The Villains of Video Conferencing – Baron Sozial Nicht Gewahr

Kevin Buechler

by Kevin Buechler, Program Manager for Sales Enablement, LifeSize

In our last episode, we examined the “Standard Definition” behaviors of some common characters that populate the world of teleconferencing. Today, we present another villain that may sound very familiar…

Baron Sozial Nicht Gewahr (AKA: “Nick”):


Clarity has an ugly side and the Baron wants to make sure you see it in its Full High Definition glory. Nick does not grasp the concept that everything he does on his side of the screen is magically transferred to the other viewers. Video conferencing for him is just a two-way mirror. He can revel at the exploits of others without worrying about his own lack of social graces such as poor posture, questionable noises and constant multi-tasking. He may lower himself to share his opinion with you but can’t be bothered by your response. The latest Facebook post is far more important.

Illustration by Courtney Lubke

With LifeSize’s 720p30, 720p60 and heaven forbid 1080p30, not a single cheeto stain is blurred, no crumb goes rogue. The high definition quality puts every disgusting morsel on center stage. In fact, the video call is so lifelike you may even worry that the Baron’s powerful odors will escape the confines of his office and invade your nostrils at any given moment. Be calm, my friends – the technology isn’t quite there yet.

Unfortunately, LifeSize does little to protect you from this repugnant reprobate. It is virtually impossible to blur the video image or reduce the quality on LifeSize endpoints. Your only refuge may be the outdated audio call until you utilize the following tactics:

1. Bribery. Pure and simple. Tell Jolly Ol’ Nick that you have personally requested Paula Deen to concoct a brand-new, never-before-seen dish complete with a heaping helping of lard and a glob of grease. Tell him that it will arrive at his office door if he is on good behavior during the video call. A bribe with such caloric magnitude should surely get his attention.

Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia

2. Call your IT administrator and have him redirect all of the Baron’s social networking sites to this page. With his limited mental capacity and goldfish-like attention span, multitasking will be a thing of the past.

If you must interact with Nick, pray he is not on a LifeSize system- we like to call it the only salvation by Standard Definition.  Your best bet is to stay in presentation mode or link your input to your PC and watch your own presentations on the home screen- and no matter what, know that you’re paying more attention than he is to the meeting, so it’s all good.

Best of luck, my video conferencing comrades. Next week, we will conclude our series with a double dose of danger as we examine the twins: Frenetico and Panico.

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