Connecting with People via Google+ Hangout
What is Google+ Hangout?
We are used to hanging out in the real world but we now can hang out in the virtual world as well. No matter what part of the world our friends and family live in we can connect with them all thanks to a new innovation from Google called Google+ Hangout.
This great invention from Google connects everyone together from all walks of life and it is all for free, which is quite amazing because not everyone can afford to spend money on phone calls and/or traveling to see people who live in other parts of the country or other parts of the world as well for that matter.
What's great about Google+ Hangout is that it allows you to talk to people from different parts of the world while also seeing them on your computer screen (so long as they have a camera installed on their computer). Not only do you see all the people you are talking to but they see you and each other as well. And it's not just a still image. You see their facial expressions, their posture, their moving lips. You can see what room in the house they are in, or where they are if they are not at home. You can see what they are doing while talking to you. Perhaps they are cooking, or cleaning, or maybe just moving about. No matter what they are doing, no matter what they are feeling you can see it all.
Even though all the people you talk to in Google+ Hangout are situated in different cities, countries, or even continents Google+ Hangout makes it seem and feel as if you all are together in the same room having interesting conversations. Everyone can grab a cup of tea, or other hot beverage and sit in their rooms talking to you and it will feel as if you are having tea together under one roof.
How to Connect with People on Google+ Hangout?
Google+ Hangout is a great tool/software but how do you actually connect with people on there? It's actually quite simple.
First, you need to create yourself a Google+ account, which is easy to do. Then you need to add people to your circle. When that is done you create a hangout and invite the friends in your circle to join the hangout you just created. When they accept your request, all of you will be able to talk to each other.
Once you start the conversation in Google+ Hangout your computer screen will show a video screen of you and of everyone you are talking to. The video screen of the person who is talking will show up on top and the video screens of the other people will show up under it in a horizontal alignment. When that person finishes talking the video screen of him/her will move down and the video of the new speaker will move up top. You will all see each other on camera as you are speaking. If there are other people present in the room with one of the speakers and they fit into the camera you will see them as well. You will even hear their voices if they say anything. If someone you are talking to does not have a camera installed on their computer all you will see is a still image that will never change. You will still be able to talk to that person and hear him/her as well. You just won't see his/her face.
What are the Benefits of Google+ Hangout?
There are a number of benefits to using Google+ Hangout.
Google+ Hangout allows you to talk to many people at once no matter what part of the world they are in. They can even live next door to you, or in your own neighborhood and you can still talk to them in the same way you would talk to someone who lives far away.
With Google+ Hangout you save money on long distance or other telephone charges because Google+ Hangout is in fact free. You also save money on airfare because you can catch up with your friends and family without having to spend money on airplane tickets and such to go visit them. It won't be completely the same as visiting them in person but it's the next best thing.
If you want to run a workshop or a lecture of any kind you can utilize Google+ Hangout and save yourself time and money. There is no need to travel anywhere, no need to rent a space. You sit in the comfort of your own home, and so do those that want to take part in the lecture or workshop and share and discuss with them whatever it is that you wanted to talk about and educate. People can listen, take notes, and ask questions. It's like being in a virtual classroom without having to travel anywhere.
Skype vs. Google+ Hangout
Skype allows you to talk to people and see them on the computer screen (provided they have a camera installed on their computer), but as far as I know you can't talk to a lot of people at the same time like you can in a Google+ Hangout. Perhaps, that is possible but I have never tried doing that.
I did try Google+ Hangout and was amazed at how easy it was to connect to people from different parts of the country (and the world). Yes, there were some connection issues, which made it hard to hear some people, but that was an issue on their end, not mine. Still, the conversation went pretty smoothly and everyone enjoyed our meeting on Google+ Hangout. We definitely plan on doing it again soon.
Have you tried Google+ Hangout? If you did, what was your experience like? Will you use Google+ Hangout again in the future?