Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Rickroll service spices up Zoom meetings with Never Gonna Give You Up

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InviteRick.com is perhaps the greatest innovation ever made in Zoom meetings.

Screen shot of InviteRick.com by Amanda Kooser / CNET

The fatigue of the zoom is real. the Coronavirus pandemic has pushed much of the world into endless loops of virtual meetings, but there is a light in the darkness of Zoom. Creative technologist Matt Reed has created a Rickrolling department that calls Rick Astley and his catchy Never Gonna Give You Up to your Zoom meetings.

Rickrolling, one of the most venerable traditions on the Internet, is to get unsuspecting people to listen to Astley’s 80s pop anthem. InviteRick.com is like a rickrolling bat signal. He’s there to save you from a world of blurring Zoom meetings.

Reed has published a video showing how it works as well as a blog post giving an overview of its development.

I tested the service using my own Zoom. I started a meeting with myself and dropped the link on InviteRick. I was 25th in line with a waiting time of 12.5 minutes. Indeed, just on time, Rick appeared in the waiting room. When I let him in, he briefly serenade me before disappearing. It was sublime.

I immediately went into fantasy mode, imagining Rick appearing in real Zoom meetings, coming to save me at the exact moment my mind started to wander. Delicious.

The virtual Rickroll works on Reed’s personal Zoom account. The service went live on Tuesday, but it may not work for long. Reed acknowledged that he was probably violating the Zoom terms of use.

So if you need a Rickroll in your Zoom meeting, if you want it as a beacon of light in a dark forest, it’s time to harness its power while you can. May Rick be with you in this desperate time of Zoom.

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