Eric/Zoom if You Don’t Trust Us Why Would We Trust You?

Screenshot of Zoom CEO Eric Yuan webinar session where they don't allow chat or public Q&A

Zoom has gotten a lot of flack for their lack of security lately. They are actively trying to solve this. Zoom’s CEO Eric Yuan has written a blog apologizing and listing the steps they are doing to make Zoom more secure and rebuilt the trust of their users.

In that post Eric promised a weekly webinar where we can ask him anything. So I joined last Wednesday. Made a running post with screenshots on LinkedIn about it.

One of my pet peeves and frustration with video conferences is a lack of collaboration. The dreaded talking heads pontificating at you. That is one of the reasons I wrote my Zoom please join the Cluetrain post.

Joining the Ask Eric Anything webinar I was sad to see, that the chat was switched off for regular users :-(

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OK with all the controversy, I can understand that the Zoom team is a little weary about opening up the fire hose on their first call.

I stilled pinged them via the Q&A feature about it. A bit snippy, and in that haste I misspelled look, and and got the following response.

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Good marketing responds aka we want to control the message.

Alas there is a setting for the Q&A feature for all questions to be visible to all participants, which was turned off :-(

I love this feature and way to few Zoom captains use it. It has an additional switch, that lets other participants not only see, but also upvote and comment to these questions.

It totally ensures, that the questions that most participants want to have answered are always on the top. People understand if you don’t get to all the questions, as long as you go down the list of the top ones until you run out of time.

By allowing comments, you also get different perspectives and often the participants point out solutions in the comments before the speakers get to answer them. A way richer experience.

I have moderated these, it is one click for a question to disappear from the list. Just have a moderator in Zoom keep an eye on the questions and it all will be fine.

Of course if you are afraid and don’t trust your audience to behave, you keep that feature off.

Zoom if you don’t trust us with our questions, why should we trust you with your answers?

It is also frustrating, that the questions are not displayed on the screen anywhere. If you miss it being asked, you also miss the whole context of the answer, that includes the recording.

If you want to see a company in action that has nailed the interactivity, check out Crowdcast. I want to stress, that I don’t have any affiliation with them, but am a fan of how their platform enables you to engage with your audience.

Here is Crowdcast CEO Sai Hossain doing his weekly session about How to bring your conference or event online:

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As you can see on the right open chat for all participants, and you can even click on their name to see their profile.

Their Q&A is open for everyone to see and upvote. It is also available in their recording. Not only that, if you hit the “View Answer” button, you jump right to the spot in the recording where it has been answered. Very powerful.

It is also a breeze to add someone on screen to discuss a question. In Zoom you are able to unmute them, but to bring them on camera, you have to make them a presenter which forces a logout and login, which is cumbersome.

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That all makes it a so much more rich and engaging experience for everyone involved.

One thing I also love is that you can post your questions already while you wait for the session to start, even days before.

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This session is starting in 17 hours, but there is already a question asked and ready to be upvoted.

Tomorrow Wednesday April 15th 11:30am Pacific there will be the next Ask Eric Anything Zoom webinar. Please join me in nudging Eric & team to open up at least the Q&A feature for everyone to see and participate for a better dialog with us Zoom users and them.

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