Google announced today that they have added public sign up for the new social media as well as have seriously added new features I have been begging for since the early preview started that prevented my full attention.
I have held a few experimental Google+ Hangouts sessions including a conversation with users of Autodesk Labs Project Photofly where we got into deep discussions with up to 10 people live in video and audio “hanging out”. It like a casual conversation in the same room or a lounge at Autodesk University and seeing people facial reactions unlike a webcast or phone conference call. You get some dimension of a group conversation than other remote options and best of all it is FREE.
The feedback from participants was this was an awesome and easy way to have a real conversation among people that typical web casting did not provide. What we really needed was a way to share screens and show what we were doing or to share a slide or demo a feature or product. Google have now added the ability to share screens in a Hangout session as well as use Hangout on a mobile device. They finally added search.
Some of my posts on the Hangout Session Experiments and photos of participants:
The jury is still out on Google+ as another complete social media platform to replace other social media such as Twitter or Facebook, but the Hangout feature is well worth the effort to join. Imagine a company client design review, product demos, usability studies, classes, or AU planning or practice you class with multiple people in multiple locations sharing their screens video and audio for immediate feedback!
I wonder if some Hangout sessions live from AU 2011 would be a blast so others could stop by and talk with people over the web from the AU Exhibit Hall or beer bust, yes a virtual beer bust and toast.
As I have been saying Google+ is great, but it is still +1 more (pun intended) social media to have to keep up with in this age of information overload and distractions The jury remains out but experimenting with the new social media platform.
Go ahead join it and experiment, +1 me, and place me in your Google+ circles.
Enough geeky rambling for now.