Your WebEx Personal Meeting Room is your own virtual conference space. It is always available, you don’t need to schedule it and the URL never changes. Last summer, the WebEx Personal Meeting Room (PMR) became usable for all UMN accounts.

Why use your PMR?

  • You can meet in the same virtual location because the location (URL) stays the same
  • You can lock your Personal Room and control who joins the meeting
  • You can stay in the room and let attendees come to you when you have back-to-back meetings
  • You can start a meeting from a mobile device when you’re not at your computer
  • You can start a meeting without having to use the scheduler
  • Use all of the WebEx functionality (share content & video, recording, etc)

Your Personal Meeting Room Web Address

The web address to your PMR includes your University of Minnesota Internet ID: For example, my PMR is:

Starting your Personal Meeting Room

Use your PMR web address:
  1. Enter your personal meeting room URL in your web browser. If you are not logged in, click the Log In button in the upper right corner.
  2. Click the start meeting button.
  3. Start the audio connection (Call using computer or phone)
  4. If guests are waiting to join your PMR, they will join as soon as the meeting is started
Start your PMR after logging into WebEx:
  1. Under Meeting Center, click My Personal Room
  2. Click Start Meeting

Inviting people to your Personal Room

  • Share your unique Personal Room URL (e.g. through email or other communication method 
  • Start your PMR and select the Invite & Remind button

Personal Meeting Room Options

Customize your Personal Room view

In WebEx under Meeting Center, select My Personal Room. Select the Personal Room full view icon in the upper right corner. Or go to your Personal Room URL.

  • Select Change on your avatar to upload a photo
  • Click on the drink image to select a different image
  • Click on the desk to select a different image
  • Select the arrow on the left of the room to view the wall images. You can replace these images by uploading your own images.
Assign Alternate Hosts
You can assign alternate hosts for your PMR meetings. This means if you are not available to start your meeting, the alternate host can start it for you. NOTE: Alternate hosts must have a UMN account.

Set alternate host:

  1. In WebEx, click My WebEx
  2. Select Preferences
  3. Click My Personal Room
  4. Under Alternate host, enter the email address of the alternate host(s)
Lock or unlock your Personal Room
If you have back-to-back meetings or need privacy in your Personal Room, you can click the Lock Room button in your meeting. The lock room button is under the Quick Start tab. When the room is locked, no one can enter your room until you unlock it. If the room is locked, the host sees a list of all attendees waiting. The host can choose who to allow into the meeting.

Join a Personal Room Meeting

Attendees can join a personal meeting room by one of the following ways:
  1. Email invitation with the link
  2. Type the URL in a web browser
  3. Go to and enter the host Internet ID

I hope you find your PMR as useful as I do. It is a meeting place I use several times a week. Leave a comment if you have any questions or if you have suggestions to share about using the PMR.

banner: Podcast episode 9

Quick Bytes Live! Podcast

Episode 9: Super Simple Overhead Cam Setup.

(recorded November 22, 2016)
Karen, Amy, and Tom talk through the overhead camera setup that is now available for check-out, and why you might want to use it. We also do an App Roundup and Listener Questions.
Be sure to subscribe and let us know your feedback!

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If you work in a big organization like Extension people do, you're going to need to use the branding templates in your Office software once in a while. The video below walks you through some tips to make these custom templates easier to access and use. Plus a bonus tip--how to use templates in Google Drive!

I made this Quick Byte in response to a reader question. Be sure to ask us your questions on the blog or on our Twitter @UMNExtIT!

Note: Several readers pointed out that the "From Template" document type in Google Drive is not there by default. Thank you Karen for answering this question!

In Drive, click NEW > MORE > CONNECT MORE APPS and search for TEMPLATES. It's the Drive Template Gallery. Also available directly from
banner: episode 8.

Quick Bytes Live! Podcast

Episode 8: That's not what President Kaler sounds like.

(recorded November 10, 2016)
Karen, Amy, Tom, and Danny tell some horror stories to entice everyone to sign up for two-factor authentication. Amy does a more-or-less spot on impression of President Kaler. We also do a great App Roundup.

Links from this episode:

Be sure to subscribe and let us know your feedback!

Subscribe via iTunes
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photo: recording the podcast

You've probably seen quite a few videos shot from an overhead perspective featuring a pair of hands assembling and cooking a delicious dish, or performing a complex task.

Here's an example we made using the setup from this module:

The overhead perspective can help task comprehension in ways a low-level, or straight-on, shot can't.  In this post, we'll cover how to create a flexible horizontal smartphone holder that will allow you to create high-quality overhead videos for $22 (or less if you already own a smartphone tripod mount!!).


We'll be modifying an adjustable desktop microphone holder to become the base of the smartphone camera rig.  The bolt specifications are the diameter in inches, the thread pitch, and the length.  These types of bolts and nuts are extremely common and you should be able to find them in any hardware store.

The parts list is as follows:

 Steps...The nuts and the bolts of it.

  1. Mount the microphone stand to a table or desk using the hardware supplied in the kit.
  2. Remove the microphone bolt that came with the kit by loosening the clamp.
  3. Replace the microphone bolt with the 1/4"-20 bolt.  Tighten the clamp, but don't over-tighten it.  You'll need to adjust the clamp as needed for final positioning.
  4. Thread on the 1/4"-20 nut leaving about a quarter-inch of thread exposed at the end of the bolt.  The nut is used to tighten the tripod mount on the bolt.  You'll need to do some minor adjusting of the nut to get the tripod mount remain horizontal.
  5. Thread on the smartphone tripod mount so it is secure and horizontal with the clamp facing up so the smartphone rests on the clamp.  Tighten the nut against the tripod mount to hold it in place.
  6. Insert the smartphone into the clamp so that the camera is unobstructed.  If you've done everything correctly, you should be able to raise, lower, and extend the overhead smartphone mount while the smartphone remains mostly horizontal.  Some minor adjustments are usually required.  Once you have established your shooting position, lock down all the clamps.
That's it!  You're done!  The added bonus of using the adjustable microphone stand means you have a lot of positioning flexibility for your videos.

We have two kits available for use in our loaner pool! Contact us at to check one out.  We look forward to seeing what you create with your new overhead video smartphone holder!

This week's Quick Byte is about how an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! Prevention's not glamorous, so we don't usually waste your blogging time on it. But this time, trust me!

Phishing attacks have doubled in the past year at University of Minnesota.

Keeping your identity safe is a worry for everyone. If you haven’t been a victim of a phishing scam or another form of password theft, you likely know someone who has. These attacks are increasingly sophisticated, difficult to recognize, and hard to guard against!

The University of Minnesota is now offering Duo Two-Factor Protection to help you keep your W2 and Direct Deposit information more secure should your password get stolen.

And guess what--some of those attacks have resulted in bank accounts being changed for direct deposit, and tax information used to file tax returns. This actually happens. I know Halloween is over, but that's still some scary stuff!!

Opt in 

There are a number of steps in the Duo Two Factor Protection opt-in process, but step-by-step instructions will guide you through and it will take less than 10 minutes. The small inconvenience of opting in becomes worth it when you consider the incredible headache of having your W2 and Direct Deposit information stolen. If you like, you can also review how Duo Two Factor Protection works after you’ve opted in.

I have opted into this service, and I strongly encourage you to do the same. If you have any questions, please reach out to the friendly staff at the Technology Help service desk. They would be pleased to help you.