Gas station without pumps

2020 June 29

Mad at myself and Zoom

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 19:29
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Yesterday I was serving as the technician for a Zoom memorial event for my Dad, who died last Wednesday.  My sister handled the MC role, and several of us gave short eulogies.  My task was to share a screen of a slide show before and after the speeches, mute and unmute mics during the speeches, give one speech, and record the session.

I screwed up in two ways:

  • At the beginning of the speeches, I forgot to press the “record” button until a couple of minutes in, in the middle of the first eulogy.
  • At the end, I shared the screen for the post-talk slide show, but accidentally started the pre-talk slide show (which was almost identical), so everyone saw just the initial slide.

Those mistakes are both mine, so why am I mad at Zoom? Mainly because the feedback to the presenter is so poor:

  • The “recording” indicator is tiny, and nothing is shown when not recording, so there is little visual indication that you forgot to start recording.
  • When sharing the screen, the presenter is not shown what everyone else is seeing.  I was seeing the window that was running the slide show, completely unaware that everyone else was seeing a different window.  Zoom had shrunk the chat box, so the message to me that the image was frozen scrolled out of the chat box before I noticed.

I had one job to do … (well really 5, but I screwed up 2 of them).

These were good lessons for me about using Zoom (always scroll the chat box back, even if you are sure you’ve seen everything, always ask for confirmation that the shared screen is what you think it is, always check for the tiny recording indicator if you mean to record), but I sure wish that they had not happened during the memorial for my Dad.

I don’t know why Zoom does not show the presenter what the audience is seeing—having the Zoom window disappear may be a reasonable option, but there should be some way to stop it from happening.


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