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Saturday Morning Musings: Google+ Hangouts

by Yvonne DiVita

I listened to two Google+ hangouts this week. Let's discuss...


The first Google+ hangout was via BlogPaws, my pet blogging and social media company, with an upcoming conference ... in Lake Las Vegas. I hope to see some of you there. Know that we cover all important social media topics, and while we're focused on helping pet bloggers, the education is useful for anyone in social media. Plus, you get the added benefit of petting tons of dogs and cats...and a few ferrets, maybe a guinea pig. Maybe even a capybara

Carol Bryant, our PR Manager, interviewed a few of our outstanding speakers, in the Google+

Steve and Carol
Steve Dale and Carol Bryant

Hangout #1. Steve Dale is speaking on cats and cat health, as well as on how to protect your pets from parasites, this summer... Lena West opens our conference with a panel on the business of blogging (and here's where we are like other social media conferences...we teach the business end of blogging)... and Chloe DiVita, yes she's related to me... will be part of the same panel as Lena, discussing more business ideas that involving blogging. 

The hangout was both fun and informative. I admit that I have not been a big proponent of these kinds of tools for engagement, and, much like my foray into blogging, I have discovered the error of my ways. For anyone not familiar with it, here's the story of how I started blogging over 10 years ago:

Tom, bursting into our room one night after one of his Masters Degree sessions at UB, "We have to start blogging! It's fanstic!" The excitement was overflowing... I could tell by the bright look in his eyes and his ear to ear smile that this was something that fascinated him.

Me, lifiting my eyes from the book I was reading, eying him warily, "Blogging?" The word hung on my tongue like a foreign object. "What's that?"

He proceeded to inform me of this amazing tool they were using in his Masters course and how it was going to revolutionize communcation on the web. I felt his excitement, though I did not absorb any of it. 

"Sounds like something from a Saturday afternoon monster movie," I said, not at all impressed with this new 'thing'. Tom went on to say it would replace newsletters (it hasn't, but... that's a topic for another day), and that we needed to start using it right away.

I resisted for several weeks. The concept of writing online every day, sharing the kind of content I thought belonged in a newsletter, with an unnamed and invisible audience, was not appealing. But, I began to consider this blogging thing, since the elusive newsletter continued to avoid my efforts to create it (despite the concept that inanimate objects, even ideas, do not have form and function... I tell you they do...) I could not get that dang newsletter started for want of a good cup of coffee and a half hour to write. My goal to build a readership of my book (let us not go into the book, for now)... continued to elude me. 

And so... this blog was born. Tom and I created the title of it, taken from a chapter in my book on marketing to women online. He designed it, using his training from the Masters course, and I discovered that I enjoyed writing in it. Back in those days, I wrote every day. I developed a voice and gradually built up a substantial audience. I was... a blogger.

And now, as a result of engaging with Google hangouts, giving them a chance as I finally gave blogging a chance, I am a Google+ Hangout fan. In fact, the hangouts we've done for BlogPaws are amazing ways to connect with the speakers who will be at the conference. I wish we could have done hangouts for all the speakers, but we do not have the bandwidth for that. I hope to do more hangouts following the conference, to share more of the speakers. For now, do hop over to the YouTube channel and see for yourself.

The second hangout I attended was by one of our speakers, Denise Wakeman. Denise and I go waayyy back. To the beginning of blogging, I believe. She was one of my first contacts via this new way to engage online, and I've followed her journey as a talented woman, as a writer, and as a successful business professional, over the years. We are privileged to have her be a session speaker at BlogPaws this year. 

Future of Ink

Her hangout was in support of book publishing. She did it with her partner, Ellen Britt, as part of The Future of Ink, their inspiring brand that does exactly what the title suggests...it shares and teaches methods, concepts, support of "the future of ink"... as in, book publishing.

The guest on the show was Nina Amir, Inspiration to Creation Coach. The title of the presentation via Google was, "How to Write and Publish Books that Sell."

As I watched (and, perhaps that's the prime beauty of hangouts...they are viewable, as opposed to merely something you listen to...), I was struck by the power of what was happening on my computer screen. A big part of that goes to the way Denise and Ellen work the hangout - they're articulate, approachable, knowledgeable, and intersting. I kept my eye on the backdrop each performer displayed... in other words, what was behind these women, as they chatted about book publishing and sales? Is that important, you're wondering...and the answer is yes.

You don't want the audience distracted by what's behind the presenter on the screen. Behind Nina, I observed a bookcase... I observed some pictures on the wall (to dim to actually see, though, and that's fine) and a printer. Clearly, we were in her office.

The event was designed to support a budding author's training in both pre-book marketing, and post book marketing. From a woman who has been there, done that. Presented by professionals in the world of writing. If there is one thing I've learned over the years, above all else, it's that no matter what idea you're pursuing, be it a book you're writing or a company you're launching, if you don't prepare yourself ahead of time, as well as you can, you will endure the many pitfalls of ignorance that accompany any half-baked endeavor.

You do not need ALL the answers. You do need to study and be prepared, and at least have some of the questions answered. 

I found the answers to a number of questions, viewing these Google+ hangouts this week. I discovered a new tool that I can now use in my work, and I got to engage with people I admire.

As my alter-ego, Jane, used to say, "What's not to like about that?" 

As an aside, please hop over and like our Facebook page and Follow us on Twitter (and if you haven't subscribed, do that too...we are in planning for BIG things at Lipsticking and I don't want you to miss out!). 


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Singing Dogs

It really is amazing the power of blogging. I think Google Hangouts is probably the best reason to use Google+.

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