Last month, I received an invitation from a friend to join Clubhouse. I was a little surprised by the invitation because I had not heard of Clubhouse before. The invitation-only trial was a clever way to get people to want to join, much the way Facebook was restricted to only college students for a while – prior to having the market command that they fill the shoes that needed to be filled.
Clubhouse is another app from developers in China, a fact that scares me a bit. The reason it scares me is that I’ve heard about China’s efforts to monitor everything and basically have a report card for your entire life, monitoring text messages, family, friends and pretty much everything in someone’s life. Not that the U.S. government doesn’t really do that also but it is scarier when it is a foreign government.
The app creators say that they don’t share data with their government. Maybe they don’t. But, I’ve also heard that companies with a large presence in China are required to share their data. And, that data could contribute to the master trove of data that could be used to essentially control everyone on the planet.
I don’t want to seem paranoid but I think we all need to be very careful about how digital devices are connected to our lives, especially if they are connected to the Internet. Signals can be intercepted. #veryscary
Overall, Clubhouse seems like a great idea, and couldn’t come at a better time considering the number of people who are craving social interaction other than viewing posts on Facebook or Twitter. Zoom calls are o.k. but Zoom is not a “drop-in” service. In fact, they were initially but changed that quickly when people were trying to have serious meetings and people were randomly dropping in. If I were Zoom, I would make it so the links are drop-in optional.
I started to see a lot of people creating accounts on Clubhouse so I’m thankful that I reserved my name @garypick. Or, at least I think I did. Not sure. I don’t see how businesses can create profiles yet but I guess that is the point. It is more for connecting individuals.
This afternoon, I receive a push notification from the app asking me to log in. I clicked that I would log in but found myself in a real estate meeting with two people that I don’t know, or can’t recall meeting. I might be connected to them.
If the Clubhouse team is reading this, I strongly suggest creating a more detailed drop-in notice before dropping in. The other two people in the meeting were like, who the heck is Gary Pick. But, they said hello Gary and I left “quietly.”
I’m sure it will blow up over the next 6 months and will probably have some audio meetings with enormous numbers of listeners. It will be interesting to see how that is handled.