I Finally Found A Reason To Like Google+…Hangout!

Even though I’m always fine once it’s said and done, I’m not a big fan of change, generally. Though I have never read the book “Who Moved My Cheese?”, I know without a doubt that it was written for me. (I’ll get around to reading it, someday. Maybe.)

That’s why, when I first heard about Google+, my groans could probably be heard all around the world. ANOTHER social media platform that I had to learn if I wanted to keep up with the times? Gah.

I signed in and set up my profile, sort of, and started adding people to my circles, the entire time frowning, shaking my head, and muttering to myself how ridiculous this was.

I have friends who are HUGE fans of Google+ and sing its praises regularly. I could just never get into it. As time went by, I started getting notifications that all kinds of foreign men with long and difficult-to-pronounce names were adding me to their circles (icky) and although I obviously don’t have to add them to mine (and won’t!), it added to my distaste for the platform.

And then, two weeks ago, something amazing happened.

*Cue angels singing*

I had to do some Social RevUp work with one of my partners, and she suggested a Google+ Hangout. It was a lot like Skyping, and we were able to work face-to-face from different locations. But wait, there’s more.

The advantage that Google+ Hangout has over Skype is that you can invite as many people as you want to the Hangout; it’s not just one-on-one.

Last night, I was a part of a Google+ Hangout with five friends in five other states: Indiana, Ohio, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and California.

We were all on-screen, and except for the one who had to do the Hangout from her iPhone and kept getting booted out when she got texts from other friends, it went really well, technology-wise.

It also went really well, connecting-wise, laughing-wise, and fun-wise. We chatted for three hours (!!!) and it was a blast. I am so in awe of today’s technology: being able to connect this way with people anywhere in the world is just amazing. I haven’t been in the same room with all of these these friends since August, but last night we were virtually in the same room. I’m still smiling about it.

So, you say YOU want to have a Google+ Hangout of your own? I can help you with that. But first, my non-disclosure Disclosure:

Believe it or not, this is not a Google-sponsored post. It’s really just a public service announcement with a lot of excitement behind it because I am in love with this feature. Thanks for reading; carry on.

How to have a Google+ Hangout:
1. Sign in to your Google+ account.
2. On the right side of the stream, you’ll see a button that reads “Start a Hangout”.
3. Click that.
4. If this is your first Google+ Hangout, you’ll need to install a voice/video plugin before you can see your friends. This does take a few minutes.
5. You will be taken to a new page that will show your live feed (hopefully you have a web cam and microphone), and from there you can invite people to the Hangout. Those people will get their invitation on Google+ and all they have to do is accept it.
6. That’s it! It really couldn’t be easier.

I think my group of friends is going to make Google+ Hangouts a regular thing. I will also be using it to work with my business partners on days when I can’t get to our city office.

It’s probably only a matter of time before I dive into the rest of Google+, but I’m just taking it one step at a time. Maybe change isn’t so bad after all.

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