The Google Overlords Let Us Hangout

The other night in preparation for the Tech 621 class presentation on Internet Culture tomorrow night, we decided to have a Google Hangout. As someone who has been on Google+ since the first week it was around, I had never utilized the Hangout. Now that I’ve finally been able to hang out, I think I can fairly evaluate it.

Positives

The interface is very simple and easy to follow, similar to Skype. However, the big difference that Skype does not do, is that Hangout changes the video of the speaker as someone talks. It works fairly well, although if more than one person is talking, it does pick one person over another, which is fine. In fact it makes the conversation feel more natural, and almost as if it is in person.

You can also share YouTube videos with your friends in the hangout. We watched one of my favorite scenes of the Hanson Brothers from my favorite hockey film Slap Shot while waiting for everyone to join. I really see this as being a very useful as maybe sharing information for businesses or even friends wanting to watch their favorite YouTube videos with each other.

Negatives

From a more practical note, it would have been nice if you could share more Google features in the hangout. For example, what about sharing Google Docs in a hangout? For example, one of our group members could not use Google Docs and the Hangout app. Whether that is because of their computer or not is another story, but it’s worth noting. What about Google Calendar? What if you have a group of people who are trying to plan something? It would be nice to see everyone’s schedule.

The Verdict

Overall, Google did very well with Hangout. I’ll definitely be using it again. For someone who prefers face-to-face meetings, this definitely has changed my opinion a little bit about that. It would be nice to see more of the other products that Google offers integrated, but let’s not forget that Google+ is still in beta. I think if Google could incorporate some of the functions of Google Wave into its hangout, I think it would have an unbeatable product.

 

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About Mike Brownstein

I'm a Political Science MA student, and taking Tech 621 at Purdue University
This entry was posted in Personal Reflections, Social Media Tools, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to The Google Overlords Let Us Hangout

  1. Quincy Clark says:

    I too enjoyed the Google+ hangout experience. I’ve used Skype several times however, Google+ hangout seem to fit better for a meeting with several people. Changing the video to the speaker is very helpful in that one is able to keep up who is talking. Like you, I would like to see more features added that would allow sharing docs etc.

  2. Mihaela says:

    Now you have your wish: Google Docs integrated with hangouts since yesterday (or today)
    http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/why_google_plus_hangouts_is_the_killer_app_docs.php

  3. Pingback: Internet Culture Live! | The Internet Industrial Complex

  4. Pingback: The Webinar: How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the Internet | The Internet Industrial Complex

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