Last week I tried to use Google Hangouts to broadcast a tour of a system I run. It was going to be very simple and I tried to use the On-Air Hangouts which broadcast your Hangout live. So about 30 minutes before the accompanying conference call I started up the Hangout On-Air, shared one of my screens and invited all of the attendees. 5 minutes before the call, no one had shown up yet which I thought was odd and then once people started hopping on the conference call line I found out that no one had received my invitation to “attend” the Hangout.
After the fact, I’m assuming that you only receive a Hangout invitation if you already use Google Plus/Hangouts and many of the people I invited don’t. So there was no email from me telling them to come and follow some simple instructions to join in. There was a useful YouTube link that I could share to allow them to watch the video of what I was streaming but it had a 30 second delay which meant realtime sharing of my screen wasn’t happening. A complete bust.
Fortunately one of the other companies uses Adobe Connect and they were able to share my screen with that quickly and so we only wasted 25 minutes trying to get Hangouts to work and were back on track. The tour was actually more controversial than I had imagined and the call continued on it’s mostly disastrous trend which accented the week appropriately.
Can’t wait for my next vacation.