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The Clubhouse Revolution and Facebook Purges
The 2nd part looking into tech, collaboration and connections with change-makers
This is the 2nd part of a newsletter exploring aspects of coliving, narrative, and community.
In this one I focus on tech and wider collaborative movements. Exploring the recent rise of clubhouse and what makes it special. As well as the damaging problems of censorship showing up in legacy platforms.
Find the previous post here
✦ ONCE coliving- where is it now?
▲ Memes in Finance - what did this event reveal?
⚫️ Brexit impacts - cross border community and creativity.
◼️ Tech Trends - is clubhouse worthy of the hype?
⩚ Game B vs Facebook - the changing state of the internet.
◼️ Clubhouse - Conversational Innovation &
I’ve been considering the best way to approach this newsletter as it could be more formal / specific to the progressions of ONCE.
Yet I’m drawn to sharing the context from which these plans arise, the related problems we can see today and more honest reflections from me personally.
From the nature of the mission I feel little separation between life and “work” so to me it makes sense that the style of this change over time.
I’ve also been particularly inspired by the journals from Peter Lindberg of The Stoa. If you haven’t heard of this channel/community I highly recommend checking out the conversations as I believe it’s one of the most interesting places on the internet right now.
And speaking of the conversations I’d like to talk a little about CLUBHOUSE.
I spent 80% of the past weekend on this new platform and I can finally see why Silicon Valley twitter was raving about it since May.
Think of it like participatory podcasts or a never-ending conference of everything™.
It totally brings a whole new dynamic into the social media space and has some pretty revolutionary aspects to it. I particularly like the simplicity that gives rise to emergent social behaviours.
I will breakdown a few of these aspects briefly and share some insights i've gained.
Voice has a very different feeling to it. It activates a different part of the brain and the immediacy of conversation brings far more authenticity to the rooms. Its live and unscripted, and once you find the right kind of people it can bring real serendipity and connection.
Clubhouse brings huge diversities in background and perspective. Part of me is concerned this will become a cultural battleground between strong ideologies and those bringing echo chamber arguments. But considering the emphasis on listening, I actually believe it offers a radical solution to division by its design if clubhouse can walk that thin line of neutrality.
There is a huge amount of hope within the platform from my experience, the way everyone learns to moderate themselves brings a whole new training ground in alternatives for democracy. I share this optimism and easily see the potential of immediate and global conversation, especially in times of covid. China banned clubhouse recently which was seemingly inevitable but it's hard to imagine how any kind of clone could carry through the nature of uncensored speech that people could trust.
The Subtle Trust Network
I love looking under the hood of clubhouse. The subtle social dynamics built into it that work wonders on a marketing and experience side. For instance, it pings you when new friends arrive on the platform so you can welcome (onboard) them. New moderators pick up moderation skills from others, and from my POV the real innovation is in this “social technology”.
But one thing I’d like to draw attention to is the recommendation system, as this feeds strongly into the design of the ONCE community. Everyone’s clubhouse profile shows who invited them in. I doubt this means anything in tangible terms but it creates a subtle reminder that you have been vouched for and incentivises good behaviour on the app.
The limited invites also generates a sense of gratitude the more positive experience there is of the app.
The king of FOMO.
By this point the feeling already may be here and perhaps I'm adding to this now. Can't say I get miffed about being on another platforms waiting list but it's a brave play to scale a company purely by recommendations.
But the thing is the FOMO doesn't go away. Once you've been into rooms and experienced the value of a generative conversation it's very easy to start wondering what possible room you could also be missing out on.
Just like twitter I find myself torn sometimes in how I classify this social media as a distraction or poor use of my time. These are the times of tech, where its not a choice of having the cake, or eating it, but knowing how to stop when the recipe keeps getting better.
◼️ Game B vs Facebook
I've noticed something over the course of this past year which has felt quite profound. It feels as though the internet has gone from being this huge overwhelming metropolis to more a smaller network of overlapping villages and towns.
As though I'd discovered edges to this thing I'd always seen as infinite.
I’m experiencing increased serendipity online, while also developing a radically more global perspective than before.
One of these towns I’m feeling more at home in every day is that of Game B. It's a ragtag group of radical thinkers, with passionate but varied people all involved in interesting stuff, with many of the actionable aspects lead by the unique but deeply insightful Jim Rutt.
The Admin Purge
In late January all of the admins of game B got banned at the same time. It immediately sent a shockwave through the group and clearly rattled the moderating team who were likely caught completely off guard, as there’s no way their behaviour stepped over any fb community guidelines.If you're interested to learn about what happened Jim Rutt's been speaking about it on multiple podcasts. And so this town of the internet has begun to shift to mighty networks.
I've looked closely into this platform offering as well as many others in preparation for the ONCE community launch this year.As somebody trying to connect authentically with others online through content and events, I've certainly been finding it difficult to effectively reach people with the secularisation shift that's happening, where communities are retreating from large platforms into varied other groups and platforms.What i'm most interested in is using a combo of tools to allow flexibility and tailoring them for needs based on how people use them.
⩚ Catalysing Social Entrepreneurs
But I've found a strong resonance with those contributing to the Game B space, and recently connected with Vincent Arena, who voiced his enthusiasm around the Open Creative Alliance and it's mission. Knowing Vincent now and what moves him, he embodies the ideal archetype of the OCA and brings a great leaning toward action in social change.
He's been building a platform for connecting and mapping the communities of social entrepreneurship (shown above) and sees many of the same problems I've been looking at around co-ordination, inter-operability and collaboration between these projects and groups.
We've both been inspired recently by new definitions of systems entrepreneurs or exopreneurs as defined in the provisional whitepaper from Cicolab.
Me, charles, vincent and a few others will be creating a new club on clubhouse to discuss these definitions and ways to catalyse this kind of problem solving.
Find us on there!
@vincentarena @kennykencan @loveolv
As always big appreciation for your interest in these explorations. I hope this was useful or informative for you in some way.