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Testing Google+ Hangouts for CAG

July 23, 2012 by  
Filed under Blog

Going to try something different with this week’s Comics Are Great! live stream. In what might be considered a follow-up to episode 31, I’ll be talking with Erin Helmrich, teen librarian and graphic novel selector at the Ann Arbor District Library, about how she selects what books get into the Library’s collection, why such collections are important to cartoonists as well as libraries, and some more talk on starting up comics events that might lead to something bigger like Kids Read Comics.

But I said we were going to try something different!  This time, in addition to streaming on Livestream, we’re going to try broadcasting the show via Google+ Hangouts on Air. Rob Stenzinger and I recently tried this with the latest Lean Into Art Cast, and we found it to be a pretty strong candidate for broadcasting a podcast. It’s really neat how it simultaneously streams on your YouTube channel as well as your G+ feed. Also instantly archives the broadcast on your YouTube channel.

An intro (commercial) to the service, for those who haven’t been following G+ news:

During the test I did with Rob, we discovered that the chat client for Hangouts on Air only works for those who are actually in the Hangout. Viewers can chat about the show via the comments field below the Hangout post on G+, or using the comments field in the YouTube stream.

Pros and cons of this method:

  • Chat is archived on the Hangout post for possible follow-up. Lots of links get shared during CAG episodes, so this might be a cool resource for people who discover the show afterwards.
  • If you’re shy about participating in a chat client, this might be the dealbreaker.

But it’s worth testing! While G+ Hangouts on Air doesn’t solve all of the issues I’ve had with live streaming services, it proposes some interesting opportunities for interacting with the show.

So I hope to see you this Wednesday at 12:30 pm ET for the live broadcast of CAG 60, which will be broadcasting on Livestream, my Google+ feed, and my YouTube channel.

You can see a goofy video featuring me and CAG Technical Director Matt Dubay testing out the service. About 3/4 through the video things get weird when it turns into a multi-cam montage of my head.

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