Friday, July 15, 2011

The great potential in Google+ Hangouts

I contacted the Editorial Board of my journal after I joined Google+, as I thought many of them would be interested in joining as well. I told them about Hangouts, as I thought that it could be a great way for the Board to meet, as we are never in the same place at the same time.

One of the Board Members wrote back and said that he wondered if I could invite a colleague of his. She was looking for an easy way to video conference with academics all over the world. I immediately invited her, and in no time at all she was posting and getting her friends and colleagues to sign up.

And the hook for her and for many people is the ease with which they can video conference. No one needs to download bloated software that will crash. No one has to worry about compatibility with a platform. No one has to worry if they don't have a webcam, as they can join in the Hangout anyway!

We are still waiting for Google+ to open up to businesses, but I can see real potential in these Hangouts for meetings and quick get-togethers. No sending out invitations and codes and grabbing hold of each other's desktops here, there, and everywhere (although I do recognize that there are times when demonstrating something that way would be helpful). But most Web meetings that I have attended would have been much easier and straightforward in a Hangout.

I have been in Hangouts both on my Cr-48 using the built-in Webcam and also on my Windows 7 desktop using a USB Logitech Webcam. I have not had any problems with sound or picture quality. I have found it incredibly easy to get in and also to leave, and to rejoin!

Google+ will get better as the weeks go by, and I am sure that there will be improvements made to Hangouts. I am incredibly impressed with them already, and will be trying to use them more and more for different situations.

1 comment:

  1. I completely agree esp with the Skype thing ! When the host left on Skype she hung up on everybody but here the others can keep talking and I just have a built in mic and cam and never had any problems with it either very impressive for something not even 3 weeks old