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Pt 101314-1

I helped ladyada set up the first ever DIY electronics show-and-tell using google+ hangout video chat, it was fantastic. Here’s a brief write up.

The first ever electronics show-and-tell over google+ hangout was a success! We’re going to do this again, next time we’re going to start at 9:30pm ET on Saturday nights. That’s 30 minutes before “Ask an engineer“. We might have a recording of this first ever, but check out some of the screenshots (above).

Here are some quickie thoughts about what worked, features we’d like to see and more:

  • The show-and-tell is so much fun, no one wants to leave. So we’re going to do it 9:30pm and the first 10 people who are in are in for the full 30 minutes to show-and-tell. We were able to do about 10 in 30 minutes, that’s a perfect amount of time for us before the show without fatigue from the show-and-tellers or us.
  • The agenda driven video chat with a moderator asking questions and moving things along (us) worked great.
  • We’ll likely be able to record these and post them later (working on the first one now).
  • Watching a YouTube video didn’t work for everyone.
  • The text chat was handy for URLs for later and for folks talking to each other during the show-and-tell.
  • We are researching the best way to live stream the 10 people in the google+ hangout on Ustream at the same time, it’s all messy and complicated but we have some ideas that hopefully will not add a board, a 3rd computer and 3rd net connection :)
  • There are not any admin tools yet, we didn’t need any and hopefully never will. There’s just “mute” and “report abuse”. Since you can manage things with circles and blocking, that might be enough.
  • We loved it, it was like a mini Maker Faire!…

We’d like to thank the first folks who showed up with their projects and we look forward to the next group next week, see you then! Add us to google+ (http:///gplus.to/adafruit) to stay tuned for the next one!

I’m pretty sure google would like to see more of this – people sharing their creations using one of their new services. It’s one of the best uses I can think of for google+ hangouts. I think this tool is a winner for people who create and share.

Not really related, but worth mentioning since it will come up in the comments – (personal opinion) — I realize this might just be a shiny new toy for now, but for me Facebook is the “RealPlayer” of social networks, they took more value than they gave back for far too long.

I’m glad there’s an alternative for sharing and collaboration now with more features that seem to be interesting to makers. Historically Facebook hasn’t done much in the Maker community, I’ve tried to get them to participate in Maker Faire each year (and would still love to have them, there are a lot great ideas for Facebook + Maker Faire). While it would be impossible to be a fan of everything google does, they’ve been part of Maker Faire many many times, they’re doing a Science Fair, they have a hacker space for employees, they’ve adopted Arduino for Android, lots of good OSS efforts and the tools they’re creating with more control and ownership seems to fit the maker mindset better – it does feel like they’re listening, I hope they keep it up.

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.


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