Readying for Your Hangout on Air

Getting Yourself “Hangout on Air Ready”:

Hangouts on Air is a service from Google+ that lets viewers watch your video braodcast live – like a personal TV station – within Google+ or live on YouTube. The video can also be embedded into any website, so your viewers can literally watch it anywhere. After your broadcast, the final video version of the Hangout is uploaded automatically to YouTube. People who missed the original broadcast can watch it after the fact. Better yet, you (and we) can promote it and continue to use it to gather more customers.

The Gear You’ll Need

You can run a Hangout on Air with almost any laptop/tablet/phone, but with many of those devices you’ll be seriously disappointed in the result. There are many factors reducing the quality of the video; it’s best to start with the best possible quality!

Video Camera

      – The quality of your webcam matters. A lot. You’ll want a webcam with HD resolution, low light sensitivity and good optics.

Logitech C920

      I use a 1080p webcam from Logitech – C920… about $99 at amazon –

Logitech C920

      Whatever you do, don’t settle for the embedded webcam on a laptop.

Microphone

      – Just as important as the camera, or more important… the quality of the microphone matters. The microphones on laptops suck. However, I use and recommend the mic on the Logitech camera and it works great! The sound quality is good.

Computer

      – Run your Hangout on the fastest computer you can. A low-end netbook isn’t going to cut it. Use a laptop or a desktop computer with some horsepower. That will ensure the video is as smooth as possible.

Wired Internet Connection

               – It’s not always possible but this is the biggest factor in quality of video. If you can, plug directly into your router. Faster internet will gives better video.

cowboystudioKit
Use Good Lighting

– Fuzzy and pixelated or crisp and clear? Up to you. I recommend investing in a lighting kit like this – Cowboy Lighting Kit ~$78 on amazon
Cowboy Lighting Kit

To Get Setup Go To:

https://plus.google.com/

Login or Connect

Use your business gmail address to login (and create a profile if you don’t already have one)

Install the Hangout Plugin:

Hangout Plugin

Circle Mark Bossert

+Mark Bossert

Send Mark a direct message

via your Google+ profile page (there’s a navigator on the right) This confirms part one of setup!

Start a video Hangout

(without adding anyone) This confirms that the hangout plugin is installed!

Email mark@toplocalrankings.com a short bio which includes:

a. Name, company, position at your company. b. A one sentence bio. c. Your subject and the 3 questions you want me to ask — I need these ahead of time to setup the Hangout so it ranks! 

**Schedule our next Hangout on Air on the below calendar:

Other Items:

Verify your YouTube Account

If you want to do these yourself, make sure you have verified your YouTube account. You want to make sure your account can handle videos longer than 15 minutes, otherwise, your Hangout won’t get saved. This is one of the most common mistakes people make. Unfortunately, if you fail to do this, your Hangout is probably gone forever!

Setting Up Your Studio

You’re probably going to be broadcasting from your home or office. There are some simple things to do to provide the highest quality backdrop. Avoid Backlighting – The worst thing you can do is position yourself with a bright light or window behind you. The camera will try to set the brightness based on the bright background, and your face will be in shadow. Always get the bright window facing you, with your back to a darker area of the house or office. Illuminate Your Face – In addition to removing any backlighting, you’ll probably still want some kind of fill lighting for your face. A small desk lamp pointed at your face will probably do the trick, to highlight you. Have an Interesting Background – A plain white wall is really boring, but a nice living room can look great. Other people like to put a bookshelf behind them. If you work with some kind of technology or hardware, try to get it into the scene, to give viewers context. Position the Camera Above Your Eyes – When you use a laptop camera, it’s looking up at you, right up your nose. Instead, you want the camera positioned above you, so you’re looking up into the camera a little bit. Trust me, it’s more flattering. Put your laptop on some books, or put the camera on a tripod if you can. Reduce the External Sounds – You’ll want to chase down every source of external sound and remove it. Turn off the ringer on your cell phone and beg the kids to be quiet!