Technology Meetup Recap: Zoom

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On Thursday, July 30, the American Booksellers Association presented a Technology Meetup on the topic of Zoom. Learn more about ABA meetups here.

The session featured Zoom for Dummies author Phil Simon, who provided his expert advice on Zoom, including best practices, tips, and answers to some commonly asked questions, as well as some information about his book.

Here are some of the key points from the meetup:

  • Zoom’s usage and popularity has grown exponentially since the novel coronavirus outbreak. In addition to using the service for business meetings, people are using Zoom for a wide range of purposes, including weddings, exercise classes, and even virtual Airbnb experiences.
  • The Zoom Suite includes meetings, chat, audio, phone, and video webinars. The service also features Zoom Rooms for conferences. Zoom can also connect to developer tools, such as API, mobile/desktop SDK, and the app marketplace.
  • Zoom’s pricing is flexible, and users can add and drop as they need to.
  • Simon’s book, Zoom for Dummies, had a first print run of 5,000 copies and is already sold out. It’s structured in a similar way to most Dummies books.

    • The first of its five parts is called “Staying Connected with Zoom,” and covers what makes Zoom special as a service.
    • The second part, called “Communicating and Collaborating in Zoom,” covers setting up Zoom, connecting with others, and using the chat and channel functions. 
    • The third part, “Becoming a Zoom Power User,” covers getting into third-party apps, getting even more out of meetings and the chat function, and connecting with others via webinars.
    • The fourth part, “Deploying Zoom in the Organization,” covers protecting communications in Zoom. Simon noted that following the service’s security crisis, it has worked to protect its users as best it can. It also covered making calls with Zoom Phone, getting everyone to Zoom together, and what the service will look in the future.
    • Part five is called “The Part of Tens,” and features 10 great Zoom tips, 10 common myths about Zoom, 10 Zoom resources, and 10 ways to socialize via Zoom.
  • Simon noted that one tip for hosting Zoom meetings includes finding a quiet place with good lighting. Users can also purchase hardware, including a green screen, a ring light, a professional microphone, and a webcam.
  • Generally, Simon recommends having co-hosts for group meetings and webinars, as it can be hard to juggle functions like Q&A and polls.
  • Additionally, users should consider making their meetings interactive by using Zoom’s poll function.
  • There are about 200 apps that can be integrated with the service in the Zoom Marketplace currently, and that number will likely grow in the future.
  • For Zoom newbies, Simon said the best feature to get started is using virtual backgrounds. They can help show personality, as well as promote store branding.
  • Webinars give the host more control over the Q&A function. Questions can be dismissed if they’re inappropriate or repetitive; this action can also be undone.
  • Users can update the service in the app to make sure their software is current, and can check out Zoom’s blog to see what new functions have been implemented or are upcoming.