Learning To Zoom….

There is actually a short article about this that may or may not get published in the paper (not every article makes it into the limited space per week). As so many of us look to staying in touch without traveling and unable to meet in large groups, the phrases, “Facebook Live”, “Zoom”, “Face Time”, “Whats Up” have been added to “Skype”, “Videoconferencing,” and who knows how many I’m missing. Some of us are old enough to remember the early video-teleconferences with the odd lags between transmissions. While it was “cutting edge” at the time, it was still awkward.

We had Skype for a period of time on our computers and I’m not certain of why that fell out of favor. I didn’t (and don’t) use Facetime that much on the phone, however, I do now have the What’s Up App since that allows me to engage with those who have something other than an I-phone. Zoom is what has become immensely popular and as with other technology, I can manage only a few of the functions available. Part of the popularity is the free version so literally anyone with a computer can participate. Ideal is to have a camera so you can be part of the video piece, but you can be on with only audio as well (an advantage over Skype). Apparently a large number of people can participate at the same time as long as the “host” has the paid service which is reasonably priced. If no one has a paid service I think there’s a maximum of 40 minutes allowed. Anyway, with the on-going prohibition against groups of more than ten gathering for meetings, most of the local organizations have adapted to Zoom. I’ve been hoping we won’t have to do this for Homestead Center for the Arts, but we may have no choice. An issue though is we have quite a few people who either don’t have computers or who are not comfortable with them. There is a chance we can do some sort of hybrid set-up since we usually don’t have more than about ten who attend the regular meetings who are also not comfortable with Zoom. It will be interesting to see how we work this out.

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