Getting the Hang of Google+

Getting started with webinars, videoconferencing and news conferences has never been easier. A Google+ account offers free features that business owners need to know about: Hangouts and Hangouts On Air.

These are videoconferencing applications. Hangouts, usually private conversations, are like a group video call on Skype, perfect for a team of telecommuters. Hangouts On Air, on the other hand, are intended for public viewing.

Advice abounds on the technical details of perfecting both applications. Find them with a simple Google search. More challenging is thinking up ways to apply these capabilities. Sell yourself or your product by setting up informal consultations via a regular Hangout, or build your rep as an expert by hosting Hangouts On Air. After you’re done, the completed video goes to your YouTube channel and can be embedded on your own website.

Taylor Swift (promoting an album), Barack Obama (holding a fireside Hangout) and Neil Patrick Harris (previewing the Emmys broadcast) have all participated in Hangouts On Air. The finished videos show that Hangouts On Air have great potential—and the price is definitely right.

Learn about other cool Google tools, like Google Databoard, an easy way for business owners to crunch the numbers.


Betsy Simnacher is a freelance writer who has been published in numerous newspapers and magazines nationwide. She lives in the suburbs of Dallas.

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