One of my favorite people that I’ve never met is Laura Case. She found our blog when she was pregnant with her boys Nate and Alex, and we’ve been following each other for the past six or seven years. She is the author of a guest post that offered great comfort to twin moms, and when you’re done with this post, you should read it.
Laura posted this picture on Instagram and it delighted me.
What’s happening in this photo is that Laura and her four friends are using Google Hangout to watch So You Think You Can Dance together. Get it? All across the country, these women were able to watch their show and share their commentary with each other.
Have you ever used Google Hangout to talk with your friends? If not, it’s fun to try it. Whomever is talking automatically takes the floor. In other words, Hangout detects the speaker and places her image in the big window. Everyone else is represented by thumbnail videos below her.
How to start a Google Hangout
Go to your gmail account and look for the area where you can invite someone to chat in the bottom left-ish region of the screen. If you have a webcam enabled, you can click the camera icon and get a menu that includes an option for Hangout.
After you go through the prompts to “install” it the first time, in the future, that area of your Gmail will be where you can create Hangouts. If you are going to create a recurring Hangout, for example a tv show or a weekly Sunday night call with your siblings and parents (aka mayhem) you can simply create the event on your Google calendar and use the option for “Add a video call”. This will place a link in the calendar event that everyone can click on to find each other.
I have had many instances of audio issues with Google Hangout where a perfectly tech savvy person simply cannot make her audio work, so you might try some practice runs. (And please, do not turn to me for tech support. I’m just the messenger.)
Here is a screen capture of me, Heather, and our sales director Meri on a weekly status call using Google Hangout.
Ok, more importantly, what TV show would you like to watch with friends so that you can enjoy each other’s commentary?