If you have a Zoom account, either free or paid, then you can set your displayed name in your Zoom profile on the Zoom website. However, most Zoom participants in meetings sponsored by non-profit groups don’t have, and don’t need, Zoom accounts. The name displayed for these people, by default, probably isn’t very user friendly. Let’s see how Zoom gets the default displayed name and, more importantly, how we can change it to better suit all meeting participants.
I've been involved lately helping people get Zoom installed on their computers and verifying that it works. I can categorize new Zoom users into three categories:
- People who are able to get Zoom installed and running on their device(s) by simply following a meeting invitation hyperlink and letting the automated process work. The overwhelming majority of new Zoom users fall into this class.
- People who need a little help understanding the process and need prompting to follow the normal path. I'm guessing that maybe 10% of new Zoom users fall into this category.
- People who get Zoom installed correctly but find that normal Zoom meeting hyperlinks don't work. This doesn't happen often, but it does happen enough to require a circumvention.
That third category is what this blog post is all about.
The COVID-19 pandemic and associated Stay At Home orders have disrupted the way we get together in person, both formally and informally. While there are many platforms that facilitate person-to-person connections "in the cloud," Zoom is definitely one of the most, if not the most, popular. In this blog post, and a few more to follow, I'm going to look at this platform, address an unusual problem that will stump some potential users, and encourage more people to use Zoom to host their own "meetings in the cloud."