Remember when Google+ was launched more than a year ago to compete in the social networking arena with giants like Facebook? You don’t? Well, you’re not alone. Despite our love/hate relationship with Facebook, few of us who had grown accustomed to that place could find the time and energy to embrace yet another site for interacting with the human race online. I know that’s how I felt. Oh, I created a Google+ account and waited for something to happen. Other than a handful of friends and family in my circle, G+ just didn’t snap my suspenders.
Hangouts on Air (HOAs) just might change all of that. It’s being called the “killer app” for G+, and based on what I’ve seen so far, it just might be. HOAs allow anyone to become a virtual television talk show host. Or offer a cooking show. Or even teach Spanish to beginners as if you’re in the classroom. These shows (called “hangouts”) are produced on Google+ and stream live on YouTube, where viewers can interact by commenting. The stream is recorded the show can also be viewed later. It’s a match made in… well, in cyberspace, which might be as close to heaven as some of us will ever get.
In launching this exciting tool, Google has violated one of the sacred tenets of App development, imho: Hangouts looks and works as if it was designed by a computer programmer, rather than for an average user. There is a steep learning curve, and I’m guessing that by the time I’m feeling fluent with HOAs, Google’s geeks will have refined the interface to be more humane and intuitive. At least I hope so, because there are so many people I’d love to talk to and publish online.
Not to be daunted by the geeks, a friend and I have been sharing what we’re learning, and as part of that experience, I will be a guest on John Grosso’s The Rainbow Show, a new HOA this Friday at 8 pm EST (7 pm CST, where I live). In fact, this will be only the second episode of TRS.
This is going to be a free-ranging conversation, as might be able to tell from the trailer below. We will be talking about Hangouts on Air, of course, but we also want to talk about the gay experience, as well as AIDS and AIDS “dissidence”. Here’s the trailer: