So I hosted and recorded a Google Hangout for my job recently. Had some notes and tips I took down to share with you, so you don’t run into some of the issues we did. In no particular order they are:
1. Understand there are TWO Types of Google Hangouts now: Video Party and Google Hangouts On Air.
Video Party is more like what you would traditionally think of as the original Google+ hangout. You log in, start a hangout, invite friends, start talking it up. Google Hangout On Air is, as the name implies, more like a public webinar. It also requires linking to your YouTube account, so I’d suggest doing that well before you start.
2. Read the directions.
I know you should always do this for anything, but I am not a direction reader by nature. Trust me, read all the directions, help, support, whatever, on both types of Google Hangouts.
3. Find the URL for your Video Party or Hangout, and share it – in advance.
This primarily applies to the Google Hangout Live. If you are hosting a live, public hangout, you’ll want to publicize it with the link to the broadcast. The link isn’t intuitively easy to find once you set up your Hangout, so again, take time to find it and promote your event well in advance.
4. Test the Mic and Camera. Test it Again. And Again.
On both ends of our Hangout, we ran into some video and audio snags. On my side, the 3rd party software that came with my PC didn’t have my webcam turned on, so there was that. On the other end, the person I was interviewing had 2 different PCs running at the same time, and the mics were causing crazy echo on the audio. Make sure you can hear and see each other well before you start.
5. You have to link Google Hangout to your YouTube account in order to record.
As I mentioned earlier, if you want to record your Google Hangout On Air event, you need to link to your YouTube account. What happens then is once you start broadcasting, YouTube records your live hangout and publishes it to your YouTube account. You’ll also want to download and install the Google Hangouts plugin for your browser.
All that said, it is SO much fun. I can’t wait to do another one!
Have you done a Google Hangout, or are you planning one? Let me know in the comments.