Some more Google+ Hangout tips

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And we’re going to talk about hangouts as well. How to flip them up, and how to use them. And they are very interesting. You can do video chat and lots of things with that. It’s a great way to engage. But we’ll talk more about that, and actually show you that shortly.

OK, next on the list is hangouts. Let’s have a look at hangouts.

You can start a hangout at any time. Click on the Start a hangout button. We’re going to have to make this a bit smaller. It has produced quite a big window. Bear with me for a sec.

Now this is going to be interesting because I am recording a video, and it actually wants the video to be working as well. And in this case it seems to be sharing it nicely, which is good. I wouldn’t expect this application to do that. But it seems to be working well.

Now it says check your hair and make sure your mic works. Because it’s a video chat it’s telling you basically to get setup. And you can turn the video off like that, if you want to. But we’ll leave it on for this test.

There’s also a settings menu to go into. And you can define the camera. That’s my camera. I bet you’ve got a couple of cameras. I’ve actually got three cameras, because I’ve got an extra monitor and I’ve also got a builtin camera on my Mac. And also the Logitech camera, which is the one that I’m actually using right now, which I’m looking at, which is on the top of my monitor. You can choose your microphone. You can see I’ve got a few there. And I’ve got my speakers as well. You can play a test sound. Basically these are just standard configuration things you would use, to set up. Once you’ve clicked on that generally it will preserve those settings and you’ll be ready to go.

The other thing I want to point out here is your circles. This is the people that are going to be able to see and possibly join your chat. So this is important to get right. Later on we’ll actually be doing some Google – well, notifying

everyone. And we’ll actually do some hangouts, and we’ll get you to come on board and we’ll do some testing together, and we’ll have a bit of a chat.

We’ll do that live. But for now, while we’re testing we haven’t got anyone on board, because this is a test user.

I’m going to click on that. I’m just going to choose someone. I know I have got one acquaintance here, and that’s that William Hight user. I’ve added him in there before.

Now the thing to remember here is basically anyone that you add to a particular circle, not necessarily that have added you, but people that you have added: they will have the option to connect to your hangout. And they will see that you are in a hangout, and they will choose whether they want to connect, if they so desire. So at this stage it’s not sending any notifications. I can just click on hangout. And it is saying here obviously that no one is here right now. And that would be right, because of course, it is just us.

And the other thing you can do here, I wanted to show you some other things, because – and as you can see there’s my video down on the screen now – now as more users come up the screen will update depending on how many users are connected. Because the thing with hangouts is you can have up to 8, I believe there’s 8, and that number will probably change over time – people connected at one time. We can all be chatting to each other. And other people can just come up and just watch this. It’s sort of like a live webinar, if you will, which is pretty fantastic.

So, you can have your speakers. You can do live presentations. But look if you’re looking at this now, and you’re looking at this face, and you’re thinking, Oh, I don’t want to do front on videos! Don’t worry. There are some other

options there. You can do a screenshare. I’ll show you how a screenshare works.

Click on screenshare. Now on the other screen, because I have got two monitors here, this is the screen that has come up.

And I’ve got an option to choose different windows. So I’m going to choose another window. I’m going to share this one here. I click on Share selected window.

Now when I do that, now you can’t see that unfortunately because it’s quite small. But that’s actually sharing another window. And I can go into that other window on my computer. And I can share information, or do whatever. I can do live chats or do whatever. Or apply Google searches.

To give you an idea of how that works, if I click on Screenshare again. Just to show you that it is working I’ll bring up my keynote, which is a Powerpoint presentation. Can you see how that’s showing in the window?

Now that’s the power you have got there. And I can change that on this other screen. I can make it wider. Can you see that changing, down the bottom there? Make it wider, or skinnier, or whatever, to make it fit.

But the point I want to make is that this is small now, but in the other window the other people who are seeing you – I can’t show what this looks like from other users’ perspectives right now, but they will get the full screen presentation, way bigger than what you see in this video.

The point I’m making is you don’t have to show your face, if you don’t want to. You can use this technology for Powerpoint presentations.

You can use it for all sorts of things. Look, you can even use it for YouTube. If I click on YouTube. YouTube now allows you to share videos, and to have these videos on YouTube to actually come up within the Hangouts, which is really cool.

So if I look for one of my videos, and old video I created years ago. 214000 views. If I click on that. Now there’s the video talking. And at any time I can pause that video and you’ll notice actually, well I’ll start it again. I can be talking. You notice how it’s almost muted out the sound of the video. And I click here, and that’s actually much louder. So that’s another little feature, being able to actually share YouTube videos. So that’s a great way, if you had four or five YouTube videos you wanted to show, you could do a hangout and show those videos, which would be a great way to engage people to actually watch what you’re doing.

So let’s stop that.

Get rid of screenshare.

I want to show you another funny feature. You’ve got a picture of a dog there. If I click on that. Now can you see what happened down there? It’s going to be a little bit small, but Google Hangout has automatically added some facial characteristics.

It’s supposed to look like a dog. And notice how it’s quite smart? I can move my head around and it actually tracks it and follows it. And you can click on the button up here and get different images as well. A Cat, that’s the one for me, I’ve always been an angel haven’t I? A devil, etc. So that’s another little fun way.

And you can also do Docs as well. And that will go to your Google Docs account and enable you to share. I won’t show you that now, because we’re running out of time.

You can invite other people.

And you can also Chat to them online if you wanted to. You’ve got Group chat capabilities. So you could have that chat enabled and fielding questions and giving answers and people could be talking to you, people who don’t want to be on the video. They could be putting in comments and so forth, and you can be responding and saying, Hang on, what did you say? Oh yeah we were talking about how to … you know, answering their questions.

Very, very powerful, Google+ Hangouts. And it’s not something a lot of people are using. So I suggest you do look at it and really try and get the most out of it. Figure out how you can use it in your niche. Again, you don’t have to do full facial presentations like I’m doing here. You might decide to do Powerpoint, YouTube videos. There’s lots of different options there.

The other thing to note is from YouTube you can start a hangout directly from YouTube on any YouTube video. You don’t have to actually be within Google+. You need to be logged into your Google+ account, but after that you can do it automatically, which is incredibly powerful.

So you can see that Google is trying to integrate their services with all their other sites and make it a seamless experience, which of course is what we want. We don’t want any complexities with video setup. We want it all to be automatic.

So I’ll close this. Click on Exit, up at the top right hand corner. And that will close down Google Chat.

And just a survey they give you from time to time, to tell them about the quality. That helps them to give them stats as to what it was like. We’ll just say yes, that was OK.

And we’re back in our normal Google+ profile.

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