Previous Man yells at Clubhouse, a brand new audio-chat social community

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By Nick Westergaard, Subsequent Up columnist

It’s Tremendous Bowl Sunday and my column isn’t finished. Truly, it isn’t even began.

I’ve procrastinated. Once more.

As I made the stroll of disgrace to my residence workplace in an try to get a draft going earlier than the sport, my spouse requested, “What are you going to jot down about?” I grumbled, “I’ll in all probability simply write an Previous Man Yells at Cloud column about Clubhouse.”

For any non-Simpsons viewers, it is a reference to a front-page newspaper story on the present that includes a picture of Grandpa Simpson, fist shaking within the air underneath the headline “Previous Man Yells at Cloud.”

It’s a joke about an previous man doing an exemplary previous man factor — complaining about one thing that isn’t correctly. At the very least, in line with the older particular person in query.

On this case, that older particular person is me.

On the time of this writing, I’m nearly 43. Which isn’t that previous in human years.

Nonetheless, in social media years, I’m historic. I’ve seen the start of Fb, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat and TikTok and experimented and strategized on the enterprise implications thereof.

And people are those that truly took off.

There was additionally MySpace, Friendster, Path, Ello, the rebooted MySpace, Meerkat, Vine, Yik Yak and extra. To say nothing of Google’s numerous makes an attempt akin to Orkut, Google Buzz, Google Wave and Google+.

These networks all got here alongside and we eagerly received underneath the hood and found out all the new and thrilling methods we may use them to construct manufacturers and join with clients.

Nonetheless, as evidenced by this checklist, it’s been rather a lot.

As I’m fond of claiming, extra isn’t at all times higher. Generally extra is simply extra.


And lately, although a few of Fb’s dominance has been blunted, a lot of the exercise has coalesced across the aforementioned main gamers.

Consequently, only a few new networks have entered the house.

Till now.

Introducing Clubhouse

Google “Clubhouse” and also you’ll discover the next sober Wikipedia entry: “Clubhouse is an invitation-only audio-chat social networking app launched in 2020 by software program builders Alpha Exploration Co.”

In just below a yr — regardless of launching within the midst of a world pandemic — the community has grown to 600,000 registered customers and is valued at practically $1 billion.

Whereas lots of the networks famous beforehand have skilled meteoric rises of their very own, this pacing makes Clubhouse value watching.

Okay, However What Is It?

Clubhouse is an app-based social community, that means you obtain an app, create a profile and join with others.

That’s a bit of tougher proper now as Clubhouse at present is in an invite-only non-public beta. So if you already know somebody with invitations to spare, they’ll nominate you for membership.

This can be a enjoyable little factor new social networks do within the identify of “testing the platform” and “understanding the kinks” whereas additionally constructing a bit of promoting pleasure by means of exclusivity.

Constructing on the recognition of podcasting and the necessity for protected, on-line occasion programming within the time of COVID, Clubhouse options golf equipment and digital rooms on numerous subjects from the skilled — entrepreneurship, advertising, tech — to the non-public — courting, politics, social points.

Once more, it’s value noting in an period the place Zoom fatigue could be very actual, Clubhouse is audio solely.

The rooms have particular roles together with audio system and moderators who’re conversing on these digital phases. Clubhouse viewers members enter rooms quietly on mute and lift their fingers in the event that they wish to communicate.


For instance, as I write this I’m listening in on a dialog in a room titled “Constructing Model Authority as Edupreneurs/Trainer Influencers” facilitated by Kwame Sarfo-Mensah.

I’ve additionally listened in on conversations that includes Malcolm Gladwell, Adam Grant and Justine Bateman — a love of 1980s TV ought to observe with the general demography I’m representing on this article.

What’s Totally different About Clubhouse?

I’m informed we’ve got a query from the Previous Man Yelling at Cloud: “Why do we want one other social community? What does Clubhouse do this’s so particular?”

Clubhouse sits at a convergence of traits.

Audio content material has been rising in new and distinctive methods over the previous few years as evidenced by the 2020 Infinite Dial examine noting that 55 % of Individuals have listened to podcasts, with 24 % listening month-to-month.

As main audio gamers akin to Spotify assert dominance within the podcasting house, this listening is changing into much more private from the listener’s perspective, with the power to primarily program their very own distinctive audio expertise made up of podcasts and music.

Whereas these choices are extra formal and one-directional — professionally produced exhibits and music — Clubhouse can present interactive rooms the place moderators can contain the viewers in dialog with their audio system.

At a time when in-person conferences and occasions have screeched to a halt on account of well being considerations, Clubhouse customers can discover themselves in a digital “hallway” that includes quite a lot of programmed subjects mirroring the in-person expertise together with the interactivity and spontaneity of reside occasions.

Clubhouse even leans in to this by calling their homepage social feed the hallway.

Why Ought to Companies Care?

The Previous Man is again with extra fist-shaking questions, “OK, I do know what it’s and the way it’s totally different. Why ought to my enterprise care about this? We now have sufficient to do and are pushed to the max already! Now we’ve got to get on Clubhouse, too?!”

Sluggish your roll, Previous Man (“Previous Man” who can be me who I’m writing a dialog to proper now).


Guidelines advertising — doing issues only for the sake of doing them — might be very harmful.

Clubhouse has rather a lot going for it, mainly these rising numbers — each customers and valuation — and distinctive market positioning shored up by the recognition and personalization of audio content material and new types of connection and interplay at a time when that’s tougher than ever.

Companies ought to concentrate on Clubhouse.

What to do past preserving observe of this shiny new factor is determined by your online business, your distinctive aims and your business. Listed here are a number of examples of some companies and industries that will wish to think about greater than a toe-in-the-water technique in relation to Clubhouse:

• Neighborhood-based companies — If your online business is determined by fostering group amongst clients by means of conferences and reside studying, Clubhouse may aid you mirror this in a web based setting.

Examples embody know-how and software program firms.

• Content material-based companies — In case your advertising combine features a strong content material technique, Clubhouse may aid you add extra interactivity and connectivity to your present content material.

Examples embody b2b companies or these with advanced gross sales cycles.

• Character-based companies — In case you’re an entertainer, marketing consultant, public speaker or private model, Clubhouse may resolve a key problem related to being one individual behind such a model.

That’s as a result of Clubhouse presents an answer for scaling your 1:1 interactions with viewers members.

I hope this helps you make sense of Clubhouse. Whereas it holds quite a lot of potential, entrepreneurs must be extra targeted than ever with their methods and sources.


As with many issues in our distracted, digital world, with new advertising channels it’s essential to seek out the appropriate steadiness between pleasure and skepticism.

Now, in case you’ll excuse me, I simply noticed an out-place-cloud that wants yelling at .

Nick Westergaard is advertising strategist, keynote speaker and writer of “Model Now” and “Get Scrappy”; [email protected]; @NickWestergaard.

OMG is continually cementing what Social-First means, the way it positively transforms society over the long-term and most significantly, it have to be the business mannequin companies convert to. The ethics we reside by, form our values and tradition. We now have made nice strides due to the assist we obtain from the general public.



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