The urge to knock power off of its seat is widespread. From the “speak truth to power” instinct through to the Black Lives Matter rebellion and, yes, even the assault on the Capitol, people everywhere are open to participating in bottoms up power. And in direct proportion, others want to stop them.
In this week’s That Was The Week we include lots of content relevant to these trends. Key among them is David Sacks piece written for Persuasion outlining how the “outsider” is confronted with being silenced or stopped by “insiders”. He draws a straight line between Trump’s de-platforming by powerful elites in social media, the banning of Parler, by the same elites, and the more recent closure of the “wallstreetbets” forum on the Discord app. He seems them all as part of a slippery slope to top-down authoritarianism.
That is complemented by the All-In Podcast where Sacks, Chamath Palihapitiya, Jason Calacanis and David Frieberg debate the issue - it makes fascinating viewing. My wife has decided she prefers it to Meet the Press and Morning Joe - for those news junkies among you.
Clubhouse is the most recent addition to the bottoms-up content toolset. After doing my first Clubhouse session last week, I now believe it represents the future of online streaming. Up until now, streaming has been passive and one-directional - as in, a stream. But with Clubhouse the software places individuals into three groups. Those on the stage who can speak - as if on Zoom. Those in the middle who have asked to speak, who are listening to the stream, can be brought onstage. And those in the audience can raise their hand and ask to be placed on the stage. They are stream recipients only. By combining streaming with interactivity, Clubhouse has created a more engaged, interactive medium. Hopin has done the same for events - with streamed keynotes, breakout rooms, exhibitors who can engage with visitors and so on. This is “watch parties” on steroids. We are close to adding “digital seats” to any event, have it streamed, and engaged with, in real-time.
With the advent of WebRTC streaming (see Millicast.com
) where low latency video and audio can co-exist with interactive groups, the old experience of a stream and a chat (Twitch for example) is being upgraded in front of our eyes into a fully interactive audio/video alongside a latency-free stream. With Millicast, this can scale to millions of viewers with thousands of interactive groups. The future looks like Clubhouse, only better. Around.co
is capable of similar features for team collaboration and webinars and workshops, where people sit around the content.