A few disconnected thoughts on video conferencing as the after a week working remotely like the rest of the world.
First, the whole process of “dialing into” a video call feels archaic - like the dialup era of the internet. It’s incredibly powerful once you’re on, but the process of getting on a call feels like unncessary friction.
The broadband era of the internet meant no dialup was necessary, and this needs to happen in video too. As soon as I want to be on the call, I and everyone should just already be there.
In this new world, we will be always on, always streaming. Switching conversations / contexts should be as easy as opening a different browser tab.
Our video conferencing apps will become as important as our web browsers are today. In an era of remote first, “social” is not a feature - but must be the core of communication medium itself. Social first and by default, and content layered on top if needed. Our current browsers are the opposite - social is a “type” of content.
We may look back at Zoom (and the like) in the same way we looked back to the browsers of the early 1990’s.
This will only be possible when the global internet infrastructure can support massive scale concurrent socket video connections for every internet user. But we may not be too far off from this possibility.
Of course, privacy is a primary level user concern here. It is not easy to become comfortable with the fact that there is a persistent video in the same way we became comfortable with a persistent internet connection. The right controls and opt-out functionality is necessary. Similar to web browsers.
On a related note - as people lose trust in centralized social platforms, your browser being the home of your social interaction - giving you full autonomy and control - makes even more sense.
This is a developing set of thoughts and I’ll be revisiting this soon.