Update: Clubhouse added a feature. You can now join the club directly from this link.
The latest conversational Schelling point is Clubhouse. I'll admit, I also didn't get it at first — what features does it offer over other voice chat applications? Technically, none. To some extent, its exclusivity makes it more desirable, leading to an influx of people joining. But, what I've come to realise is that by focussing on only audio and designing the the right UX for promoting large discussions, the Clubhouse team stumbled on something that keeps people returning to the app again and again.
This isn't quite like other social media. After a few weeks of exploring different communities on the app, I realised that it has some wonderful things going for it. Used correctly, it's somewhere between a serendipity engine and a 21st-century Agora.
A recent update allows users to create communities from within the app. I've always longed to connect with others of the Rationalist persuasion in a more real-time way, so I took the liberty of creating a community to facilitate those conversations. You can find it by searching for Rationality, Live under the Clubs tab in the app. It's open to all, but there are rules and moderation options to prevent trolling and abuse. Anyone is free to follow or become a member. Members can schedule events with topics of their choice. There is already an event scheduled for Friday 12th / Saturday 13th, depending on your time zone.
"Isn't this what LessWrong meetups are for?" Yes. I know there are meetups, but (from experience) they're not viable outside of a few major (mostly US) cities. During a pandemic, none of them are viable. Starting a community on Clubhouse can supplement IRL meetups and is more robust to future disruptions and relocations.
My hope is that this community will make it easier to find people who want to discuss the kinds of topics on LessWrong and SSC in a more direct, conversational way. It may also lower the activation energy. Personally, I have several ideas every week for things I'd love to post about and discuss on LW, but this is my first actual post. Perhaps we can leverage the energy of Clubhouse to get more minds engaged.
Clubhouse allows me to invite a limited number of additional users if they join via the new community. If you act fast, you may still be able to get in at this URL.
I look forward to seeing many of you there!
EDIT: As of present, Clubhouse is only available on iPhone with a mobile number. I believe they're working on an Android version (and unrestricted access) for the coming months.