This Developing Story

TDS 77 Is Clubhouse Hurting the Developer Community?

Episode Summary

Clubhouse feels like the shiny new gatekeeper -- intentionally excluding folks without the means or connections to get in. Is this new platform an opportunity for developers to connect while the pandemic is still here or are we perpetuating the gatekeeping that prevents access for underprivileged developers?

Episode Transcription

Episode 77 of this developing story.

All right. What's up friends. Welcome back. Another podcast episode. I'm actually enjoying doing this. I think I've figured out the format. If you don't know yet. I am recording podcast episodes every other week. On Fridays on So I like robot, which is my YouTube channel. It's been a great place to have conversation chat with a small group of you.

And if you want to show up live, definitely hit subscribe over there and you'll get notifications when I'm live doing the the podcast recording. But speaking of which, this episode is actually focused on a tweet. I saw around clubhouse being the. Audio only app on the iPhone that's invite only.

I share my experience my first time hosting a clubhouse event, but also my first time actually using clubhouse. It's kinda been a whirlwind and I hope you enjoy if you are in clubhouse. Definitely give me a follow shoot me over a message of your name. Actually just follow me. I think we'll get a notification and I'll follow you back and yeah, I'm happy to chat with folks on there and we should create a club, the open-source club.

I think, I don't know. We'll create a name, but yeah. So looking forward to that's the conversation with my insight. Let me know what you think about it. Definitely hit me up on Twitter. B-to-B on Twitter and I'll see you on the other side.

And yeah, so I wanted to actually take some time and talk about clubhouse being it's funny. Cause clubhouse I had an experience earlier this week where I. Solid matter debit. And I don't know, nav, it comes up a lot. He's the one that, who early on, he invited me to his podcast, but I bring that up because I was following his Twitter and he did a clubhouse meeting group room talking about something.

I don't know what it was, but I just saw that he did it and I wanted the opportunity to, try that out myself. So I ended up. I fumbling through the clubhouse app, which is really challenging. I don't know how many people actually use this thing, but. Like when you open up the app, you get this this is not going to work with the lighting, but you get this a clubhouse.

I should have actually probably grabbed my screen too as well. I could did that too, but maybe for in the future if I do talk about mobile apps, but like when you go on clubhouse, you can join a room. You could also see rooms that are set in the future. So like right now they have a black Friday, I guess it was a black Friday channel.

Black founders club, which is a club that I'm I'm in and that's the other thing you could actually join clubs. And then in that club. So I'm going to click on the breakfast champion millionaire thing, and we'll see if Club hop on over there. We'll be talking social media, doing some Q and a so on and so forth.

Thank you guys so much. Okay. Yeah. So this is the room had just ended. Excellent. But yeah, this is basically the experience you just go in there. It's awkward people Bumble and talk through and not everybody's presenter. Which is fine. It gives everybody an opportunity to have their space, to make conversation.

And I really appreciate that. And I've been in clubhouse for like probably two months now. And the entire time I've been in clubhouse. I've had a whole different experience than most people have had. So like when I read this this tweet clubhouse feels like a shiny new gatekeeper intentionally excluding folks without the means without means or connections to get in. It's heartbreaking to see tech influencers who have been championing tech equity for so long and jumping on the back of bandwagon without qualms now. I responded, this is a take I had not considered cause when I did my clubhouse, but I did a I did a call out and said, Hey, I'm going to be doing a clubhouse.

Cause I saw matter. He did one. So the next day I was like, Hey, actually that day it was like, Hey, I'm going to mess around and do my own clubhouse. So I basically took me like probably 30 minutes to figure out how to create a club or a house or whatever these rooms. And then I created it, sent this tweet out.


And I sent it out for three hours in advance because I was about to go into a meeting and I couldn't figure out how to like, share a link to a clubhouse that I built that I created just right then and at the second. So anyway, long story short, I made it in advance three hours later, I came back and then figured out you can actually invite people to clubhouse.

You have to, you actually have to be invited and then you also have to be invited through people, through iPhone contacts, which is like another hoop. Cause I don't see anybody's numbers in my phone. So like the only people I know are the people I know in real life, which is why I had a different experience in clubhouse, because everybody I know on this phone is not people.

I know they're tech. These are, everybody knows through tech. I know through LinkedIn get hub. Discord Twitter. I don't know any of those people on this phone as far as like phone numbers. So all the people I know in real life, those are, if I could say they're mostly black people. And so the people who invited me to clubhouse it happened to be a person I go to church with.

He's a black guy born and raised in West Oakland. He has a different upbringing experience. But I appreciate that. That's what I love about that friendship. When I joined clubhouse, I went to all these black channels and I thought I had the impression that this was a black app. That sounds really silly.

I know this is going to like either be super funny or offensive. So let me explain what I mean by black app. So on Twitter, there's this thing called black Twitter and it's not a real Twitter. It's basically. How do I explain this? It's there's a Reddit group called black people Twitter, and this is like a subset of what black Twitter is, but it's basically everybody has their own life experiences.
Yeah. So this is some summarizes, like the experience that I was having on clubhouse, which is basically someone who's basically complaining about, I don't know, Chrissy Tiegen actually spent $13,000. This sort of like real hot takes from black people about things they see on Twitter. This is what clubhouse was to me because these are the people who influenced, who introduced me to clubhouse.

So when I see a tweet from someone who's done tech. And this is not even a, it's not a hot take. It's just me understanding what's happening. Because I did not even have this take. When I see this as gatekeepers for people who are connected through tech, then I say, Oh, you know what?

That's different. That's not the experience I want to give. I don't want to base, I don't want to say, Hey, I'm going to give you an hour and a half of free information. But instead of doing a podcast or a live stream on YouTube, like this. Instead, I'm going to do it on clubhouse where you can't go, you can't join.
And that was not the intention. When I did that to GitHub actions hour and a half that I did. And also I just wanna throw out it was an hour and a half. It was 45 minutes and I didn't have a topic. I just asked people for topics. And that's a topic. Someone told me to do actually matter, told me to do this.

And it was a great conversation. Like I got to learn from other people. I learned from someone from Peloton, how these get of actions. And there were floods. I went from no matter what his interests were, I worked from other people. How they're living legend, leveraging get hub actions in the wild and are able to talk through basically what I do for my day job.

Like how to use GitHub actions and answer questions. And I really appreciated that was a great experience. And I felt like I learned and was receiving. Lots of information from that that one experience doing clubhouse, I felt was great. I came out with a positive, like positively influenced by the experience I was planning on doing two or three more of these things.

And when I read this and I didn't even get to the  tweet from Kent Kemp, Ken, somebody, I really respect an open source space and I still respect. And. He threw, it threw out a tweet about clubhouse and how you get it. Literally just do the same thing on discord. And to me, I think that is a really valid case.

Like I could literally do the same thing I was just doing on discord. I think the challenge is if I wanted to do that with as a get hub employee who talks about GitHub features, I would have to go through so many hoops to get a discord set up internally and say, okay, we're assigned for this quarter.

And then nothing's worse than having a community that needs to get managed after the one-time event. So I can't do to do a discord. I would have to, and this is me based basically rebutting Quinn's tweet, which I could have replied, but I'm dumbfounded. So I didn't really have a good, concise answer.

Like I can't set up a discord for the sake of talking about getting actions, because discord is going to have to be there as a femoral. Like it's a community that has expectations for a management. Like I have a community open sauce, which I wish I was doing a better job in managing that community. That.

Is something I probably could have did there, but I've tried to keep the GitHub and opensource separate. And I don't want to GitHub to think that open source is the opportunity for me to sell, get hub or whatever. So I just don't use, usually I usually do get hub focused things on open sauce and that discord.

So I. I think this works. If you already have an existing community if you're already a part of a community, which I'm part of the party, corrugate discord, a part of, I'm not part of Ken's discord and I've never signed up, but I'm part a couple of this chords. I don't really see when we talk about gatekeeping.

I'd never see it as if I walk in there and say, Hey, I want to do an impromptu chat and discord. Give me access and I'm going to, I'm going to basically sell people and give them actions. It feels weird. Like I would never do that if I had a chat and just Hey, let me tell you about angel investing.

Or let me tell you about, react, I guess I could ask, but does that really a pathway for me to really understand how that, what the process is? It's a code of conduct, but no, one's really figured that out in discord. Like I think people who sit around in discord all day probably feel comfortable and confident to be able to say yes, Hey, I'm going to use this cord to make the shot.

So what I'm getting at is things with clubhouse, it appears to have a barrier of entry because there's invites. But if you want you to remove that sort of idea of the barrier of entry, it actually, it doesn't have a barrier of entry. The only barrier of entry is really, you have to know someone who's in to be connected.

And the challenge that I have is that most people who follow me on Twitter, aren't connected to me on the phone. So it's hard. It was really hard for me to invite people. To my clubhouse event, to the point where I only did four people. And then I gave up because I had to add them to my phone and had sent a text message, confirmed that I'd get them in my contacts and then invite them to clubhouse.

That's a pain. And then everybody who was in my context that I was, I thought to invite was already in clubhouse. So I understand like there's there is a sort of elite ism when it comes to clubhouse, but I literally, I was in a clubhouse last night. With 21 Savage, 21 Savage to rapper, not in tech.

He was also talking okay. With some other rapper that I've never heard of because I'm irrelevant. I'm too old to care, but what I'm getting at is that has nothing to do with tech. So when you start thinking about like the privilege, yeah. People who are big and a big deal, like 21 Savage could do a clubhouse.

People will show up and they'll sit and talk and have conversation. That's great. I don't think I can bring in the hundreds of people that he brought into his room. So I think what it is that clubhouse is a blank canvas. It really is a blank canvas that we're all trying to mold into what our life experiences are.

And once you start taking away your life experiences, then it's actually. It's much better than what you think it is.  You tried to apply. Okay. These tech influencers are now doing like startup pitches and giving access to investment. I don't know if it's actually that cool. It reminds me of like high school when I didn't spend a lot of time hanging out with everybody in high school.
There were a group of people who I associated with to go out and party and have parties like on the weekend, stuff like that. Like I'd never really What's involved in that it seemed like it was a lot of fun, but when I talked to all those people nowadays it wasn't really that great. There was a bunch of people sitting around looking at each other.

Thanks for listening to this podcast. And I just want to let you know that I'm going to be doing a future clubhouse. So definitely follow me on Twitter. I'll tweet it out. I'm also going to be starting up these open sauce chats on discord. If you want to have a conversation with me, I'm going to be doing that on this cord.
Probably open it up on the livestream as well on Twitch. I want people to feel like they have access to asking questions to me, but also getting value out of the community. So I will be setting that up pretty soon. So definitely if you're not into discord, go to, click the discord link and you're in that's it you're invited.

So with that being said, stay saucy.