By Stewart Grant
Shares of tech company Zoom Video Communications (ZM) surged 22% on Monday, following Sunday’s performance of the “Virtual Front Porch Show” which was hosted on the Zoom platform and simultaneously broadcast on Facebook Live.
All over the world, as greater requirements for social distancing have been put in place to fight the spread of COVID-19, people are learning how to connect with each other in different ways. The number of people experimenting with platforms such as Zoom, Facebook Live, WhatsApp and others grew exponentially this week.
Thanks to the technical expertise of Mike Rumble, an impromptu ‘virtual’ edition of The Front Porch Show was put together this past weekend, with guests including Amy Cubberley (St. Marys Museum), Lisa Lawrence (St. Marys Public Library), and myself as owner of this newspaper.
“I thought it went really well,” said host John Stevens. “Actually, it went smoother than the outdoor show,” he laughed.
The show must go on. As social creatures, we all must adapt to these challenging times, and the Front Porch Show this weekend was a great example of this. Nearly 100 viewers watched the show concurrently through Facebook Live on Sunday afternoon, even from faraway places like England, The Bahamas, California, and the Middle East. The video is now archived on the Front Porch Show’s Facebook page where it has since been seen by over 1,500 viewers, if you’d like to check it out as well.
Following the Front Porch Show on Sunday, I was eager to try organizing a virtual event of my own. Using WhatsApp, my wife and I were able to connect with some friends and enjoy a ‘virtual happy hour’. I’ve heard many similar stories from others who have done the same thing.
Though it might take you a little bit of time to master the technology, the payoff of actually seeing and talking to your friends and family is well worth it, as it makes self-isolation a lot less lonely.
By Stewart Grant