Grain app: transcription VS Zoom fatigue
By Nick Hunderson
Do you remember what was said during your last Zoom call? Do you remember what you spoke about yesterday? If not, try a new app that will help you go back in time.
You’re not the only one who thinks that Zoom calls push you out of your comfort zone. Just 10 minutes are enough for me to stop paying attention, and one glance at Slack is enough to completely lose the thread of the conversation. And the next day, you’ll have to give all of yourself to try to remember the details.
The Grain app helps you unwind during a call by recording the Zoom conference in the background. Your conversation with colleagues becomes something like a YouTube video: key moments are marked with timecodes, and the most important phrases are available in short clips. **Grain transcribes the conversation and converts it to text so that you can find what really matters in a long discussion. This feature is available in 22 languages.
Grain is fighting “Zoom amnesia,” a phenomenon that makes the details of your last video call quickly forgotten. This term never spread outside the startup space, but another one has become popular, “Zoom fatigue.”
The fact is that a dialogue on Zoom is different from the personal conversations we’ve had since childhood, and it uses more cognitive resources.
When a person is sitting across from you, you see facial expressions, gestures, posture, and other non-verbal cues. But Zoom robs us of all of these non-verbal cues and forces us to get information from words and flat facial-expressions in a small window.
A real conversation takes place in a specific location, while a Zoom conversation often takes place in the same room, even in the same chair. So, it becomes difficult to tell them apart.
Each phrase spoken on Zoom can be perceived as a performance on stage, which only has the effect of increasing the pressure on the speaker. You’ll feel it, even if you’re not the one talking, because several pairs of eyes will be looking at you for the whole meeting.
‘In general, for most setups, if it’s a one-on-one conversation when you’re with coworkers or even strangers on video, you’re seeing their face at a size which simulates a personal space that you normally experience when you’re with somebody intimately,” claims professor Jeremy Bailenson, founding director of the Standford Virtual Human Interaction Lab.
Delays, interruptions, glances away from the camera, all of these seem disrespectful, or like a loss of interest in the conversation. At GibLab, this problem is solved with the help of Zoom etiquette: an employee has the right to turn away from the camera, ask the question again, and his colleagues won’t find it offensive.
Try four easy ways to fight Zoom fatigue. Hold your calls in different places, or better yet, in different rooms. Leave a break of about 20 minutes between calls. During a meeting, turn on Do Not Disturb mode and minimize all browser windows. Turn off your webcam so you don’t have to watch it for the next half hour.
Recently unknown Zoom has suddenly become the most popular social network of the 2020s. The company will try to defeat the growing competition from Microsoft Teams and Slack with its app store, which integrates apps like Grain. The latter can also integrate with Slack or Trello with the help of recently added Zapier scripts. As a result, this will transform into an ‘operating system for remote work.”
During every Zoom meeting, I take short but unrelated notes. For example, ‘June 26,’ integration with Zapier,’ ‘500-600 words.’ These notes will partially trigger a key moment of the conversation in my memory, but the context is going to be lost since I’m unlikely to remember why I was interested in integration with Zapier. More than anything, Grain is a way to recall the history of a dialogue, the context and train of thought, both mine and the speakers.
Who will benefit most?
Grain can benefit different people in different ways. For managers, it’s an inhouse knowledge base. With it, former employees pass on experience to young colleagues, by searching for the correct videos using keywords. For journalists, it’s a powerful voice transcription tool. For sales, Grain is a way to gather all of the client’s needs in a brief video with highlights. For everyone else, like designers and programmers, Grain will save them from playing a game of telephone.
Why do I love it?
Relieves our memory
The trial version is a whole month
What made me frown?
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