Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Business

September 22, 2013

TECH TALK WITH MIKE: Google+ Hangouts: High tech video conferencing

GOSHEN — Google is known first and foremost for its search engine. How many of us tell others to “just Google it,” and it is clear we mean to search online for it? Perhaps the company’s second most recognized online tool is YouTube. With Google being the most popular search engine and YouTube the most popular video service online, Google has a good thing going.

What many people might not be as familiar with is Google’s social media network called Google+, and in particular, some of the high-tech features it offers for free. While Google+ has more than 500 million registered users, it is not quite as mainstream in terms of awareness and use as Facebook and Twitter. That being said, though, Google+ is a online tool that offers businesses some important features they should take into consideration that can have a positive impact on sales and marketing efforts.

One of the most advanced and powerful features that Google+ offers is Hangouts.  With one click, you can set up face-to-face video conversations with customers and partners at HD quality. All you need is a webcam, microphone and good Internet connection to get started. You can even use a tablet or mobile device.  

Google Hangouts offer multiple features including instant video conferencing as we noted but also invitation only and public options for video streaming as well. Hangouts can be joined via a computer, Android device, or iPhone. There are features to share your screen, perfect for demonstrating something on your screen, and even for creating a shared whiteboard space to collaborate online.

A key feature is called “Hangouts on Air.” When using the “On Air” tool it adds functionality so you can stream live to an unlimited audience, connect and stream to your YouTube Channel, and even embed on your website. As well, the Hangout On Air is automatically saved to your connected YouTube account as a video, allowing the video recording to be available on Google+ and  your YouTube Channel.

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Poll

Three Goshen elementary schools — Chandler, Chamberlain and West Goshen — are providing free meals to all students during the school year as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Nearly 80 percent of students at Chandler, 89 percent of students at Chamberlain and 78 percent of students at West Goshen already qualify for free or reduced-price lunches based on their family income. How do you feel about the new lunch program?

I think it’s a good idea to feed all the students free of charge
I think those who can afford it should pay for their school meals
I think all students should be required to pay for their school meals
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