You can do this crazy thing on Zoom now, but I'm not sure you should

Many will think this a perfectly fine idea, but I foresee some little problems.
Written by Chris Matyszczyk, Contributing Writer

He said what?

Screenshot by ZDNet

It's unclear how many Zoom or Teams calls you may have to participate in over the next twelve months.

As many will be encouraged to return to offices, perhaps video conferencing will be replaced by a return to communicating with the person in the next cubicle via Slack or IM, while you're still wearing your headphones.

Some companies, though, are still driven to creating new ways of profiting from the pandemic-fueled video conferencing ways.

One that just appeared beneath my brows offers a service that I feel many will enjoy. I also fear many will enjoy it.

The people at Grain have created a way you can, in the company's own words, "include your team in the room where it happened."

I worry that many of your team are perfectly happy to hear your version of what happened in the room. I fear many wouldn't have wanted to be in that room even if you paid them in extra donuts.

Grain, though, is a real-time recorder that lets you caption and make mini-videos of the best parts of your Zoom meeting. Yes, the part where your boss said half the clients are halfwits. Or the part where someone burped during the sales presentation.

Of course one can see the uses. The good uses, that is. Some may be a touch manipulative.

Make a short clip, send it to your whole team and they'll see just how brilliantly you intercepted a halfwitted comment on future strategy from the head of sales.

That way, they'll see that you really are the wonderful boss you've always told them you are.

I do, however, have worries.

It seems that anyone in the meeting can create these clips. How much more powerful will it be for a lower-level employee to make a clip of their boss being a halfwit, and then (quietly, securely) send it to selected members of the team?

It's one thing to hear about someone's disastrous meeting performance. It's another to witness it, replay it and, in the modern parlance, share it with many more.

And what if some disgruntled employee makes a clip, quits and then posts it to Twitter? A deliciously difficult prospect, surely.

Perhaps, though, I'm most concerned about domestic life.

When the work day ends, your significant lover will ask how your day went. You might normally talk about a good meeting or a bad one. You might talk about difficult personal interactions too.

With Grain, however, you may be tempted to offer your loved ones daily video highlights of your meetings that may send them into grave inner turmoil.

Work is something you need to leave behind in order to have a fruitful personal life. Now, you may be tempted to have a trove of videos, there to be shown off at any moment and every inappropriate occasion.

It was supposed to be a romantic dinner, but then...

"And this is me, telling the head of procurement he hasn't got a clue..."

"Sir, the medium-rare filet is for you?"

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