Humor | Quarantine Diaries (excerpt): Videoconferencing with BBC backgrounds

The joy of sets
BBC Archive | Undated

Top of the Pops, Match Of The Day, Fawlty Towers, Absolutely Fabulous, Doctor Who… I guess this is more for your personal calls: change your background to one of these empty sets from classic BBC TV shows.
Over 100 to choose from, different versions of Doctor Who’s Tardis.

Something fun to try at the end of this week, dedicated to Videoconferencing info. Enjoy.

Author = BBC

Empty sets: Science Fiction
https://www.bbc.co.uk/archive/empty_sets_science_fiction/zhj7mfr

Empty sets: Sitcoms
https://www.bbc.co.uk/archive/empty_sets_sitcoms/zj98wty

Empty sets: Entertainment
https://www.bbc.co.uk/archive/empty_sets_ent_and_sport/z626pg8

Empty sets: Children’s Television
https://www.bbc.co.uk/archive/empty_sets_childrens_tv/zjj26v4

Empty sets: EastEnders
https://www.bbc.co.uk/archive/empty_sets_Eastenders/zkbr47h

Sport sets
https://www.bbc.co.uk/archive/empty_sets_sport/zj7hscw

The joy of sets
https://www.bbc.co.uk/archive/empty_sets_collection/zfvy382

Tools | Videoconferencing: Google Meet, alternative to Zoom

As I was tweaking yesterday’s post, I found a new one posted today, covering Google Meet, another free alternative to Zoom. Building a referential on the fly.

How to use Google Meet: Free video conferencing if you don’t love Zoom
c|net | May 07, 2020

(…) Google’s Meet video conferencing service is now free for everyone to use for personal video chats.

(…) Previously available only to organizations using G Suite, Meet is now open to everyone, in a move that puts Google in competition with rival video chat service Zoom.

(…) Meet allows up to 100 participants on a call at once, and includes features such as scheduling, screen sharing and real-time captioning.

(…) Video calls will have a 60-minute cap, but Google said it won’t enforce that cap until after Sept. 30. 

How to use Google Meet, free

Author = Alison DeNisco Rayome

https://www.cnet.com/how-to/how-to-use-google-meet-free-video-conferencing-for-those-who-dont-love-zoom/

Tools | Videoconferencing: Messenger Rooms, alternative to Zoom

Facebook’s Messenger Rooms video chat app: How to use this Zoom alternative
c|net | May 05, 2020

(…) Facebook users will soon be able to create a video chat room via Facebook or the Messenger app and invite up to 50 people to join a video call — even if they don’t have a Facebook account. There will be no time limits on calls.

Messenger Rooms arrives as some people are looking for an alternative to Zoom, which has faced a number of security and privacy issues in the past two months. (If you are still using Zoom, you can take steps to lock down your meetings and prevent Zoombombing, and learn other hidden tips and tricks).

How to create a Facebook Messenger Room

Author = Alison DeNisco Rayome (c|net)

https://www.cnet.com/news/facebooks-messenger-rooms-video-chat-app-how-to-use-this-zoom-alternative/

Tools | Videoconferencing: Zoom, Tips & Tricks

A compilation of reference material to make the best use of Zoom

Zoom: Important Notice: Please begin updating all your clients to Zoom 5.0 now. After May 30, 2020, all Zoom clients on older versions will receive a forced upgrade when trying to join meetings as GCM Encryption will be fully enabled across the Zoom platform.

16 Advanced Zoom Tips for Better Video Meetings
Groove | Undated

Zoom Keyboard Shortcuts
1) Quick Invite = Cmd+I (PC: Alt+I) open invite window
2) Record Meeting = Cmd+Shift+R (PC: Alt+R) / pause/resume = Cmd+Shift+P (PC: Alt+P)
3) Share Screen = Cmd+Shift+S (PC: Alt+Shift+S) / pause/resume = Cmd+Shift+T (PC: Alt+T)
4) Mute Audio = Cmd+Shift+A (PC: Alt+A) mute/unmute
5) Turn Off Video = Cmd+Shift+V (PC: Alt+V)
6) Mute Everyone = ⌘Cmd+Ctrl+M (PC: Alt+M) note: only the meeting host can mute everyone on the call at once

Zoom Settings
7) Always Mute Microphone
8) Always Turn Video Off
9) Display Names
10) Auto-copy Invite URL When Starting a Meeting
11) Enable Shortcuts Outside of Zoom
12) Meeting Reminder (Mobile)
13) Disable Waiting Room
14) Touch Up My Appearance

Zoom Integrations
15) Slack
16) Zapier

Author = Alex Turnbull (Groove)

https://www.groovehq.com/blog/zoom-tips-and-tricks

How to use Zoom like a pro: 13 hidden features to try at your next meeting
c|net | April 28, 2020

  1. Change your background
  2. Mute your audio and turn off your camera by default
  3. Mute and unmute with the space bar
  4. React with emoji on screen
  5. Learn handy keyboard shortcuts
  6. Turn on gallery view
  7. Hide nonvideo participants
  8. Share your screen
  9. Turn on the beauty filter
  10. Record the meeting to your computer
  11. Record a meeting to the cloud
  12. Host a group meeting longer than 40 minutes
  13. Host more than 100 people

Author = Alison DeNisco Rayome (c|net)

https://www.cnet.com/how-to/how-to-use-zoom-like-a-pro-13-hidden-features-to-try-at-your-next-meeting/

Hot Keys and Keyboard Shortcuts for Zoom
Zoom | Undated

Zoom Help Center Reference / Online Manual

Author = Zoom

https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/205683899-Hot-Keys-and-Keyboard-Shortcuts-for-Zoom

The complete Zoom guide: From basic help to advanced tricks
ZDNet | April 17, 2020

Zoom 101 = Good introduction with step by step tips and tricks to use Zoom.

Topics covered:
LET’S GET STARTED: ZOOM BASICS
THE WEB PORTAL
SCHEDULING AND HOSTING A MEETING
THE MEETING IS SET, BUT HOW DO YOU INVITE OTHERS?
ADVANCED TIPS AND TRICKS
WEBINARS
VIRTUAL BACKGROUNDS
WHITEBOARDS
WHAT ABOUT ZOOM GATECRASHERS?
ZOOM PLUGINS AND INTEGRATIONS
ZOOM ROOMS
ADDITIONAL POINTS
ZOOM’S BEST PRACTICES

Note: part of a ZDNet Special Feature: Working from Home: The Future of Business is Remote, mentioned on trulySCRUMptious in April 2020
(Direct Link included below)

Author = Charlie Osborne (ZDNet)

https://www.zdnet.com/article/zoom-101-a-starter-guide-for-beginners-plus-advanced-tips-and-tricks-for-pros/

ZDNet Special Feature: Working from Home: The Future of Business is Remote
Author= ZDNet

https://www.zdnet.com/topic/working-from-home-the-future-of-business-is-remote/

8 Tips for How to Use Zoom Like a Pro
wirecutter | Undated

Beautify (or hide) your face
Pretend you’re on the moon or cosplay as George W. Bush
Prevent embarrassment by silencing desktop notifications
There’s more to screen sharing than PowerPoint presentations
Hosts can (and should) mute attendees
Take advantage of Zoom’s powerful scheduling feature
Keep unwanted guests out of meetings
Finally (and this can’t be said enough), please mute yourself

Note: ZOOM NO LONGER A PICK | APRIL 21, 2020

After re-evaluating our videoconferencing software picks, we can no longer give Zoom our full throated recommendation.

While it has the best balance of features, usability, and value among the major videoconferencing providers, the privacy issues remain a worry until they’ve been satisfactorily addressed. That said, if you’re already using Zoom for casual chats with friends and you’re not divulging sensitive personal info or discussing issues of national security, you’re probably fine to keep using it. Just educate yourself when it comes to the best settings to use before you start a meeting and the best practices for keeping meetings secure.

Author = Ben Keough (wirecutter – A New York Times Company)

https://thewirecutter.com/blog/use-zoom-like-a-pro/

Remote | ZDNet Special Feature: Working from Home: The Future of Business is Remote

ZDNet Special Feature: Working from Home: The Future of Business is Remote
ZDNet | Undated

(…) From Fortune 500 enterprises to very small businesses, every organization has been thrust into the future faster than prognosticators dared dream. What factors will determine failure or success in this brave new world of work?

A variety of topics related to “Working from home: the new normal”. Each topic has its article with interesting ideas and perspectives, tools & tips. List of topics:

  • Work from home 101: Essential tools for telecommuting
  • What does the new normal look like post COVID-19? 15 CXOs answer
  • Everything you need to reopen your business
  • How remote working forced us to look beyond the traditional PC
  • Survey: Most US employees are uncomfortable returning to the workplace as restrictions ease
  • How the young workforce is responding to COVID-19 pandemic
  • Your Zoom meetings will be safe and secure if you do these 10 things
  • ZDNet Recommends: The best products for every office
  • Remote-working checklist: 10 top challenges you’ll face
  • Survey: CFOs looking to make remote work, telecommuting more permanent
  • Windows 10 alert: Zoom client can leak your network login credentials
  • I’ve been working from home for 13 years and I’m beginning to hate it
  • 9 remote work best practices from Verizon’s HR chief
  • Working from home on a laptop? Check out these external monitors
  • How one team switched 4,000 staff to remote working in just a week
  • Could COVID-19 change the look of the office as we know it?
  • With everyone working from home, VPN security is now paramount
  • Best video conferencing software for business
  • Coronavirus updates: How COVID-19 is accelerating the future of work
  • 64 expert tips for staying healthy, happy, and productive
  • Build a super-functional home office for $1,000
  • Slow Wi-Fi? 8 ways to speed up your home office network
  • Managing telecommuters? Here are 8 management tips
  • Hardware dilemma: Desktop or laptop with docking station?
  • Working from home? Switch off Amazon’s Alexa (say lawyers)
  • Your home Wi-Fi network is going to be exposed by telecommuting
  • Build a budget home office for under $300
  • Working from home: Cybersecurity tips for remote workers

Author = ZDNet

https://www.zdnet.com/topic/working-from-home-the-future-of-business-is-remote/

Remote | Remote Work VS Distributed Work

The crucial difference between remote work and distributed work
Work In Progress Dropbox Blog | April 03, 2020

Remote work is a discipline for the individual worker, but distributed work is a discipline for the entire organization.

Distributed work needs different tools
Distributed work needs a new social contract
Distributed work needs a more agile org chart
Distributed work needs a smart workspace

Author = Anthony Wing Kosner

https://blog.dropbox.com/topics/work-culture/the-crucial-difference-between-remote-work-and-distributed-work

Tools | Project Management: Basecamp Personal, Free

Basecamp now has a totally free version to help you manage personal projects. You don’t even need a credit card
The Verge | November 14, 2019

(…) Basecamp launched a new, free tier of its project management software, which it calls Basecamp Personal. Basecamp was originally designed for small businesses, offering handy features like chat, an internal message board, group to-dos, a shared schedule, and more, all in one place. Typically, though, it costs $99 per month, which could be prohibitively expensive if you’re just looking for something to help manage tasks in your personal life or with a smaller group of people.

Basecamp says Basecamp Personal is designed “specifically for freelancers, students, families, and personal projects,” and with it, you can make spaces for up to three projects, work on these projects with up to 20 users, and store up to one gigabyte of data in those projects. The new tier seems to put Basecamp in direct competition with free tiers from other project management tools like Asana and Trello, as well as workplace chat software like Slack and Microsoft Teams.

Author = Jay Peters

https://www.theverge.com/2019/11/14/20965543/basecamp-free-version-manage-basic-personal-projects

Basecamp Personal

Get it together, for free.
Introducing Basecamp Personal: our 100% free Basecamp plan that’s tailor-made for freelancers, students, families, and personal projects. Sometimes good things really do come in small packages.
Sign up for Basecamp Personal

https://basecamp.com/personal

Tools | Spreadsheet.com: Game changer?

Move over, Excel and Google Sheets. Meet the spreadsheet of the future
Fast Company | November 22, 2019

(…) The best way to describe Spreadsheet.com is as a mashup between a traditional spreadsheet, à la Sheets or Excel, and a more advanced database or project-management service like Trello or Basecamp. You bring in any sort of data you want, including financial records, product launch plans, employee databases, and even full-fledged CRM worksheets. Then, similar to what’s offered by services such as Smartsheet and Airtable—with some new twists we’ll explore more thoroughly in a moment—you gain the ability to manage it in a contemporary and collaboration-friendly environment with lots of added bells and whistles.

Article goes into a few of the features of the product, which is not yet available, so I could not test it. You can sign up to request an early access (see below).

Author = JR Raphael (Fast Company)

https://www.fastcompany.com/90432824/move-over-microsoft-and-google-meet-the-spreadsheet-of-the-future

Website is a Work In Progress as I post this. There is an option to “Request Early Access”:

Click here to Request Early Access

Website: Spreadsheets that come alive as applications
Work better together, wherever you are.

https://www.spreadsheet.com/

Time Management: Meetings & PTA-S

Time Management: Meetings & PTA-S
Yours Truly | November 2019

PTA-S =

  • Purpose
  • Time
  • Agenda
  • Summary

Scrum Master prepares a PTA-S before each Meeting
PTA = presented in 5 minutes at the beginning of the Meeting
S = presented at the end of the Meeting, time-box to 5 minutes/hour

Summary = Notes taken by the Scrum Master during the Meeting, when Agenda Items are discussed. Makes sure everyone is on par with what was discussed and potentially shareable with non-participants.

If anything come up that is not in the Agenda, take note of it in a Parking, to be discussed afterward.

Source = Michael de la Maza in “Robust Scrum Master Training” (Udemy)

https://www.udemy.com/course/scrum-master/

Transitioning Teams as a Manager

Transitioning Teams as a Manager
Chase Seibert Blog | September 3, 2019

The manager should try to minimize that uncertainty for the team. Still, it’s natural for people to evaluate whether they still want to be on the team. Why?

Change is Scary
Continuity
Consistent Message
Build Relationships

Conclusion: Remember that this is a natural time for team members to re-evaluate whether they still want to be on this team. Minimizing change and building trust quickly will help, but it may also make sense to allow mentally for some neutral attrition during this period.

Author = Chase Seibert (Dropbox)

https://chase-seibert.github.io/blog/2019/09/03/transistioning-teams-as-a-manager.html