I have been using Google+ hangouts ever since it came out and in the past couple of months, I have used it to effectively run online panel discussions on various topics of interest. In fact, I see Google+ Hangouts and Youtube broadcasting as a killer of Podcasts (if it is not dead already). It can be effectively leveraged by analysts like me to run online panels and vendors for their marketing purposes including webinars. I have learned a few valuable lessons from running these panels and thought I will share them here.
- Having a good camera and lighting is a must
- Having a good microphone is a must for all. If you are having more than one person sharing the same computer, make sure the microphone is positioned in such a way to get the audio from both people
- Make sure the audio from the speaker is not fed back into the microphone
- Advise the participants to not type (or create any other noise) while others are talking. If they use the keyboard, their face will be shown instead of the person who is talking
- Do not have more than one panelists in the same room with their own computer to log into hangout. I am telling you from my recent experience, it’s gonna mess up who is shown in the video
- Last, but not the least, don’t check your mobile phone while on the panel. Well, this is a note for myself 🙂
If you really want to understand how the video will end up when you do all the above said mistakes, watch this recent hangout. In spite of all the above said gaffes, this is a pretty good discussion on various topics including CloudFoundry, OpenStack and APIs. We spoke with Jeff Hobbs, CTO and VP of engineering, ActiveState and Yoram Heller, VP of Corporate Development, MorphLabs.
If Google can clearly market Google Hangouts, it will be a great success over many of the other video communication and webinar tools in the market. Many people record their webinars and host it on Youtube while Google Hangouts on Air does the same automatically. I have great confidence in the potential of this product but I am not sure how far Google will go in pushing this hard. I will be very upset if this goes in the Google Wave way.