24/7 VKN on Zoom

Zoom Info, Guidelines and Tips

First of all you need a Zoom account!

If you don’t already have a Zoom account then go to: https://www.zoom.us and sign up for one.

Once you have an account, open Zoom on your phone or computer and join using the YATW room number:  411-555-1212.

You will find yourself in the main room.  YATW is open 24/7 so you may come in and find yourself in the middle of a variety of conversations or you may be the only member.  Don’t Panic!  😀  Make sure your mic is working if you want to talk and that your video is on if you want us to see you.

On some occasions, you may get the message that breakout rooms have been formed and to await assignment to your room.  This might be due to an event occurring such as a podcaster hosting a Zoom meeting on our platform or because a particular discussion between two or three people was getting too detailed for a busy room.  If you are coming in the room for an event, then let the host know and they will assign you to the correct room.

Some general things:
Phones and tablets have most of the settings are along the bottom of the screen with the Bluetooth/speaker button and the camera orientation on the top left and the leave room option on the top right.  The default opens on “speaker view” which means the person speaking will be in the frame.  Swiping to the left brings up a multi-person view.  A maximum of 4 people can be seen at a time but if there are more than 4 people in the room you can swipe left to see the additional screens.  The “participants” button on the bottom will take you to a list of the people in the room and if you click the chat button on the bottom you can see the chats in the room as well as send chats.  However, you can’t see the chat and the video feed at the same time.

Computers and laptops have the settings in a bar on the bottom of the Zoom window with the viewing options on the top right.  There is a chat bubble icon if you wish to chat which opens up a window to the right of the main video window.  You can see both the video feed and the chat window at the same time.

Room etiquette:
Be conscious of the noise in your environment and of your own personal microphone settings.  This can sometimes change without you doing anything to your device, so notice whether people are responding to you.  If people are not responding to you it could be because people can’t hear you or because people can’t overcome the noise level on your end to be heard by you.  Pay attention to the interaction you are getting (or not getting).  If someone else gives you feedback about your volume level, do not take this personally.  Along the same lines, a host may mute you or you may be asked to mute yourself if your volume is interfering with the rest of the room.  Again, do not take this personally.

If you need to step away from your device or if you move into a noisy environment, please mute your device so that unexpected noise levels do not interfere with the room activity.  If there are more than 8 or so people in the room it is a reasonable practice to keep yourself on mute if you are not actively engaging in the conversation.  If the conversation is an active one and you have a contribution to make but you are having difficulty being heard, use the “raise your hand” option or just wave your hand/hands around to get the attention of others in the room to let them know you would like a turn.  When someone is waving their hand, it is the responsibility of others in the room to give them a change to have their say.  The chat feature can also be used to weigh in or communicate you would like to weigh in on a topic.

Another common issue is echo.  If someone says they notice an echo, go ahead and mute yourself.  Echoes usually resolve within 30-60 seconds of the person who is the source of the echo muting. After that the person can generally unmute and resume conversing.

As the room gets busier it is even more important to listen and pay attention.  Notice if people are sitting quietly and give them a chance to speak.  They may or may not wish to speak, but at least they had an option.

Be conscious if you are discussing an emotional or polarizing topic.  Make sure you communicate without condemnation.  Disagreement will frequently occur, but it is not appropriate to condemn an opposing viewpoint or the person holding that viewpoint.  If a conversation gets too intense, ask via chat or verbally that the subject be changed.  Remember, chat might not always be seen immediately.

If you need to have a private conversation with someone that is not suitable for the room as a whole, either private message that person or ask the host to create a breakout room for your discussion.

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