There have been some things that, up to now, I had decided to skip, hell the only chatting I do on Facebook are not face to face. I have Skype on my laptop, but have yet to give it a try as I know no-one who uses it.
(This post originally written on 3/6/13 - See introduction)
The other day I took the plunge and decided to attend a Google Hangout event hosted by Denise Wakeman ( The Blog Squad, Build a Better Blog – among other sites).
So, what is a Google Hangout? It is a free video chat service that allows both one-on-one chats and group chats with up to ten people at a time. If you can learn how to use it there is a great “face-to-face-to-face” group interaction to it that switches the focus to the person currently chatting. Google Hangouts can be accessed via laptop and desktop computers as well as other devices.
This live event was called “Conversation with Digital Publishing Experts”, and was a very interesting discussion, what I heard and saw of it anyway, as I spent most of the hour or so it lasted trying to figure out how to correctly participate.
The guests included Mitch Axelrod, Bob Jenkins, Mark Staufer and D’vorah Lansky, and there was an event page attendees were directed to on Google Plus. This page had a video screen and a way to leave comments as you watched and listened. Actually, people could leave questions for a day or so before the event began so they might be asked of the panelists.
With my G+ on I was able to watch and comment, but if there was more I could do, I was unable to figure it out. Judging by comments I was not the only one, and it’s good to know Denise was new at this as well, judging by a comment she left.
One problem for purposes of listener interaction with the speakers and host was pointed out by Denise, near the end: She “wasn’t able to see some of your comments and questions during the hangout. They’ve just showed up.”
Until I learn how to better use the program I think I should focus on just sitting back and enjoying the show and that is my advice to any newcomers having difficulty learning to use this.
With there being a video replay I can now go back and watch at my leisure, getting more out of the presentation than I did originally.
There was an event invite page on Facebook, as well as this one on Build a Better Blog.
You can read comments and watch the video reply, via YouTube.