Written by Fawn Rechkemmer, February Blogger of the Month
This month we’re talking about using your voice to change the world. I want to share some ideas about how Google Hangouts can help you further your reach, and extend an invitation to join me in a hangout next week.
As bloggers, most of us are comfortable with sharing ourselves in written words. However, speaking in public, making new connections with people face-to-face, and letting our opinions be known about the things that are important to our hearts can be difficult and intimidating. Sometimes, though, our spoken voices can make an impact and further our purpose on a much faster track than yet another written blog post. (I have two writing degrees, so I hate saying that, but in today’s info-saturated society, it’s true.)
Google Hangouts can help us build skills and confidence in all those scary scenarios, further your reach to new audiences, and build excellent collaborations. There are two basic ways (with lots of variations) to put Google Hangouts to work. The proper terms are Video Hangouts and Hangouts on Air, but I’ll call them “Behind the Scenes” and “Out in Public.”
Behind the Scenes
Google Video Hangouts are similar in concept to Skype or Face Time. It’s like a phone call where you can see who you are talking to. Google Video Hangouts can hold up to ten people at a time, so you can have a meeting with any ten people from anywhere in the world (as long as they have a Google account).
Ideas for using Google Video Hangouts behind the scenes to amplify your voice:
- Connect with other people who share the same goals as you do to collaborate and/or brainstorm.
- Organize a partnership or team to work together on a specific project
- Meet with companies/organizations that you would like to work with to change the world
- Mentor or be mentored by another blogger or industry professional to strengthen whatever skills you need to further your work.
Out in Public
Google Hangouts on Air essentially allow you to create a live, online TV show of sorts. Many bloggers and other social media experts broadcast a Google Hangout on Air on a regular basis (i.e. once per week). For some bloggers, it is just them, alone, talking to their audience. Other broadcasts include two or more people in a panel-type setup. Again, up to ten people can be included in the hangout. The difference is that an unlimited number of people can watch the hangout as it happens. The Hangout host can choose to turn on a Q&A feature that allows the audience to type in written questions and comments. Also, Google Hangouts on Air are recorded and saved into the host’s YouTube account.
Ideas for using Google Hangouts on Air out in public to amplify your voice:
- Increase interaction and draw for your readers via regularly schedule broadcasts that match the theme of your blog.
- Share audiences with other bloggers by forming a pair or panel broadcast that all participants promote to their readers.
- Embed your Hangouts on Air on your website to generate content and traffic.
- Gain a wider audience via Google+ and YouTube traffic
- Create a video portfolio to show off when working with companies/sponsors that fit with your mission.
I bet if we put our brilliant heads together, we could come up with more ideas. As part of my fun as February Blogger of the Month, I will be hosting a Google Video Hangout especially for Missouri Women Bloggers. Mark your calendar now for Tuesday, February 25 from 8-9 p.m. This will be a fun opportunity to try out Google Hangouts if you haven’t yet, talk about ways that you could use it for your blog, and meet some fellow Missouri Women Bloggers!!
If you would like to attend, please leave a comment on this post and add me on Google Plus. That way I will know to invite you into the Hangout when it is time to start!
*Keep in mind that there is a max of ten people allowed in the Hangout. If we have more than ten RSVPs, I will open another Hangout immediately following the first one so that we can accommodate everyone.
Fawn Rechkemmer writes about motherhood, being green, health and fitness, travel, and other things that make her go, “hmm…” on her blog, Instead of the Dishes. Fawn is a member of Missouri Women Bloggers and helped create the original Arkansas Women Bloggers network. She lives in Ozark, Mo., with her husband and two children.