creative professional using social audio for marketing? Do you wonder if there is a chapter in Debrett’s Handbook on social audio etiquette? If you are networking on Greenroom, Twitter Spaces, and Clubhouse, you will need good conversation skills. And until they update the Handbook, I will offer you some tips. Put them into practice and reap the rewards of branding through social audio.

I have been on Clubhouse for two weeks, and just over a week on Greenroom. Occasionally, Spaces show up on my Twitter timeline, and I drop in to listen as often as I can. And as I observed conversations in each space, I noticed that branded influencers had excellent social audio etiquette.

Before I present my list, I should point out that boundaries are important online. Your conversations are public, and rooms may be recorded without your knowledge or consent. Refrain from sharing private information to satisfy a listener’s curiosity.

On Sunday, I dropped in on a Greenroom conversation with a well-known podcaster. A voice without an avatar started asking me personal questions. Imagine hearing your name called out over the PA system at a crowded coffee shop, as someone asks you to say your street address and read out details from your driver’s license. It felt like that to me.

This kind of nosy question-asking is quite common, unfortunately, even offline. It happens because many people do not realise that you can learn good conversation skills. Which is why, when you practice these skills, you will grow your audience in a relatively short time. 

Interruption as strategy 
You may be surprised at how often people interrupt speakers on stage to ask an unrelated question. One reason for these kinds of questions is that the person wants to quickly form an opinion of you. Another reason is that they do not want to hear what you have to say. The distracting question serves to start a new topic or allow the person to become the focus of the conversation.

The polite response to this is silence. Mute your microphone, and allow some of the awkwardness to revert back to the speaker. It is polite to let the host start a new topic. Learn from my mistakes: You will never control another person’s inappropriate behaviour by raising an objection to it. They receive the attention they want by diverting you from the topic of discussion. And you may find that your response will irritate listeners.

For your part, be considerate by first observing the room dynamics (read the room), and then decide if you want to participate in the discussion. Focus on the topic of conversation and avoid questions that will start an unrelated topic thread. If you wish to do that, ask to connect with the speaker outside of the room, and continue your discussions there.

Even with the best of intentions, it is possible to say something that makes someone uncomfortable in your audio space. You can avoid this by limiting the meeting time, preparing open-ended questions, and having a list of topics ready before hosting a room.

Below, I have compiled five habits that will help you in social audio spaces. Your objective, as you practice them, is to maintain a positive atmosphere around yourself. When you send out invites to your own audio spaces in future, your guests should remember how they felt whenever they were on stage with you and be happy to support you. 


Ask after objectives
Take a cue from hosts with large followings. They ask fellow speakers why they are participating in the conversation. They do this because they want to know how best to include the person in discussions. If you must, must, must ask an off-topic question, explain why you need to know this information. Again, be mindful that you are in a recorded conversation in a public forum.

Ask about experiences 
If you want to play FBI, try asking someone to demonstrate their skills. They can do this by explaining something complex, or by rephrasing a statement. Be indirect and open-ended to elicit quality answers. Whereas, questions that require a one-word answer will leave the conversation dry. You will soon run out of things to talk about. Your audience will remember that.  

Verbalise your offer to let someone speak first 
With some platforms, if you would like to speak, you may interrupt another speaker. After a few seconds of silence, say, “I would like someone else to go first,” or something similar, and wait. That usually breaks the deadlock and gives you time to prepare. Remember that you want to be the last person to offer an opinion. 

Explain any interruptions
At times, I am listening to a conversation while getting ready for work. For that reason, I may want to say something before the moderator moves on to the next topic. In that situation, I will say, “It’s six in the morning, and because I am getting ready for work, allow me to interject here so you can get on with the discussion?” Then, I speak for a very short time. Every time I do this, I get new follows and because of that, I will keep it up. 

Follow through immediately 
Whenever you receive invitations to collaborate or converse privately,  follow through immediately. This shows that you are interested in hearing what the other person has to say. Conversations disappear into the memory’s ether, which is why collaborations are more likely to happen when you are responsive. Here are seven ways to follow up: 

1. Save, share or comment on social media posts.  
2. Post conversation notes with mentions to Instagram stories.
3. Quote tweets with a thank-you note. 
4. Retweet a post relevant to the topic. 
5. Subscribe to newsletters.
6. Send direct messages.
7. Send email. 

Then, it is up to the speaker to show that they are equally interested in collaborating with you. My preferred method of following up is to tweet out from the room immediately after the offer has been made. I am noticing engagement on these kinds of tweets, even from people not in the conversation, and I will continue doing that. 

Summary
It has only been two short weeks but so far, I can say that social audio feels like a casual chat at your local coffee shop. The connections you make tend to be fleeting. And because of that, you should work to build upon them so that your networking efforts become meaningful in retrospect.

When hosting, allow people to freely drop in and out of the room. But make them so comfortable they will apologise for leaving. Maybe you are not hoping to become a branded influencer, and that is okay. But if you cultivate good conversation skills for social audio, you will remain at the top of everyone’s VIP invitation list. And that is where you belong. Hang in there, and good luck with networking.

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New to Greenroom? A guide for noobs

This post is a guide for readers who are curious about “gems” and “g-g-gem farming” on Spotify Greenroom. For the first two days, I have seen a number of people entering rooms to ask, “Hello hello. Where are you from? What is a gem? What are they for?” A very patient person was kind enough to explain, and I will summarise what that person said.

While Greenroom is in its early stages, users of the app are taking advantage of the beta stage to test out theories. Drop-in social audio is relatively new, and users of applications like Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces are learning as they go. 

Gem rooms in Greenroom provide ambient music or casual conversation. These allow you to socialise in a warm and friendly atmosphere as you build up your following. In case you plan to host your own room in future, you will want to have followers you can invite to the room.

From the technical side, giving gems provides the software with information about how you are engaging with the app. Your time ‘on mic’, scrolling, search and other activities are also monitored and logged.

At this point, you should be aware that some people are saying that the Spotify Greenroom team is policing “gem rooms” in ghost mode. So far, hosts are adapting and making sure to keep everyone active and engaged. Below is a quote from one influencer who says she has received first hand accounts of conversations taking place behind the scenes.

@MissSuperNerd⁩ “Gem mining rooms are being watched and not in a good way, and one day you might wake up without an account” Hear more on Welcome Room / Future Social Audio!’ on Greenroom! #greenroom #gems #influencers

https://spotifygr.link/do4Ou4Kqhhb

Originally tweeted by Lily Nicole (@artistlilynico1) on June 21, 2021.

For some users of the app, gems serve as a form of social proof. Someone doing a cursory scan of your profile may assume that you have spent a lot of time in rooms interacting with a lot of people. Some users believe that gems should only be given to people with valuable and quality content. Others say that they are meaningless except to encourage addictive behaviour.

Update 06/23 – Gems can be given every 30 minutes

Other influencers on Greenroom have been complaining that users are collect gems as if they’re cryptocurrency. However, it’s still early days and people will need time to work out how to use the app. I was in a room on Sunday evening and the moderators spoke to each person on stage every 30 minutes. People who didn’t respond after a minute or so were sent down to the audience section.

Later, in the same room, someone did her very best at karaoke and then she was offered free singing lessons from a classically trained singer. This is a great example of networking via social audio. Given what we know so far, it is best to use the app to interact with people in real time.

If it’s not your turn to speak, use the chat section. How do you use the chat feature on Greenroom (iPhone users)?

1. Search for GIFs that resemble the mood of the music. Try to be awful.

2. Write comments during live conversations.

4. Respond to comments, provide links, or offer feedback.

5. Read social media feeds, follow accounts, and ask for follows back.

6. Thank the person who invited you, thank the hosts, and thank anyone else who supported you.

7. If you enjoyed your experience in a room, follow the host so they can invite you back.

The more active you are in each room, the more likely you are to be followed and invited to another room. The interesting thing about Greenroom is that you must follow people in order to be invited by them.

It’s also very important to mute your microphone whenever you join the stage, as ambient sounds will be heard by everyone in the room. While others were speaking, I have heard onions been chopped, a toilet being flushed and something that sounded like potato chips in a bag.

Remember that you can go ahead and host your own room and create your own custom session. 

Finally, there are many cultures and ideas thriving on the same platform. Recognise that people will congregate where they feel welcome. They will also use the application in a way that makes sense to them.

Gem rooms were created to encourage users to cooperate with each other. It is a positive sign when people work out that it makes sense to grow together. If you plan to participate as an observer, then do that. Listen, pay attention to the atmosphere in the room, and participate while keeping the vibes positive. Enjoy drop-in social audio wherever you experience it. 

Originally published on 06/20 – Edited on 06/22.

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about me creative writing fiction technology

A short video, with thanks

(If you’re having any problems viewing the video embedded above, please tell me. It’s in my WordPress media library. The point of upgrading was to not have this issue, WordPreeeeeess.)

Thanks for coming over here to support me when I re-launched as a brand-new entity last Saturday.

Earlier, WordPress responded to the altar call and got right with the Lord, but is now backsliding and error coding my videos. I cannot penetrate this chaos with code, scripts, tags, or commands. Nothing can defeat it. And I have tried everything.

I wish you a brilliant, glitch-free Thursday. (It’s Friday.)

*Big ups to @TonyWijsVA (Twitter) for the ‘frustrated Kylo Ren’ voice over.