Abhijit BhaduriGuest Author
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Trends and Weak Signals

By | Abhijit Bhaduri |Keynote speaker, Author and Columnist

What did you learn this week? That was Estelle Metayer who goes by the twitter handle @Competia. She was hosting a Clubhouse room that had music composer Philip Sheppard – on twitter as @PhilipSheppard (see his website to learn more) and me as the moderators. That question sparked off a storm of ideas in the room.

The magic of dropping audio lies in the serendipity and the random connections that it creates stop you’ll never know who is going to drop in and listen or be pulled up on stage to ask a question or just share their point of view. It is free flowing like any drawing room conversation among friends. The more diverse the group the greater is the possibility of interesting ideas coming up during a chat. That is just how it was.

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The conversation flows like a brook. It bounces, changes course and stabilises before disappearing from sight. The same happened in this room. The credit goes to the diverse group of people who were there. From design futurists to musicians, academics, conference organisers, writers and techies – they were all there.

Here are some snapshots of the conversation.

Voice – how it is evolving

  • With the increasing number of voice assistance like Siri or Alexa coming up, merchants are trying to level best to understand how they can get their product or service indexed on voice assistants

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Clubhouse is the go-to app for Many of the apps like Zoom or Skype have “latency”. Latency refers to a short period of delay (usually measured in milliseconds) between when an audio signal enters a system and when it emerges. Since clubhouse does not seem to have any latency it has emerged as a favourite among musicians even though the audio quality of clubhouse may not be as clean as other apps. Should the makers of clubhouse, work to improve the quality of audio of the app and delete the existing users? Listening to customers is a good idea, right? Not always. It could stop you from learning why the rest of the world (those who do not use the app now) would like before they adopt the app.

  • Nokia had a much better camera than their competitors. The customers did not really care. Avoid measuring the wrong metrics.

Audio app with a “dress code”

I learnt that some Clubhouse rooms have a “dress code”. So how how does an audio only app, check what you are wearing? These rooms use a feature called ‘pull down to refresh’ which is often used to refresh the room periodically. Hold down the screen with one finger and release it to refresh the app to see how many new members you have in the audience. It also lets people refresh their profile pictures with new ones. In some rooms the speakers must have black and white photos. Some want their speakers’ profile photos in a certain coloured headgear. You get the drift… ? Clever!!!

Will clubhouse remain just as popular when the pandemic ends and people can meet each other in person?

Will clubhouse remain just as popular when the pandemic ends and people can meet each other in person?

The app addresses a deeper need for authentic, positive and spontaneous conversations. The biggest feature of the app is the possibility of serendipity that is built in. Anyone can pop into any room (that is open) and listen/participate in the conversation. There are rooms where people meditate in silence. Many of the rooms are packed.

Could Clubhouse replace in-person conferences?

The real magic of a confidence lies not just in the content that is presented on stage but in the informal conversations over coffee and the friendships and bonds formed in the corridors. Clubhouse has the feel of serendipity built in. Each speaker who gets into a room brings along their tribe of followers and creates endless possibilities of connections and ideation.

Maybe we will have three kinds of social media connections:

  • Where we have known people IRL (in real life) and then moved the relationship online. So the online version is really to maintain the relationship. Think of the WhatsApp groups of your friends and family to be in this category.

  • The second category of your social interactions are those that have started online through shared interests and ideology. You may or may not ever meet them IRL. Some of these could be people you meet in online dating sites. Shared hobbies and interest groups are in this category.

  • The third category consists of friends you bump into online through pure serendipity (much like a speaker/ participant you meet for the first time online). These are weak ties. The most innovative ideas get sparked through these. Clubhouse is in this category

Then someone spoke about the “Metaverse”

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Games and ‘metaverse’ will gobble up the Internet

Metaverse is typically used to describe the concept of a future iteration of the internet, made up of persistent, shared, 3D virtual spaces linked into a perceived virtual universe. Read more.

Gaming platforms like Roblox are creating their own entertainment system complete with their own payment systems, language, fan base, influencers and shared terminology and code. This is already much bigger than the music and sports industry combined. And it continues to grow.

Why is gaming so popular – especially with the youth?

It gives hope to anyone who plays. You can start learning a game at any time and become the best player ever. Progress depends on your dedication to the game. You can die and then come back to restart your life again. You can learn from your mistakes and move ahead. Many deaths and many lives makes it a system where one does not ever have to give up hope. Could real life learn from the metaverse to be more forgiving?

Republished with permission and originally published at www.abhijitbhaduri.com

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