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Is ZOOM really all DOOM and GLOOM?


    The boss of ZOOM doing a ZOOM

    and looking rather happy about it.

    I have always been a fan of ZOOM – and been ZOOMING and LOOMING for a long while. The latter, being a great way to record small videos to explain things to someone – 1- 2-1. Whereas the former is a forever growing video conferencing tool. That I have used for a while and now we - at The Landing are using in many different ways.

    Not only to help ourselves communicate in this post corona virus world of remote working. But for our tech community and our collaboration initiatives. To provide a framework for our business as usual approach. To these unprecedented – business as unusual times.

    As at The Landing – you would expect us to be using ZOOM or video conferencing. And we have been for years. In fact, some of our oldest kit is from CISCO and their videoconferencing arm. Which interestingly is how ZOOM was born. (But that’s another story…)


    The company is booming. So much so that a couple of weeks ago 343,000 people globally downloaded the Zoom app.

    60,000 in the U.S. alone, according to mobile intelligence firm Apptopia. Compared to 90,000 people worldwide and 27,000 in the U.S. just two months ago.

    Zoom as the whole video conferencing company has seen an

    “increase of 535% rise in daily traffic in the past month only.”

    Which has sky rocketed ZOOM’s value. So much so it is now worth $38 billion. Now valued at more than half of all the US airlines COMBINED.

    Which has allowed the boss to give ZOOM away for free to thousands of schools across the world. A move quickly followed by Google and others.This new found exposure and usage is sadly “a double edged sword.”

    With remote working evolving and being taken on more in the last 10 days than in the last 10 years. So more and more companies are using ZOOM for more and more reasons.


    For A LONG time cyber security experts have worried about the company's ability to keep us safe. Whilst their boss has said “it would freeze feature updates to address security issues

    But perhaps this has come too late as security specialises in the UK have likened ZOOM to malware. And advised to never use it.

    Whilst only a day ago the CEO has admitted that they “really messed up.” With their security features – as often your ZOOM is not kept locally on their servers but is packaged around the world. Which allows hackers easier access. This being the case many schools in America are rejecting the original free ZOOM offer.

    However, as I chatted about on the radio last week - with everything there is a inherent trade off as ….

    “If you are not buying a product – you are the product.”

    Which means pretty much every tech company (video conferencing or not) “use your data”. Knowing this fear (or simple fact) on March 29, ZOOM clarified its privacy policy in a blog post. Addressing some of the issues data protection experts had with it and stating clearly:

    “No data regarding user activity on the Zoom platform – including video, audio, and chat content – is ever provided to third parties for advertising purposes”.

    Whether you believe that or not is up to you. Or whether it is secure enough for you to use. Some other things are that are up to you is HOW you use ZOOM. As there are some settings within Zoom (again now being argued against) that could boost user security.

    These include:

    - options for meetings to use end-to-end encryption,

    - to watermark all content,

    - and only allow people to join a meeting if they have an email with a certain domain name

    You can even take this further as Rowenna Fielding, a privacy and data protection expert at Protecture recommends:

    “using a unique email alias only for Zoom. And make sure to clear all your cookies and temporary files after each call to limit the tracking the service can do through your browser.”

    Which sounds extreme. BUT…No matter what.


    Don’t take a picture of your zoom meeting and include the meeting ID.

    It might make you look cool. BUT if you show that meeting ID. Then as member of The Landing and ethical hackers and cyber security experts - Digital Interruption show us in this great LinkedIn video.

    With just a meeting ID - people CAN join your meeting. And hack in. “Zoomhacking” has become all the rage. Hence and if you look at the apparent government meeting ZOOM photo. Bottom left - there is a iphone user there?

    Who is this? Who knows?

    At The Landing, as home of innovation and tech hub for MediacityUK, we know organisations that would be appalled how many protocols this breaks. SO much so we can’t even mention their names on any video conferencing calls ourselves.

    And we don't. As if you are having ZOOM with 100’s of people. How could you vet everyone? So... Don’t be stupid – don’t what Boris Johnson did.


    At The Landing, we are using ZOOM in a number of ways. Depending on your business you may want to borrow some of our ideas.

    - Not only for our team meetings. And end of week “weekly wins” With the team.

    - But with our tech community and virtual coffee mornings together. With no agendas just a place to hang out together and chat about.

    - To more structured collaboration. For working on the recent tech calls from the government. To create new ideas to battle self-isolation.

    - With our accelerators moving online for now – working on our accelerator in health tech. But also soon to be in other areas with UP Accelerator. Watch this space.

    - On planned round tables with industry leaders around key points that perhaps we can help the government with.

    - On a HUGE virtual HUDDLE – which will be for as many people as possible. And mirror our offline quarterly breakfast with a key speaker and breakout rooms for networking. (Sadly, we can’t bring you a free bacon sandwich courtesy of Social 7 like normal.)

    You see in the end there are many different ways you can use videoconferencing.


    You can be innovative. And collaborative. And make sure that not being together in the same place doesn’t stop you from working together to grow your business. Even in these hard times.

    IN the end the right technology really will make the difference to the future. And keep your business ZOOMING upwards. Whether you choose to ZOOM or not. The Landing is here to help your tech company grow.  

    This BLOG piece originally appeared on #Linkedin.

    About the author.

    Dan Sodergren is a professional technology and digital marketing trainer and occasional futurist keynote speaker. He is a digital marketing trainer based in Manchester with Great Marketing Works. He trains companies and individuals in digital, social and mobile marketing. He also sometimes gets to talk about it all on radio and is even occasionally on the BBC.

    He is an early stage investor in HR tech company FLOCK and now works as head of business services and marketing at the MediaCityUK innovation tech hub - The Landing.

    The Landing @ MediaCity UK is workspace, community, business support, user experience testing labs, maker lab and events. The Landing is the technology enterprise incubator for high-growth companies at the heart of MediaCityUK.

    However, all the comments and thoughts in this blog are from Dan Sodergren and to not necessarily represent the views and position of The Landing. Find out more about Dan Sodergren on

    Companies in this piece.

    The Landing is a hub at the heart of MediaCityUK for high-growth technology and digital start-ups, scale-ups and SMEs. It provides workspace (offices and co-working), incubator programmes, user testing labs and Barclays Eagle Labs.

    Digital Interruption was founded by Jahmel Harris and Saskia Coplans in 2017 and is based at The Landing in the heart of Media City UK. We believe that security should be universal and that means it should be accessible to everyone. We’ve designed our services to meet the needs of organisations who need it the most.

    Zoom Video Communications is an American remote conferencing services company headquartered in San Jose, California. It provides a remote conferencing service that combines video conferencing, online meetings, chat, and mobile collaboration.

    References for this piece.