So tonight I participated in my second G Plus Hangout. For those who are not on G+ and are not familiar with what a hangout is, it is a video chat with up 10 google plus users. Sunday was the first time I had joined one and I thought the interface was both engaging and smooth. As a result I have been keeping an eye on my stream for others to join.
Tonight after the kids were in bed I saw that someone my circles had started a hangout and was kind enough to invite me. I joined. I was immediately added to this hangout with 7 people. All very much interested in sharing dialogue and experiences that they have had both on Google + and Facebook. It was a great experience. As we were talking someone mentioned Hangout Canopy a new extension for the chrome browser that allows you to see what public hangouts are happening at that moment. I literally had just bookmarked the site to download the extension at a later time when Robert Pitt the Developer popped in to say hi and mention his extension.
If you are on google and looking for hangouts the Hangout Canopy extension is a must have in my opinion. It adds a little umbrella that is wedged between the address bar and settings wrench of chrome and allows you to quickly see who is hanging out. Being completely new to the hangout experience I think this extension is awesome and will gain hopefully some traction.
If you are on G+ and have yet to join a hangout, I highly suggest you do. The conversations that I participated in tonight varied from FB vs Google to QR code generators and scanners, to marketing and more. Granted my wife thought it was little odd that I was video chatting with people I didn’t ” know ” but the fact of the matter is that I was in the process of getting to the know them. Subsequently I have added some of those folks to my circles and some have added me to theirs.
Google + now boasts an estimated 50 million users. With that number expected to climb at breakneck pace, now is the time to get on there if you haven’t and acclimate yourself. If you are on their but not active, I highly suggest getting involved over there. Where Facebook is making sweeping changes that further impede our privacy and ability to not share each every piece of information of where we travel on the world wide web and what we do. Google + is a fresh and uncharted frontier with some incredible people that you can meet and network with. Hangouts are in integral part of that component. I have been circling and being circled but it wasn’t until engaged in a hangout that I felt that I was a part of the community and not just an observer. It was great.
As G+ grows and google makes additional enhancements to their platform it is only become a richer more rewarding experience. I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for G+ and the programmers like Robert Pitt that are creating extensions and apps to run along side of it.