This blog used to be about virtual events – all day, every day (or almost every day). It’s branched out, of course, to cover a number of additional topics, including social media. This shift is reflected in the list of most popular posts for 2012. Without further ado, here’s the list, in ascending order of popularity.
5) 5 Tips for Organizing Your Google+ Circles
If you’re just getting started with Google+ now, take the time to set up and organize your Circles up front. I added people to the same one or two Circles and had to invest the time to go through them and assign them to more specific Circles.
It was worth it, however, as an organized set of Circles made my use of Google+ all the more productive and beneficial. Read the full post:
4) 5 Reasons I’m Breaking Up With You, TweetDeck
I once made heavy use of a Twitter client called TweetDeck. Now, I find myself relying exclusively on Twitter.com, from my browser. This post details why I decided to break out with TweetDeck. Read the full post:
3) 5 Tips for Hosting Google+ Hangouts
Google+ Hangouts are pretty darn neat. The first time I hosted a Hangout, however, I ran into a number of snags. The goal of this post was to share my mistakes and subsequent lessons learned. Read the full post:
2) 5 Things Virtual Event Platforms Can Learn from Pinterest
“It’s All Visual.” That’s a core attribute that makes Pinterest so popular. I couldn’t determine which was more popular: Pinterest (itself) or articles and blog postings on the topic of Pinterest. So I decided to try out the service – and then tie Pinterest together with virtual events. Read the full post:
1) Why My Third Grader Loves Second Life
While visiting the Tech Museum in San Jose, I was surprised to find a set of workstations installed with Second Life – or perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised, given that it’s a technology museum. My third grader loved interacting with this custom version of Second Life, so I decided to analyze just why that was. Read the full post here:
My Google+ Profile: http://gplus.to/dshiao
A bunch of us started a digital book club. On a regular basis (well, soon to be a regular basis), we meet via Google+ Hangouts. We recently held our first meeting, for which I was the host of the Hangout. I learned a lot from my first Hangout, so I thought I’d share these five tips.
1) Do a dry run in advance.
Another way of saying this is, “when hosting your first Hangout, don’t enter the Hangout five minutes prior to the start.” Similar to hosting a webinar, you need a dry run prior to the “live date.” I discovered that one browser crashed [perhaps I need to install the latest version], while on another browser, the Google Talk plugin seemed to consume 100% of my CPU, rendering my laptop (and the Hangout itself) unusable. I ended up moving to a better equipped laptop, but in shutting down the Hangout, it bumped everyone else out.
2) Have a backup host.
In the off-chance that you experience technical difficulties, have a designated “backup host” who can fire up a new Hangout. You know how some events publish a “rain date” in advance? Do the same with your Hangout and let your target audience know about your backup host (e.g. “for any technical difficulties, be sure to join a new Hangout that <BACKUP> will create”).
3) Create a Circle of your Hangout’s participants.
In the case of our book club, we asked interested people to “opt in” to our club. Once they did, I added them to a Google+ Circle that I created. I then “shared” the Circle with its members, allowing them to conveniently add the same Circle to their Google+ account. The Circle makes it easy to invite “members” to the Hangout – when the Hangout begins, you can invite the members of the Circle to join.
4) Encourage use of the “Chat” tab.
Text chat can add an entirely new dimension to a multi-party conversation. While one person is making a good point, others can write “Thumbs up!” in the chat area. Or, they can provide a related comment, or perhaps a hyperlink to a relevant article. In this way, the chat creates “more bandwidth” within the Hangout, without the “overhead” of switching from one speaker to another.
5) Set expectations in advance.
Participants in your Hangout ought to have a clear expectation of the agenda and flow. If you want to have 30 minutes of completely free form discussion, state that up front. For our book club, I created an agenda that included introductions, discussion points and a wrap up. Of course, I didn’t do my dry run, so my first Hangout didn’t follow the agenda as outlined.
My first Google+ Hangout was a lot of fun. They happen to be a great tool for digital book clubs. Use the comments area below to let us know your tips for hosting Hangouts.
Note: I invite you to connect with me on Google+.