I am no longer a google plus hangout virgin.

Whether you like it, love it or despise it…google+ is here, and so far, it seems to be holding its own. One of the features it boasts is the hangout feature. Last week I started the conversation about them (click the image to read the thread):

The discussion centered around whether or not you needed to be cleaned up to be part of a hangout. The conclusion: for clients, absolutely. For anyone else, it’s personal preference.

My preference? That no one other than my close friends, family & spouse sees me without makeup, and since most days, I work in sweats sans makeup, I have been hesitating on hosting one. However, yesterday I had a client meeting, so I had to be cleaned up. Taking advantage of it, I decided to host my first hangout.

But, before I started it, I thought about the point of a hangout. Did I want it to have 1 direction, or did I want to just see what happened if we got a bunch of people together? Who did I want to invite to it? How did that part event work. I decided things are always better when organized, and I didn’t want it to be insane. So I only invited my 3 smaller circles (#smmoc, personal contacts & people I am connected to on at least 2 networks) and decided open with the question: “what is missing from the current social media sites?” With the question in mind, I sent out the following:

On google+: From 3:30-4pm (ish?), I am going to host my first “hangout”. We can talk about whatever the attendees want, but I’d like to open the floor with: What is missing from the current social media sites?

On twitter, linkedin & my facebook fan page: At 3:30 pm, I will be hosting my first google+ hangout. The question we’re starting with is on my page: http://gplus.to/kirstenwright

At 3:25, I logged in, started the hangout and prepared to see what happened (for those wondering, I did wear the hat.)

The results:

When I clicked “start a hangout” I honestly felt like my world would explode a little bit…it’s scary to press a button that gives people access to you, especially because my office is in my house, it’s a little intimate! After you set up the plugin, you get to select who you want to invite…which made sure that I was only inviting the groups I wanted involved.

….then I waited.

@CodyL joined me first (after about 5 mins) and put me out of my “no one likes me” misery. It was great to catch up with him again, since I hadn’t seen him since OC Wordcamp. We talked for about 20 minutes and he disconnected. About 5 minutes later, I was about to log off and @NotaGrouch joined me! I have been wanting to meet Oscar in person for the longest time so it was great to actually talk face to face. About 10 minutes in, @JoeCascio joined us too. Joe & I connected originally through a mutual friend, @swoodruff, and it was great to catch up with Joe again. The three of us talked computers, business and I ended up staying on until 4:45pm (about 45 minutes longer than I expected) because we were having a good time!

My first experience with the hangout was good – but I learned 3 things:

  1. If you want to make sure you get a lot of attendees, promote it more before you do it!
  2. Set a timer, when the timer goes off, end the hangout. While I really enjoyed chatting with everyone, it did take a chunk out of the day.
  3. The better the web cam, the better the conversations. It is so much easier to see each other with high quality cameras and solid connections.

Have you tried a google+ hangout? What was your experience?

If you haven’t – do you want to now?



Category: Social Media
  • http://www.mybargainbuddy.com Karen Hoxmeier

    I work with a company that is based in Norway. We use Google+ at least once a week. It’s a great way for groups of people to talk. Conference calls are going to be a thing of the past and I’m sure Google+ will have many smaller businesses canceling their subscriptions with GoToMeeting.

    I agree, you need to have a high quality webcam. The good news is, they’ve dropped in price a lot recently. You can get a decent HD model for about $40.

    I would suggest that anyone who is uncomfortable with Google Hangout or video chatting in general try it out with a good friend first. After a few sessions, it will feel totally normal. Soon, you may find yourself hitting the hangout button instead of reaching for the phone.

    • http://www.wrightcreativity.com Kirsten Wright

      Karen, Great suggestion! I know that after testing it this way, I will be willing to do it again :)

  • http://oscarstech.com/ Oscar Gonzalez

    Kirsten, it was great hanging out yesterday. Even if it was short. Great to meet you pseudo-IRL! I think you have good advice in here and definitely it is good to plan a hangout if you want it to be productive. In the inverse though, I’ve had really great experiences simply joining existing hangouts ad-hoc with people I already know on Twitter or FB where there wasn’t a planned agenda. These usually have turned out well and have evolved into a mini networking mixer event.

    If you want to stay in topic, definitely schedule it and promote it just like you would a normal event. And remind people a day before and even 1 hour, or 20 min before. Looking forward to next time!

    • http://www.wrightcreativity.com Kirsten Wright

      Oscar – you as well! I may have to try another one and just leave it logged in for a few hours. Then, let anyone who comes in have like 10 minutes total to ask questions. That way, I can have a lot of different conversations!

  • http://soniamarsh.com Sonia Marsh/Gutsy Living

    I am a Google + hangout virgin and I have no idea how to become a Google + prostitute. Oops did I just say something inappropriate?