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Google Hangouts On Air: Tips to Get You Started

Jason Tucker on a Google Hangout On Air

On the first of many more to come, New Media Expo (NMX) was very excited to interact with Web Developer and avid Google Hangouts On Air user Jason Tucker. For over a decade and a half, Jason has been a hands-on developer and systems admin in a wide variety of fields from entertainment to health care. In our first chance to Hangout on Google, CoachDeb Cole, NMX Marketing Director, asked Jason pertinent questions regarding hosting and participating in Google Hangouts On Air.

How To Start Hanging Out

It all starts with using the right equipment. CoachDeb and Jason discuss some specific equipment and apps that he uses and recommends, for a high level experience during a Hangout session. The cost is minimal, but like everything – you have to have the right tools for the job!

Jason stressed that Google Hangouts change all the time and it is often difficult to keep up unless, like him, you Hangout every day. However, once you are comfortable with the basics, you will be able to identify most of any recent Google updates to the platform and figure out how to use them effectively.

CoachDeb has asked the buring question – when you are hosting a Google Hangout On Air – where do you look with your eyes? You want to look directly into the camera, but you also have to address your screen to see others as well as the Q & A’s and other on screen info. Because of all his previous hanging out experience, Jason had some valuable insight to solve this dilemma.

Didn’t Someone Say, “Just Do It?”

CoachDeb summed it all up at the end by expressing her excitement about combining social media and digital broadcasting, and Jason expanded on this by inputting additional creative Google Hangouts On Air possibilities that include multi-camera Hangouts and apps to help push your broadcast to a higher production value level.

So jump in and Hangout with us at NMX for this archived initial broadcast, and join us for future live Google Hangouts On Air.

Google Hangouts On Air: Tips to Get You Started Transcript

COACH DEB: Hey Jason

JASON TUCKER: Hey how you doin’?

COACH DEB: Very good, thanks for helping us out as we set up the first Google Hangout for NMX!

JASON TUCKER: Yeah, no problem at all!

COACH DEB: So for anyone watching us live, this is going to launch our Google Hangout series with New Media Expo, and since I didn’t just want to talk to myself, Megan, our social media manager, introduced me to Jason who’s been super helpful in some of the little logistics – since Google Hangouts seems to change all the time. I think the last Hangout I did was like a month ago and I came in and you said like the tools – they change all the time!

JASON TUCKER: All the time! Yeah. Yeah, they’re constantly changing, lower thirds change, the interface itself changes, tons of stuff changes on it.

COACH DEB: How do you keep up?

JASON TUCKER: I do it every day!

COACH DEB: Well, that’s a good way to keep up with everything!


COACH DEB: Share your website ‘cause you – for anyone watching us live just happen to catch us here as we test out the whole system, it’s gonna be hopefully a two minute video but maybe it will be practical. Share your website and the link that I just went to with the Logitech, it was the ‘want to be amazing at recording live events here’ – and then if you could show our listeners, viewers what Logitech camera you recommend so that when speakers come and present to us and the audience of NMX they’ll know how to look like a pro!

JASON TUCKER: Sure. So if you go over to the website, http://wpmedia.pro you can take a look at the links there. There’s a search box you just type the word Logitech in there, you can see the posts that relate to Logitech. The Logitech camera that I use is the Logitech C910 – it’s this little guy right here. It works on your laptop so you could just sit it on your desktop or laptop, it opens up so you can get a nice little connection behind the monitor there and you can adjust it as needed. It has a – I think it’s like a 200 and something degree angle for the recording of audio. It also has this really great thing on the bottom here so you can actually mount it to standard tripods, so if you have a tripod for you camera or something you can use it on that. So if you go to the website you can click on that. They sell it over at Amazon for 145 bucks. So that’s the Logitech HD Pro Webcam 910.

COACH DEB: Very cool. Thanks Jason. The other thing too, as you’re talking I’m like I actually want to ask a couple of other questions about having your speakers do cool Google Hangouts. I noticed when anytime I’m participating in a Google Hangout I want to watch what they’re talking about – the speaker –  on the screen, but then it will catch you as you’re interacting like I’m talking to you here because I see you, but then other people watching the broadcast they’re seeing it from the camera. So where do you recommend looking as far as you position your website browser somewhere – near your camera? Um, just go back and forth? What are some of the recommendations that you do?

JASON TUCKER: Yeah, there’s actually a great tool in the Google Hangout called Screenshare. And if I click on Screenshare and then I tell it that I want to display a particular website I can click on this and it will take you straight to that page so you can see the page there. From there you can move the mouse around on the screen, move everything around on there. You’re able to see that with no problem. After that you can switch back the camera and then you can talk again. So it ends up working out really well for that. Being able to share your screen and to also share what’s happening with you on the camera. Were you able to see my screen while I was doing that?

COACH DEB: Yep, very cool!

JASON TUCKER: There’s another thing if you’re using a Mac, this is also a pretty great way of tying everything together. There’s a great program called Picture In Picture. It’s called PIP2. And what you can do with PIP is you can actually do a picture in picture screen – so you can see me on my video and then you can also see – I think you’re seeing yourself now.

COACH DEB: I am it’s kinda weird…

JASON TUCKER: There we go – but I can switch the camera and you can see my video on the bottom corner here while I’m talking, and then you can also see the webpage too.

COACH DEB: That’s scary – what’s it called?

JASON TUCKER: That one’s called PIP.  PIP2.

COACH DEB: What are some of your other favorite apps? Since this is going to be a very practical video, I like this! I’m glad you came on – or I’d just be talking to myself! You can’t just Hangout with yourself! That’s just wrong! What’s one more tip before I let you go? And then you’re gonna be on our first Google Hangout!

JASON TUCKER: Oh, that’s awesome!

COACH DEB: This is kinda the first official Hangout, so…

JASON TUCKER: Let’s see here – the favorite tool that I would use? I use this really great program called Boinx TV. B O I N X TV. It’s around 300 or so dollars for it, but what’s great about it is you can actually do pre-productions stuff with it on the fly! So you can actually run your own little TV station, have lower thirds on the bottom, have a Twitter interface on the side, kinda do all those sorts of things. So there’s a trial you can download and check that out, and then you could pay the full version if you wanted. What you could do with that is you could actually have it displayed and have your video on there have all these different interfaces and stuff around kinda CNN style, but then use Google Hangout to use their screen sharing feature like I was just showing you and display that CNN looking screen instead of the actual video that we are actually recording here. So it’s a cool way to kind of tile these pieces together. And maybe when we talk actually talk again I can show you that stuff.

COACH DEB: Cool. I’d love it thank you. What you are describing is like you said CNN style – that’s exactly what I was thinking, it’s truly broadcasting at its best where it’s integrating social media with traditional broadcasting where everything is at your fingertips – and it’s a pretty exciting time to live!

JASON TUCKER: Yep – and if you have multiple cameras that’s the way to go ‘cause you could do video tutorials and all sorts of stuff with having a camera above you a camera in front of you a camera at the side and kinda flip cameras just by pushing buttons on the keyboard.

COACH DEB: Well thank you Jason Tucker – and it’s @jasontucker.com?

JASON TUCKER: @jasontucker on Twitter and http://tucker.pro/ is my website.

COACH DEB: Ok I just followed you on Twitter so you’ll see a CoachDeb following you and I’m gonna stalk you now for everything to do with Google Hangouts! This is awesome.

JASON TUCKER: No problem at all – I’m glad I was able to help you out.

COACH DEB: And for anyone who is watching this random Google Hangout what happened is the NMX team is behind the scenes with DragonSearch – they’re actually here they’re just kinda hidden. And they’re helping us with the Google Hangout system and setting it up so we don’t have any glitches when our first speaker comes on. And Megan said we need to test this with someone who is not an admin account because, Jason, what was happening is all of our team members were coming on so we had five people coming on all coming up with the NMX logo instead of their picture. So the only time I would come up and I would talk and like when I would hide my video like this – I think if you still hear me – so now you just see the picture and the audio broadcast and I was getting a kick out of it. But I’m like but now I wanna see someone else do it! So when DragonSearch would start talking the little green icon would come on – these things are just fun sometimes these new tools but with them we become the guinea pig right – we have to learn all the different features that change every day I think it’s like the good and bad with it!

JASON TUCKER: Exactly I mean you can get pretty crazy they have special Google effects so you could actually put a crown on you if you want make yourself like a clown if you like.

COACH DEB: We’ll just be clownin’ around while we’re Hangin’ out!

JASON TUCKER: No problem – you can go pretty crazy with it!

COACH DEB: I love it! Thank you so much Jason for Hangin’ out with us. Aloha! And for those of you tunin’ in right before we shut down, go check us out when we’re being serious and hopefully you got some cool tips if you’re thinkin’ about doin’ a Google Hangout – go to www.nmxlive.com and check out the show that is going to be coming at you in Vegas live with 3000 to 4000 people all in the new media industry from blogging to podcasting to web TV to social media business. Go ahead and check it out you’ll see a video there and all the information and the sponsors. And then DragonSearch thanks for helping us with the admin, I’ll let you turn this off and any last thing Jason to give to our listeners.

JASON TUCKER: Nope – I’ll see you at NMX!

COACH DEB: Perfect – see you then! Take care.



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