Google+ is all the rage right now, especially the new ‘pages’ launched last week. Funny part is, no one really knows what to do with it yet. Tuesday night I had the opportunity to hangout with two nonprofit rockstars – and we did it via Google+ Hangouts. It’s a feature of Google+ that allows conference video chats (like Skype) but quite a bit more. John Haydon, Marc Pitman and I were discussing Google+ pages for nonprofits when we decided to collaboratively start a blog post…right there…during our Google+ hangout.
Here’s the initial collaboration, and all three of us are posting today about an area of our discussion. Here’s John’s post, and Marc’s. It got me thinking about the benefits of hangouts for nonprofits. Here’s my initial list – what would you add?
- Face time – there’s something about seeing people face to face and hearing their voice in real-time that’s so much more intimate, personal and impactful – than any other communication. (duh) Chat with donors, service partners, clients, volunteers and more – saving travel expense an time.
- Staff meetings – in a tight economy, small nonprofits can struggle with rent and office costs. Skip them both. In Google+ you can collaboratively write notes and use a sketchpad like a whiteboard – all while still seeing up to 10 people face-to-face.
- Document revision/editing – how many times has someone in your office sent an email to 4 people asking for reviews on an attachment. They’ve just created a tornado of revisions. They’ll get 4 new versions back, have to figure out who’s fixes win out over another and they’re guaranteed to miss something. You can open a document and see everyone’s cursors and real time updates. Pretty cool.
- Broadcasting knowledge – Apparently live broadcasting is coming soon which would allow organizations to host info sessions, give topic speeches/presentations and more – via a public link beyond the 10 person limit. It’s like each one of us getting our own TedTalks channel.
- Broadcasting impact – John logged in to our hangout via mobile as well. Can you imagine taking your smartphone into a food pantry in Detroit, a jungle in the Amazon, or a girl’s school in Afghanistan, interviewing service recipients, giving tours and more – all live? The beauty is, it could be private for your board, a particular set of major donors, sponsor prospects – or soon, everyone.
I know there’s a lot more you could do – what would you try? Post in the comments and join me on Google+…maybe we can hangout and discuss.