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Hosting a Hangout: Extending your hangout

This, the third and final discussion on Hosting a Hangout, will finish up the series and show you what do once you’ve turned down the spotlights and all the camera’s have been switched off. So far, I’ve talked you through Setup and Preparation, Live on Air, and now we’ll focus on Extending Your Hangout.

This last blog on Hosting a Hangout is timely, as the next Hangout on Air for the Social Media for Science Communicators will be on Wednesday 29 January, at 10am American EST (3pm GMT). More information will be online in the coming days, so look out for it.

What to do after your Hangout

The biggest value to hosting a Hangout on Air is the live recording, so those who weren’t able to tune in to your Hangout live can go back at any time and watch. My most recent experience has been that there were more people tuning in later than those watching live. Keep this in mind as you choose whether to publish to YouTube or not.

First and foremost I’d encourage you to, again, thank those who participated in your hangout. If you want them to come back or to tune in to later broadcasts, it’s always good to make them feel valued as participants. Drop a personal note, or publicly thank them; either way it will help you grow the network you’re starting. Just as important is to ask for feedback from them. What worked well? What did they find useful or not? How could it be improved for next time?

Upon completion of your Hangout, Google will ask if you want to make the video publicly available, only visible to those with the link, or private. I’d encourage you to make the video public, because more people will be able to engage with the content if it’s accessible, and you can extend the life of your hangout. This is the important bit; extend the life of your hangout, even when it’s all over.

Should you want to edit the video there are two options; use the YouTube video editor, which is very basic, or, download the video from YouTube and upload it. The best thing about it being live however is that you’re bound to make mistakes, and sometimes the way you handle a situation live, or things that are said off-the-cuff can be far more entertaining and enjoyable than those that are scripted or heavily edited.

Extending your Hangout

Any comments or questions that were made on the live broadcast will be available in the regular YouTube comments once the video has been published. This is an easy way to extend the life of your video. If there were some questions or comments you weren’t able to attend to during the Hangout, go back to these people and write them a reply. New viewers will also be able to make comments and even join the discussion.

If you use Twitter, Facebook or Google+, or are an active blogger, the more you can share the link or embed the video, the more coverage it will get. Get social! Share your video.

What if you’re a podcaster, and you want to make the audio available to your audience? Guess what, you can! This is probably the most interesting thing I’ve found to do once you’ve finished your hangout, and a great way to make it more accessible. Follow the easy steps by Donna Papacosta to publish your Google Hangout as an audio podcast.

You’ve made it! You’ve successfully hosted your Google Hangout on Air, and have gone through all the steps necessary to make it a success before, during and after the event. If you have any comments or questions I’d love to hear from you, drop me a message below.

Photo credit: Mick Amato