Categories
online meetings

Introducing now.me

This post originally appeared on the Team.Video blog.

Today we are excited to share now.me — a way to get right to the meeting you’re supposed to be in right now. At any given moment, if you visit the site, it will look at your calendar, see what video call you’re meant to be in, and take you right there. It works with most video call providers, including Zoom, Google Meet, Whereby, team.video, and others. We have been using this tool internally for a while now, and thought we might as well share it with the world.

In a way it seems like a small problem to solve. It’s not so hard to open up your calendar, find the meeting you’re supposed to be in, find the link to it, and open it up. But at that moment when it’s time to get together with your clients or colleagues, that time is precious. We want those brain cycles in to go toward preparing for the conversation that is about to take place. Especially if we’re running late, or if we’re trying to get together materials to share, or deep in thought pondering whatever trade-offs we are about to weigh — it can make a big difference not to have to context-switch at that moment.

As we use now.me, we find ourselves dreaming of next iterations: Beautiful as it is in its current state, it could be nice to add support for custom themes where we could set our own images, or toggle dark mode. Another idea we’ve pondered is an option to keep a now.me tab open, and then when a meeting is about to start, it would show a notification and even automatically join the meeting in a new tab, with no interaction required.

We’d love to hear your feedback! Try it out at https://now.me

Categories
online meetings

Zoom treats you like a child

This post originally appeared on the Team.Video blog.

Deeply ingrained in Zoom’s defaults are choices that do not encourage us to expect the best from each other. We spend such vast amounts of time in video meetings now that we should question what behaviors our platforms are driving us to, and how they affect our interactions with our friends, family, and colleagues at work.

“Waiting for the host to start the meeting”

This message can be infuriating. The host is on vacation, or they’re in a car somewhere, or they’re there but having trouble logging in. Or worse, everyone wonders, who is the host of this meeting, anyway? Is it me? Am I holding us back at this moment? For God’s sake, when will we be able to get on with the actual work we have to do?

And really, why can’t we just carry on without the host? Of course if you go into all the right admin screens and click all the right buttons, you can turn this off, but since it is the default, this experience inevitably creeps in.

Categories
online meetings

Dancing with himself: Beauty and tragedy at a kindergarten Zoom dance party

This post originally appeared on the Team.Video blog.

My five year old had a dance party with some other kindergarteners from his class at his school, and in some ways it was just brilliant.

He’s been a real trooper during the lockdown. Every morning he watches the video lessons his teachers have uploaded the night before. He prints out the day’s worksheets, and always dutifully gets through them. He says he actually doesn’t even mind staying inside so much, as he has declared himself to be an “indoor person.”

But it has been rough for him not to be able to just hang out and be silly with his friends every now and again, like kids need to do. When we learned his whole crew was feeling lonely, the idea to have a zoom dance party was floated, and immediately well-received by all.