When I got to Twitter, that microactivity shifted over time to both that platform and Instagram.
But I still like to write – and so you can count on me for at least 30 contributions per year over the past few years.
Other people just didn’t keep up at all.
2) Finding good content is difficult.
Choosing a topic is difficult. It’s hard to be interesting. It’s hard to keep in touch with your audience. That’s the way traffic goes.
Most clubhouse rooms are pretty awful, much like most conference panels are pretty awful.
This benefit law applies to podcasts, TikToks, meetups, blogs, Instagram accounts, newsletters, skillshare courses, etc.
The two sides of the “democratization” of this form of expression, while no longer indebted to laziness, cronyism, and structural inequality in the programmed media world, open the floodgates and let audiences dominate conversations, often with mixed results.
I mean, Soundcloud spits out a Billie Eilish every now and then, but most of it is a sea of mediocrity. It’s hard to be really good, and not everyone will find a following. Continuous content production and no success will ultimately discourage people and they will quit.
Especially when they are pushed aside and …
3) The pros take over.
In 2007, Fred Wilson wrote the following about how blogs have changed:
“The other thing that has changed is that a lot of the blogs I“ grew up ”with are no longer individual blogs. Rafat has a team, Arrington has a team, Om has a team. ARS, RRW, SAI, Valleywag are all group blogs. They’re much better at streaming blog posts throughout the day, but they’re not the same as Mike and Om blogging with me. And you can’t compete with an army of bloggers in the Techmeme rankings. “
As social media tends to go, it tends to professionalize itself. Sometimes indie developers turn into professionals for practical reasons – because if you do something well you can get paid for it too, which requires some infrastructure and extra effort to keep up the quality that people pay for.
People who are really good will rise high enough that they can focus on it and leave everyone in the dust. The money will go to mentoring this group, and so will the new features.
Years ago, Andy Weissman referred to Twitter’s change in the way @replies on Twitter were viewed as “The GaryVee Feature”. It used to be that you would see when you followed someone on Twitter everything You wrote – including half-conversations in response to people you didn’t follow. For some, it was a great way to discover the friends and colleagues of people you followed.
For others it became unmanageable. Gary Vaynerchuk used Twitter 24/7 to build an audience. Every two minutes it shouted at people who “killed” it, as Trump throws paper towels. It went undetectable – until Twitter made the change to hide responses on people you didn’t follow.
It allowed people who had professionalized their social media to engage with their audiences on a massive scale (and to show Comcast that they provide crappy service to everyone they mentored).
That will also happen to Clubhouse and Substack. Function development ultimately follows money – and the money is in the whales, not in the long tail.
In other cases the professionalization comes from other media. For example, if you look at the list of the most visited Twitter and YouTube accounts, most of the time they are people who have gained a following of “mainstream media” such as musicians or existing media companies outside of the platform.
How long does it take for the most popular clubhouse to be either CNN Townhall or Josh Constine’s newly formed clubhouse media company JoshCo?
In fact, these platforms often go mainstream because of this type of usage. When the news outlets started posting their Twitter handles on TV shows, tons of people were brought to the platform. These outlets require a lot of features that the long-tail users don’t really need – and the platform ultimately focuses on making CNN happy rather than making it easier for someone to get out of nowhere and improve the charts.
4) People like their friends more than strangers – unless the strangers are amazing.
In search of meaning, clubhouse sometimes feels like an odd cross between a support group and an SXSW session. The audience is taking up more and more time – it’s less about learning from experts than about making contact with like-minded people.
At some point, people realize that they’d rather connect directly with these new online friends (or people they know from real life) in smaller, private groups than constantly trying to entertain others or suffer.
This will be a real test in the summer. With COVID numbers dropping and outdoor activities reopening, people will be excited to connect with other people in real life – which really raises the bar for attending the clubhouse via social connection with friends.
Come on a Wednesday evening in June at 7pm. Where do I want to be in 2021? I feel like you are less likely to be in the clubhouse if you aren’t Really Like all the people you hear from or the quality of the content cannot be missed.
In the latter case, I wonder if the ability to move this level of quality from your favorite podcasts to later at night or during a walk or workout is unsuccessful.
I am all for researching these new platforms. I will join them when they come out, but I will not stay with all of them. Sometimes that’s because I prefer to be with my wife or friends. Other times, I just can’t dance or play cards well enough to be on TikTok.
In any case, I encourage you to go your own way. Share and get involved as you like, because there’s never something everyone does – and even if they do, most people don’t stick with it.
If you want to explore together and are in NYC, join me this Thursday, January 21st at 8:30 am (CET) when I open a regular room for NYC investors, founders, and innovators at the Clubhouse.