*This post was updated on May 17, 2013 to reflect recent changes made to Google+ Hangouts on Air.
Since we run our business almost entirely on Google Apps, we’re pretty partial to Google+. To all the Google+ haters out there, we understand your frustration because Google+ is sometimes not the simplest of social networks to use. But there are several key features, and one in particular (Hangouts On Air) that make Google+ our social network of choice.
Every other month, we host FlashPanel Live, a Hangout On Air given by our CEO to discuss some of the recent changes and upcoming additions to FlashPanel. After hosting three of these events, and hitting a few stumbling blocks along the way, we’ve boiled down the process of hosting a Google+ Hangout On Air to an exact science.
To hold a Hangout On Air in which you have both an organizer (BetterCloud) and a presenter (our CEO, David Politis), but no other attendees, follow the steps below: *Note: We created these steps for a Google+ Page, not an individual user account.*
First, create an event on Google+ by hovering over the top left-hand navigation button at the top of the Google+ interface – this will differ depending on what page you’re on – but it will likely say “Home.”
Make sure to check ‘Make this an event on air’ under ‘Advanced’ settings – doing so will allow anyone to join the event. If you do not select this option, guests will have to be explicitly invited to the event.
Before your event’s start time, start a Hangout on Air by hovering over the top left-hand navigation at the top of the Google+ interface. After hovering over the button, you’ll see a dropdown menu, scroll down and select “Hangouts on Air,” then click the button on the lower right side of the screen, which reads “Start a Hangout on Air.”
The page (or whoever is managing it) is now the Hangout’s organizer.
Now, set up your Hangout on Air by entering the name of the Hangout and to add a presenter, invite the desired person to join the Hangout.
Once they join the Hangout, go into the Hangout apps on the right hand side and choose the ‘Cameraman’ app – this will allow you to show or hide event presenters.
Grab the embed code from the top of the Hangout window and use the iframe HTML code to embed the Hangout onto your site – you can also grab the YouTube URL here.
Paste your site link or YouTube URL into your event’s stream so people know where they can view the Hangout On Air.
Finally, click ‘Start Broadcast’ at the top of the screen to allow viewers to watch (doing so will also begin the recording).
We know this seems like a lot, but setting up the Hangout this way ensures that audience members are view-only, eliminating any distractions, interruptions or stray noises.