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.)
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:
- If you want to make sure you get a lot of attendees, promote it more before you do it!
- 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.
- 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?