Just a short piece this week, as we’ve all got other things on our minds. It’s beginning to look as though we’re all going to be spending quite a bit of time on our own in the near future. Of course, there is an argument to say that writers are always isolated or socially distanced. We carry out our craft, by and large, on our own. Although many of us spend a lot of time ‘networking’ either in person or online. But even for us, the world has changed dramatically in the past few weeks. So we thought we’d look at some of the options for video conferencing that might be useful for writers in the coming weeks or months.
Even those of us who spend a lot of time on social media will probably agree that it’s no real substitute for a face to face meeting, especially if working on a project together. But since such gatherings are very rare at the moment, it might be worth checking out video conferencing. The simplest options are WhatsApp, which can be used on a variety of devices; and Facetime on Apple devices.
Skype has been around for a long time and can seem a little clunky on occasion, but many people are still very happy with it. It is owned by Microsoft and, if you are using the business version, you should know it is due to be retired, to be replaced by Microsoft Teams. There is both a free and a paid version of Teams, but you need an Office 365 account and a suitable business licence to access it.
Another option that is growing in popularity is Zoom. There is a free version, allowing up unlimited one to one calls (both in terms of numbers and length of each meeting). With three or more people dialling you, the free version limits the meeting length to 40 minutes, But there are a range of paid for options, with gradually increasing functionality. Only one person, the meeting host, needs to have an account. The remainder of the participants simply need to download the app in order to respond to an invitation from the host.
The current situation provides us with the opportunity to try out some of these tools and see which work best for us. At some point in the near future, we will post tips that we have learned along the way for successful and our favourite tools.