We’ve all been there: the worst meeting ever.
Once you’ve finally escaped from your next one, you can head right over to MeetingRant.com. The site’s slogan is, “Just got out of a horrid meeting? Leave your anonymous rant here.” Since the site was launched a few weeks ago, lots of people have.
Most of the rants posted on the site involve human faults and foibles. Guy Who’s Always Late. Woman Who Constantly Goes Off Topic. The usual behavioural culprits. But technology is a big pet peeve, too, as proven by these posted rants.
“Can you hear me?”
“You’re on mute.”
“But can you hear me now?”
“If you’ve ever had a meeting where the conferencing solution, phone, and projector all worked perfectly at the same time, can you tell the rest of us what it’s like?”
“Half the meeting spent getting the video call set up. Remaining half spent saying ‘go ahead’ because video calling means never having to worry about interrupting.”
“Spending the first 15 minutes of an hour long meeting getting the conferencing software and/or projector to work.”
“Wasting half the meeting watching the host try to get either network access, web conferencing running, or accessing a resource that requires VPN. OH GOD. THIS IS EVERY MEETING.”
Comedian Sarah Cooper, who founded the site, has the perfect pedigree for it. As someone who worked in the tech sector at Yahoo! (her desk there is pictured in the photo above), a startup and then Google, she sat through her share of meetings, both good and bad. Her satirical meme 10 Tricks To Appear Smarter in a Meeting has racked up five million views online.
In a phone interview from San Francisco, Cooper gave props to today’s meeting technology for “solving the big problems, like how do I have a real time conversation with someone on the other side of the world.” But it’s actually the smallest technology glitches that often cause the biggest frustration during meetings, she said.
“There’s still all the barriers of (when) we can see them but not hear them, or hear them but not see them. In your head it seems like this is great to just dial into this call. But then either some technical issue makes it not work so well or even when it does work, it’s never quite the same as face to face,” said Cooper.
In all the posts venting about meeting technology, the recurring theme is that it’s just not easy (or quick) enough to set up and use. That complaint echoes (and yes, that conference call pun was totally intended) a key finding in an IDG study released earlier this year.
IDG surveyed both enterprises and SMBs about their adoption and usage of unified communication and collaboration (UC&C) solutions. Many UC&C applications play key roles in making the modern meeting happen, including audioconferencing, webconferencing, videoconferencing, telepresence, mobile and collaboration.
Although 55 per cent already use UC&C and 61 per cent plan to implement or upgrade it within three years, nearly half (46 per cent) said “ease of use” is the number one factor they consider when evaluating vendors. When asked to name the top challenge in implementing UC&C, over one-third (33 per cent) cited integration with their existing infrastructure.
Those numbers make a fairly compelling case for working with a company that knows how to ensure a successful UC&C deployment. If you’d rather laugh than read through research data, however, you can come to the same conclusion by poring through the posts on MeetingRant.com.