A Great Video Conferencing Tool On Google+

Social media for nonprofits, google+, Ken Okel, google hangouts, free video conferencingYou may have wondered why you need to join another social media site but I think you should register for Google+. Simply by registering, you can gain access to an incredible tool that’s entirely free.

I’m talking about Google Hangouts. This is a video conferencing service that allows up to 10 people to meet online. More people can join the call as observers.

Why should you care?

  1. Nonprofits spend a lot of time driving to meetings. That’s time that you’re not making money.
  2. Having multiple people on a video conference call usually costs a lot of money, something you probably don’t want to pay.
  3. Since you see everyone who’s active on the call, you can make sure that they are listening to what you’re saying and not multi-tasking, which happens frequently on teleconferences.

Everyone on the call needs to be signed up for Google+. It’s the typical sign up process that you’ve experienced elsewhere. After that, you’re free to use Hangouts.

During the call, all of the participants are visible through their computer’s webcams. Whoever is making the most noise (which hopefully means talking), is rotated into a larger window.

Trying something new can be intimidating at first but once you’ve used the program once, you’ll be comfortable with it. Here are a few additional tips:

  1. I think the system works best when you have one person on each webcam. When you have a group on one webcam, it’s harder to see and hear them.
  2. With the noise detection feature, it’s important to be in a place that’s quiet. Turn off your phone’s ringer. I did notice that if someone is a loud typist, that noise can be picked up for all to hear.
  3. As with any meeting, it’s important to have an agenda and start and finish on time.

This is great but I need more help.


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