Sunday, August 23, 2020

Working From Home - Expert Level

[ If you are on a smartphone, view in landscape, hold sideways ]

Long before COVID-19 flipped our world upside down, Zoom became a verb. I love it when the Sunday Morning TV pundits talk about the "Zoom Companies" or "Zoom Schools" when they are really talking about ALL of the major global collaboration and communication tools in the marketplace. Imagine being the CEO of a Zoom competitor, and the world keeps calling you a Zoom Company. Working from home gives me the ability to keep CNN, MSNBC, NPR (and other news channels ) "always on" via one of my many monitors in my home office. I think it was the highlight of my week last week, when Delaware Sen. Tom Carper dropped the F--bomb three times after a technical difficulty nearly caused him to miss his time for questioning during the hearing on Friday.

Carper, a Democrat, was set to ask questions of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy when his muted microphone caused Chairman Ron Johnson to call on the next senator. When Carper's microphone kicked on, the string of curse words was aired to the world. 

OK, so the REAL highlight of my week was watching the (virtual) Democratic National Convention. Tuesday's roll-call vote featured a "virtual trip around America" as they gave Joe Biden the Democratic nomination for President. 

And now I have a man crush on Glenn Weiss.

Glenn Weiss is an American producer and director of television and live events. He has won 14 Emmy Awards and six Director Guild of America Awards as a director and producer for various awards shows and reality shows including the Tony Awards, Kennedy Center Honors, and Academy Awards. During the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards on September 17, 2018, Weiss made headlines by proposing to long-time girlfriend Jan Svendsen during his acceptance speech for Outstanding Directing for a Variety Special for his work on that year's Academy Awards. He proposed by saying, "You wonder why I don't like to call you my girlfriend? Because I want to call you my wife." The ring previously belonged to his mother, who died two and a half weeks prior. The moment was shared with millions via social media. 

The various posts about the DNC highlight the endless Zoom calls (for months) leading up to the convention. Throughout these past few months, the pandemic has had their production team members remotely collaborating on a daily basis. Glenn had to travel to Milwaukee, then Delaware and in then finally had an entire control room set up in his home. Whether he likes it or not, Glenn is probably the first inductee to the Work From Home Hall of Fame. Hindsight being 20/20 if Glenn was wearing a pair of Nike cross-trainers here in this shot, rather than going barefoot, he would have a few extra million in the bank. Just my humble opinion. 

Working From Home - Expert Level 

The DNC gave America a sense of how everyone, celebrities, actors, athletes, political heavyweights - everyone - might look like if they dropped into your company's Zoom call. Some of the best TV is not on TV anymore. All collaboration tools - especially Zoom - has become entertainment: a new kind of appointment television where people watch their friends, family and coworkers lives unfold.

So many of the changes in the world were a long time coming. Distance Education was becoming just EDUCATION. Telemedicine was becoming just MEDICINE. eCommerce was becoming just COMMERCE. Remote Work was becoming just WORK. All of these changes were coming - they just now happened in months, rather than years. Zoom became "a verb" long before COVID changed our world forever. 

We are now all living, learning, working, playing - in the clouds. And there is no pre-COVID and post-COVID world. There was pre-COVID and now just....COVID. 

It makes me pause and think about the biggest TV event of the year: The Super Bowl. 

Will there even be a Super Bowl this year? And if yes, will there be anyone in the stands? Will there be Super Bowl parties? Will the bars and restaurants even be open come Super Bowl time? Can we even have "company over" for such an in-person live party? Yeah, there will probably be Super Bowl parties, but they will be on Zoom. We will probably watch the game on the big screen in the living room, and host the Super Bowl parties around the country on our little screens - in ANY room. I see that Facebook's Portal devices now support all of the major video collaboration platforms, like Zoom. If I were Facebook I would be getting ready for the Super Bowl party rush. 

I will make a prediction, right here and now. If there IS a Super Bowl this year, the Super Bowl MVP shall be:

Glenn Weiss. 

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