While we’ve yet to find out how Google+’s “Hangouts” will mature and evolve, we’ve already seen some great uses of the built-in, group video conferencing service.
Although the tech for Hangouts has been around for years, it seems the simplicity of the Google solution is getting people’s creative juices going. From intimate concerts to a new way of co-working via cooking lessons, Google Plussers are making the most of the functionality in fun, new ways.
Take a look at the way Google Plussers have been using Hangouts in the short time since the service has been live. Please share in the comments any innovative or exciting uses you’ve come across.
Do you like the idea of co-working, but wish there could be more cats? That’s the innovative use of Hangouts from Mary Robinette Kowal, puppeteer and award-winning author of Shades of Milk and Honey.
Kowal explained the concept of “Writer Hangouts” to Mashable. “They are a co-working thing and are very much like the idea of meeting people in real life at a coffee shop, but with the added benefit of having more control over your environment. As a writer, I’ll often schedule writing dates at my local coffee shop, just to get myself out of the apartment. Writing can be so solitary sometimes.”
“With the G+ Hangouts, I’m able to do the same thing, but with people from all over the world. At the last Hangout, we had people from Ireland, the Netherlands, and three of the U.S.’s timezones.”
While in the Hangout, the participants minimize the Hangout view when in the midst of writing, but stop for scheduled breaks where they can chat, socialze, generally have a water-cooler moment and (as in the screengrab above showing Rebecca Blain) show off their kitties.
“I’m lucky in that I live in a city with a lot of writers, so real life hangouts are easy,” says Kowal, who offers some advice for anyone interested in starting their own Writer’s Hangout. “The Google+ Hangouts are fantastic for writers who feel isolated. They take the lonely out of writing.”