With the recent global roll out of Hangouts on Air (HOA), Google has taken a huge leap from video chat to live broadcasting.
While a regular Hangout is great fun and very practical for online collaboration with peers, clients and students; Hangouts On Air is our own interactive TV channel.
Want to host your own TV Show?
Hangouts on Air is:
Public Broadcasting: Now you can broadcast your live Hangout for all the world to see either via your Google+ page, your company’s YouTube channel, or a page on your business’ website where you embed the Hangout.
Engagement Tracking: As the host of the Hangout on Air, you can see how many users are viewing the Hangout live at any given time during the broadcast.
Recordings: Once your Hangout ends, Google+ will automatically upload a recording to your YouTube channel and your original Google+ post so you can easily share your video content even after the live event ends. You can also embed the Hangout on your own web page and direct viewers to watch the live broadcast or the recording there.
HOA allows us to broadcast publicly, but not to invite participants publicly. This is an important difference with the regular Hangouts.
Here are some things you can do with HOA:
Hold Press Conferences/Company Announcements:
- For company news announcements, hold a virtual press conference and invite members of the press to participate.
- Use Hangouts on Air to host your next educational or product-focused webinar. Or, if you’re a software vendor, hold live, group-style demos of your product.
Industry Expert Roundtable Discussions or Interviews:
- Invite industry experts for a sort of digital round-table to discuss an important industry-related topic. Or invite an industry expert for a one-on-one or multi-person interview-style broadcast.
- Host a virtual conference! Organize and run a series of presentations from various speakers at set times over the course of a day or two.
Live Streaming , In-Person Events:
- Posting a live event? Live stream the footage of your speakers’ presentations for those who can’t attend in person.
- Organize Hangout sessions featuring your most successful customers, and invite other customers — or even prospects — to view and ask them questions.
- Plan Q&A sessions with your business’ thought leaders. Consider it like a
Twitter Chat, but with video!
It’s important to remember that a Hangout On Air is essentially a public broadcast that will automatically be uploaded to your YouTube channel when completed.
It therefore falls under the same Content ID blocking functions.
In her recent G+ post; Important Warning Regarding Google+ Hangouts On Air (HOA) and Content ID Checking, Lauren Weinstein warns us to pay attention to the possibility that…
“…any participant in an associated Hangout who purposely (or even in the background) happened to have targeted material playing that could trigger Content ID, may indeed trigger a Content ID hit — this will apparently immediately terminate the entire HOA transmission.”
As a Hangouts On Air broadcaster…
- you are responsible for everything in the hangout
- whatever you see is what is being broadcast
- the broadcast is what is compared with Content ID
- so blocking is how you control your broadcast”
In other words, make sure that you or your guests don’t have any Pink Floyd playing in the background or a Disney poster hanging within camera frame.
Unlike a regular Hangout, you can’t invite public or extended circles to a Hangout On Air so broadcasts should only include people you know.
For most people, the features contained in a regular Hangout is more than sufficient to meet your personal or business needs.
By holding a HOA event, you are holding a public broadcast that is viewable by as many people as your marketing can reach.
Take some time to test it, review best practices and etiquette and plan the event as if you were
Ellen DeGeneres’ producer.
Here’s some Links you might find helpful:
Have you tried a Hangouts On Air, yet?
About Ray Hiltz
Ray Hiltz is a Google Plus Specialist and Social Media Strategist helping small businesses establish their brands and build their communities on the social web. A strong proponent for the power of collaborative communication and "humanized" digital networking, Ray writes about social media, social business and Google Plus. His clients include hotels, restaurants, consulting firms, entrepreneurs, writers and individuals just trying to make sense of "social". Ray is a popular speaker on Social Media, Social Business and Google+.