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OPLIN 4Cast #696: Beating Up on Zoom

Posted in 4cast

Like most of you, I’m on one video-conferencing platform or another several times a day, and more often than not, it’s Zoom. I kind of like Zoom; the controls make sense to me, and it lets me play with virtual backgrounds so I can pretend I’m underwater or in space. But Zoom isn’t on Ohio’s Department of Administrative Services’ list of approved tools for state agencies; neither is it recommended for library and local government use. Here’s a round-up of some recent Zoom news, as well as signs of competition emerging to undermine Zoom’s dominance.

  • A Theory of Zoom Fatigue [The Convivial Society] “The problem with video-conferencing is that the body is but isn’t there. This means that our minds are at least partly frustrated as they deploy their non-conscious repertoire of perceptive skills.”
  • Messenger Rooms are Facebook’s answer to Zoom and Houseparty for the pandemic [The Verge] “The feature…will allow up to 50 people to join a call. The room’s creator can decide whether it’s open to all or lock it to prevent uninvited guests from joining. You’ll be able to start a room from Messenger and Facebook to start. Later, rooms will come to Instagram Direct, WhatsApp, and Portal.”
  • Big companies dominate video chat. Meet the startups racing to disrupt them [Protocol] “The point is, simply enabling video-based conversations won’t be enough for long. The next step will be to build on top of video — to make it more fun, more productive, more functional for all the different ways people naturally talk and collaborate. There are billions of dollars up for grabs for whoever can figure it out, and more competition than ever.”
  • Zoom security: Your meetings will be safe and secure if you do these 10 things [ZDNet] “Is Zoom video conferencing safe to use or isn’t it? That all depends on how well you follow these best practices.”

From the Ohio Web Library: