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Andy Sullivan: Against the Grain

Who’s Zooming Who

This is not a column about Aretha Franklin’s 1985 song “Who’s Zoomin’ Who”, which means who’s scoping out whom.  This is about the rapid rise of the Zoom videoconference app.  Zoom was founded by Eric Yuan, a former corporate vice president for Cisco Webex. Yuan emigrated from China to Silicon alley at the age of 27,. He left Cisco in April 2011 with 40 engineers to start a new company named Saasbee, Inc.  The company had trouble finding investors because many people thought the videotelephony market was already saturated. 

Zoom has quietly overtaken rivals such as Skype and Microsoft Teams, in part because of some simple features, including adaptive backgrounds.  Zoom really didn’t have its awakening, its coming out party if you will, until the Coronavirus. 

As I learned on, the company added 2.22 million active users so far in 2020.   Compare that to 2019 where the company added 1.99 million, according to insight’s podcast network Bernstein.  The company recently removed a 40 minute time limit on meetings of more than two people for free users in China.  Zoom shares were up 40% in February, on pace for their best month since Zoom went public in April. 

Every meeting in the past few months- Sunday School class, birthday party and other events- have most likely taken place over Zoom.  My Sunday School class has been meeting via Zoom for the past month.  My family has numerous birthday’s in the month of May so we’ve had two birthday parties (so far) via the conference service.  I assume mine will be taking place via Zoom as well.  I feel the need to give my readers a few helpful Zoom tips I’ve learned along the way.  Gather round, won’t you?

Please place your laptop, iPad or whatever you are using the app on, far enough away from you that those on conference with you aren’t staring up your nostrils.  When we have Zoom Sunday school, I set my iPad on the table and move it far enough back where the camera at least shows my entire head and the shirt that I’m wearing.  And please sit upright.  No one wants to look in the bat cave.  There is always a moderator in your group.  They’ll let you in the virtual room when it’s time.  But how will you know it’s time? The group member spearheading the meeting will send an email or text with the appropriate link for you to click on that will lead to the virtual meeting area.  You wait for the rest of the participants to enter so your virtual meeting can begin.  You’ll see the onscreen icons to enable audio and video, as well as what to click on to leave the meeting.  It’s a pretty cool experience-a handy app to have downloaded.  Some might delete post virus but I believe I’ll keep it.  Count me among Zoom’s fans!




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