How I Got Zoom-Bombed And Virtual Wine Tastings!
Ok, so it has been a while since I have written an article on Medium. I usually write weekly or monthly. You would think with the Covid-19 Pandemic, that I’d have all the time in the world to write. You would be absolutely wrong. It has taken up more of my time in exhausting ways than ever before.
For many, many good reasons I am crazy busy and maybe you can commiserate if you are going through the same deal as I am.
My kids are in elementary and middle school. It is like I have become a part-time home-school dad. All parents have had to do this during this crisis. Just happens my kids can be more difficult than others. That’s because they are boys. (It’s always the girl’s parents who tell me they are little angels) There is so much we have to go through on this problem with kids going to school alone. And it is not easy for many of you as well.
Second, for me personally and the entire in-person event business, it’s over at least till May, or June or July. Who knows, maybe later. There are no attendees, no registrations and therefor there are no dollars coming in. And much of my time has been spent in both re-thinking our dating event business as an online virtual event business as well as my pitch events business become virtual as well. I have spent quite a bit of time rebuilding my back-end event system to support webinars, virtual meetings, virtual dating events and other. This period of rejigging the systems and figuring stuff out like Zoom Meetings is time consuming.
So what my gut reaction has told me to do is go for it. By going for it, I decided to start running Zoom Meetings and Webinars. I scheduled a dozen in 2 weeks. I ran most of them with a speaker on SBA loans tech, health, wellness, work-at-home, and eventually we ran our first virtual wine tasting.
We are doing a virtual wine tasting on Friday Nighs weekly with Lou Zant and Meredith Griffin of the Major Crush Wine Podcast in Sonoma, CA. See below for more info.
What I found out is you can’t run 7 meetings or webinars a week or you will lose your mind and have absolutely even less time. I got to the point where I burned out my email list, my meetups and now people are like “what is wrong with Dan and why does he email me every day?” The real thing I am searching around in the dark for is a business model. And I do have one in the webinar business, but I needed to restart, so this week has been an off week while I work on it.
Either way, the path to creating virtual events and managing them is not so simple. There are a dozen ways to run small webinars (whether a meeting format or a real webinar) from Zoom, to Facebook Live, To Live on Linkedin to Periscope, Facetime, Meerkat, Join.me, Webex and GotoMeeting. I am looking for individuals who want to have me help them run “their own” webinars, to contact me and we will promote your webinar. I want to become a place you go to look up webinars that are happening during the day.
For those of you not crazy busy like me and need to figure stuff out, there is something about the interactive experience of a Zoom Meeting that is better than watching TV (sometimes). Most of TV is absolute crap, especially the old ABC, CBS and NBC for the masses. I watch it too. But I would rather spend some of my free time in the interactive area to interact with people. We are all in “House Arrest”, but often stuck with our family members. I read that in Sweden that 51% of the population lives alone. So many live alone in Sweden, the country decided it would be crazy (make them crazy) to make everybody go home and live in solitary confinement.
My Zoom-bomb story
So on Monday, March, 30th, 2020, I ended up running a webinar/meeting/interview about health and wellness during the Coronavirus with Dr. How, a great knowledgeable guy, and of course I got Zoom-bombed. Before that I had never heard the term Zoom-bomb. What is it? It means you did not lock down your Zoom Meeting properly and kids or thugs jump on and start cursing and trying to steal your credit cards, try to get people to click on bad links. They also screen shared and displayed some nasty videos and images. All of that happened in 30 seconds of hell for my listeners. We are all adults on the call, Nobody was too offended. I was joking that they kept mispronouncing curse words, and I was about to correct them, but they did not belong there. Within 15 seconds I had knocked them out of the meeting and locked it down.
Do I blame Zoom?
No I don’t blame Zoom for lack of security. Remember I was using a free version of Zoom. My expectations are low with free stuff! I purposely wanted my meetings to be open so I did not set up a waiting room and that is my mistake, not Zoom’s. A waiting room means you must approve each person to join the Zoom Meeting one at a time. If you have a 50 person meeting, and it gets Zoom-bombed, you will struggle with the big list to find them and kick them out. Basically Zoom is being used for a lot of purposes it was not intended for, but it’s doing the job, like for kids classrooms, for virtual weddings (we had one in our family), to wine tastings. I have a link to my 2nd virtual wine tasting at the end. The list is endless. It is being used for speed dating (very poorly) to networking meetings (still very poorly), to everything in between. We have been using it as a Skype and Facetime replacement just to have calls for 2 people.
It may have been hard for the Microsofts (Skype), Citrix and Cisco Execs to foresee Zoom coming out of nowhere to be so dominant during this period. But the truth is, after using Zoom Meeting Pro and Zoom Webinar products in the past two weeks, Zoom can do the job, across desktop, tablets and cellphones. It’s competitors like the big 3 are clunky and take even more time to configure. I stopped using Microsoft/Skype on my PC because it just plain stopped working.
Zoom has all the capabilities and apparently the robustness to handle the volume. Yep the security issues are an issue. But I actually saw they popped a new feature into my Zoom Pro just today with an update that seems to be better security and I guess within 3 weeks it will be stronger. They [The Press] have called Zoom Malware, but maybe we could have said the same thing about Windows 7, based on how much malware seems come out of Microsoft products. And we lived with that sh_t happening as well with Windows. If you wanted something tougher go Linux or Apple.
With mass adoption there will be Zoom-bombing and attacks and bad meetings, disconnections, faulty Wifi, and broken meetings. I have had them. Life is not perfect.
Anyway, I recommend you attend our Virtual Wine Tasting. The event is at 7pm this friday, April 8, 2020 and every friday, sponsored by Major Crush, a major Wine Podcast. This week we will look in on a wine tasting at Christopher Creek Winery. You can sign up directly here:
Once again good luck to everybody following my Zoom meetings. Next week we will back with a new schedule, which will be listed on https://startuppop.com. If you join the virtual wine tastings this week, I will see you on the event. If that link above is not working, please check out the Major Crush Virtual Wine Tasting Landing Page here for more details: