Experiments with remote birthday greetings

I’ve recently been experimenting with using remote conferencing tools to make it easier to use video for richer, more intimate messages, and below is a post I’ve shared in a few private social networks.

I tried a few services, but it turns out that it’s totally possible to use enterprise teleconferencing software to share recorded birthday greetings from people from multiple places to a single person.

This means you can use it to ‘get in a booth together’ and leave video messages for people, and say happy birthday in a richer, more personalised way.

Handy, because I turn 38 today!

Give it a go – find someone you know who also knows me, jump in the room and try singing happy birthday.

I might not have seen your face in ages, so it’ll be nice, and I’ll share the video back to you too ✨

I hadn’t found a way to do this using any other tools yet, but if there is one, do please let me know.

How to do it:

This zoom rooms below automatically record whenever anyone is inside them, and either save the recording to your computer, or my private inbox on zoom. I used zoom as it was the only service I could find that supported this weird use case.

If you want to do this yourself, see Zoom’s own instructions on setting up an auto recording meeting.

Option 1: Doing cloud recording so it’s shared automatically

Below is a room where as soon as you join the room, it start recording. Recordings are deleted after 7 days automatically.


Option 2: Doing local recording then sending yourself

For folks who want more control, I’ve set up another room with local recording, for folks who want to see the video first, and send it themselves, using something like Firefox Send, Signal, and so on:


Obvious disclaimer:

The rooms self-destruct at the end of the day anyway, but please don’t share these too widely – this is a largely an experiment in helping address the isolation lots of folks are feeling stuck at home.