Google Hangout: Be the expert!

Posted on December 15, 2014

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Tomorrow ELGL will be pushing the boundaries of comfort as we go online with the first in a series of Google Hangout’s to discuss the nitty gritty details of how leaders build the case and support for social media in local government. Unsure about what this Google Hangout thing is all about? Well, no need to fret, ELGL has got you covered. Social media pro Kim Ervin and laymen Google enthusiast Ben McCready have teamed up to get you up to speed, so you’re ready to engage in the dialogue with your fellow ELGL members.

The upcoming session will showcase the Google Hangout – On Air format, a variation of the Google Hangout you may be more familiar. A Hangout On Air will let us connect in to the power of YouTube,  so we can record the session and share it with people afterwards. If you’re planning to join us for the December 16th and have some questions already lined up, here are some steps we recommend taking before the big day. First up may be obvious: activate your Google+ account. Already have a Gmail account? You’re practically there already.

When it comes to using Google Hangout we recommend approaching it the same way you would a job interview. Do your homework, understand the tools and test out the software, and get your questions ready! Anyone can tune in to watch the event, but you will need to activate a Google Account if you want to actively participate and ask questions. Test your connectivity from where you plan to participate, make sure your workplace permits access.

We’ve outlined a few additional tips to help you feel armed and ready to get the most out of Tuesday’s session, and feel comfortable navigating Google’s ever-changing Google+, YouTube, Hangout environment.

1. How to access the Hangout?

Check your email! Or, click to get the Event Invite now! Then, RSVP to Hangout on December 16th. That’ll put a notice on your calendar and send you reminders leading up to the big day. Keep in mind that without a Google+ account your ability to participate will be limited. If you already have a Google+ account, keep an eye out for a notification once you log into Google+. If you registered without using your Gmail, please share that with Ben McCready ( so he may add you to the event!

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2. What do I do on Tuesday?

It’s the big day, you’ve accepted the event invitation – now what? Simple! Find your way to the event page at the time of the event and kick things off by clicking on the “Play” button. This should pop-up another window, and take you into the Hangout.

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3. How do I ask a question?

See that familiar set of squares up top? Click on the icon to launch the Q & A section. This functionality will only be available to those with a Google+ account. The presenters will be able to see any “questions/comments” you submit. However, they won’t be typing back to you. You will receive a notification when the presenters respond to your question via the live video feed.

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4. Nah, I don’t want that Google+ stuff, but I still have questions! What then?

So you didn’t want to create a Google+ account? You’ll be able to navigate the link to the Google+ event page, but will only be able to view the video. If you have a Twitter account, use the hashtag #ELGLSocial, our technical support will be doing there best to monitor for comments/questions and get them to our presenters, but wouldn’t it be more fun if you created a Google+ account?



That should cover the basics and get you ready to participate in our OnAir Hangout next week. Special thanks goes out to our ELGL members who helped us prep by making time to join not one but two tests! You can scour the web, read through Help sections and navigate your way through countless pages of Q&A, but the best way to learn is by trying it yourself, right?

So before we sign off, let’s recap what you need to know and don’t forget to register!


Strategies for building momentum internally for social media.


Kim Ervin, Pyramid Communications


December 16 at 3:00 p.m EST; Noon PST



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