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Starting a Hangout

Starting a hangout is very simple:

  1. Log in to Google+.
  2. Click the green Start a Hangout button in the third column of your stream page (Figure 4.1).

    Figure 4.1

    Figure 4.1. The Start a Hangout button.

  3. If you don’t have the Google voice and video plug-in installed, you’ll be prompted to install it (Figure 4.2); click the Install Plugin button, and follow the onscreen instructions.

    Figure 4.2

    Figure 4.2. Hangouts require the Google voice and video plug-in. If you don’t have it installed, you’ll see this prompt.

    Clicking the Start a Hangout button with the plug-in installed opens the Google Hangouts window (Figure 4.3). In the middle of the screen is video from your computer’s webcam. As the screen suggests, take this opportunity to make sure that your face can be seen and that your hair is in order.

    Figure 4.3

    Figure 4.3. Before you start a hangout, you have a chance to make sure that your video and audio are OK.

  4. Familiarize yourself with the buttons along the bottom of the window (Figure 4.4 on the next page):
    • Mute Video. This button mutes your video for the rest of the hangout participants.
    • Mute Mic. The Mute Mic button serves double duty. Click it, and your microphone is muted so that no one can hear what you’re saying. When your mic isn’t muted, though, your sound level is displayed. The more green bars appear, the louder you are. If no green bars appear, make sure that the Google Hangouts window is using the correct source for your mic (see “Adjusting hangout settings” later in this chapter).
    • Settings. As you might expect, click this button to see your hangout’s settings.
    • Exit. End your hangout by clicking this button.


      Figure 4.4. These four buttons appear before participants join your hangout (and afterward as well).

  5. To start your hangout, invite some people to hang out with you.

    You can select some of your circles or individual people. By default, Your Circles is selected (refer to Figure 4.3), which means that anyone who is in one of your circles will be able to join this hangout.

  6. Click the green Hang Out button.

Your hangout is posted to your stream and the streams of the people you invited (Figure 4.5). Anyone who wants to hang out with you just clicks the Join This Hangout button.

Figure 4.5

Figure 4.5. A notice of your hangout is posted to the stream to alert the people you invited to join you.

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