Thursday, February 02, 2012

Google+ Hangouts on Air

I was lucky enough to score early-adopter status for the new Google+ Hangouts on Air and just gave it a try! (Here are the directions for joining a Hangouts on Air session.)

When hosting a Hangout on Air, the first step is to make sure your log-in to YouTube is the same as your log-in to Google+. Once the Hangout on Air is over, a private recording is sent up to your YouTube account automatically. It took about 15 minutes for the 13 minute Hangout to process and show up on YouTube. Once it is up in YouTube, you can make it public or give access to specific users, change the licensing, set up moderation privileges, and so on. The Hangout recording as showcased on YouTube is embedded below. 

I posted the info about the Hangout on Air to both my Twitter feed and within Google+. It was early (8:30am ET), so it took a bit for someone to join.

Screenshot from video of a Google+ stream
I only had one participant join the actual hangout, but others were viewing it in their Google+ stream. (I received comments and questions from them later in my Google+ stream.) I could not see that, since I was the host, but my participant screenshared what that looked like. Here is a screencapture of his Google+ stream.

The set-up of the Hangout on Air was simple, the resolution of the screensharing was AWESOME, and those that were able to watch the broadcast live had good things to say. I was a little disappointed that the chat area within the Hangout and the chat among the Hangout participants does not show up in video, but you could overcome that with a screenshare of a tool such as or Wallwisher if you wanted to capture the "chatter" and gather feedback.

If you have any other great ideas for the use of this tool, add a comment! I am thinking that I could easily stream my presentations from conferences if I wanted to. It would be a virtual presentation and a permanent recording all in one!