Oct 29, 2012

The Human Media Movement

How Hangouts Could Change Our World  #humanmedia

  • Reduce physical space between countries. Increase frequency of face to face communication
  • People in poor countries have ability to broadcast worldwide 
  • Lower the cost and barriers to education by Hangout enabling underprivileged areas.
  • Transform live news coverage to multi-part conversation with viewers on their smart phones
  • Reverse News Conferences where reporters ask questions virtually via Hangout
  • Virtual Tours for individuals who are unable to leave their homes
  • Virtual Tours as therapy for psychiatric patients
  • Group therapy for counseling sessions
  • Auctions take bids via Hangouts and Ebay offers "Hangout with the Seller" to ask questions
  • Websites have "Hangout With Customer Service" buttons 
  • Call centers have web cams
  • Car lots provide real time virtual vehicle tours to sell cars online 
  • Real Estate Pros provide real time virtual tours of homes and use G+ to crowd source clients
  • Hangout stations in retail aisles for price checks or customer service questions
  • Second Screen interactivity during TV programming
  • Second Screen interactivity during Sporting or Music Events
  • 911 Hangout Centers where 911 operators could virtually bring in an OBGYN to help a woman through labor.  
  • Hangout Hold:  Instead of listening to elevator music, enable customers to hangout with each other and watch funny movie clips while they wait. 
  • Drive-thru terminals where deaf individuals can read the clerk's lips
  • Bridal Shops equip fitting rooms with Hangouts so out of state friends can see a bride's dress. 
  • Face to Face Git hub Collaboration
  • Political Campaigning becomes Virtual Door Knocking via Hangouts

How do you think Hangouts could change our world?  Tell me in the comments below or in person in a Hangout weekdays at 5pm ET, 4pm Central on the +Veterans United Google+ profile. 

Oct 16, 2012

Google+ Hangouts Allow Aging Veterans to See Memorials

The World War II memorial wasn’t built until 2004 and, sadly, most World War II veterans won’t live long enough to see it. In an effort to get veterans to Washington, D.C., Honor Flight has flown thousands of veterans to see their memorial. But some veterans who apply to go on these free flights are too sick to travel.

Now, using the new technology of Google+ Hangouts, there’s a way aging and even terminally ill veterans across the country can still experience an Honor Flight without leaving their home, hospital bed or assisted living center.

In a partnership with the Veterans United Home Loans, Virtual Photo Walks and Central Missouri Honor Flight, volunteers are using Google+ Hangouts to provide virtual tours of not only the WWII memorial in Washington, D.C., but Pearl Harbor, the beaches of Normandy, France, the site of the D-Day Invasion, and even battleships like the USS Alabama. Future plans call for virtual tours to Mount Suribachi, the site of the flag raising during the battle for Iwo Jima. 

How Does it Work?

Sep 30, 2012

Realtors use G+ Hangouts On Air as Virtual Open House

Carra Riley of Arizona giving a Virtual Home Tour
Real Estate Professionals have a new digital tool with which to attract buyers: G+ Hangouts.  Some Realtors are already using Hangouts as a free television station in which to broadcast to clients.

A hangout is a 10 person (9 + host) chat room that lives within the social network of Google Plus, a crowd sourcing tool.  A regular Hangout is private only to those 10 people inside the Hangout.  A Hangout On Air, however, streams live on your YouTube Channel and automatically records there for playback later.  You don't need video capturing software, a video production switcher or another live streaming account.   A Hangout is a free television station that broadcasts on YouTube.

Recently, Carra Riley, a real estate consultant in Arizona, demonstrated how a realtor could open up a Google Plus Hangout during a buyer's tour or open house.  The buyer doesn't have to leave their house or their smart phone to be face to face with the property and have the ability to ask questions
 about it in real time.

Aug 28, 2012

Virtual Honor Flights for WWII Veterans: Are you on Board?

On September 4th, a group of about 60 World War II veterans will leave Columbia, MO headed on a plane to Washington, DC to see their WWII memorial.  But Bud Garnett of Laddonia, MO will not be one of them. At 93, he's too sick to fly.

However thanks to new technology, there's still a way Mr. Garnett and other aging veterans like him can see their memorial with a new endeavor called "Virtual Honor Flight."  It's a special online tour for what Honor Flight calls its "TLCs."  

This is The Last Chance for these American heroes to see their memorial.  The WWII memorial wasn't built until 2004 and sadly, most of its veterans won't live long enough to see it.  That's why we need your help.  Please keep reading.

"We can't all be heroes, because somebody has to stand on the curb and clap as they go by."--Will Rogers
On September 4th, the same day Mr. Garnett's fellow veterans will fly to Washington, DC on an Honor Flight, a group of volunteers will bring a Virtual Honor Flight to his house. Veterans United Home Loans in partnership with Central Missouri Honor Flight will offer the first-ever "Virtual Honor Flight" via Google Plus Hangouts.  Using this group video chat room and live streaming technology on You Tube, Mr. Garnett and other aging veterans will get to see their memorial and experience the magic of an Honor Flight from the comfort of their own homes, even if they're too sick to fly.

Jul 31, 2012

Human Media > Texty Tweets: Does Your Business Know the Difference?

The New Human Media Movement via Google Plus Hangouts  

Text Engagement = Superficially Social
Social Media of yesterday is text based engagement that happens on Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus or any other social platform where you essential chat with someone's avatar.

A customer leaves a text comment on a post and the business replies later via text. The business interacts with an account and a profile picture but it doesn't interact with the actual living, breathing customer in real time.

Jul 26, 2012

My New Gig in a Bigger Box

Angie Bailey and Sarah Hill Hanging Out with KOMU-TV Viewers
After about 20 years living in "the box" we call television news, I thought I'd work at a "call letter" station for a very long time.  But now that everyone has digital tools to be their own media company, the number of "television stations" in this world grows with each You Tube upload.  Some call it media "disruption" but I call it media "eruption." This is an exciting opportunity for traditional broadcasters like myself to take their hands off the wheel and let the winds of innovation run through their helmet hair.

Jul 20, 2012

Omniscient Narrators of the News: Google Plus Hangouts On Air as a Newscast Coffee Shop

It's an odd feeling to be in a TV studio reading the news in Columbia, MO and hear a rooster crow in Trinidad or glance at your laptop during a soundbite and see a man cooking tacos in his kitchen in Jefferson City. 

You're reading a story about the passing of Andy Griffith. "Whatever happened to Mayberry?" I hear the Hangout guests say. A soldier died in Afghanistan tonight......."God bless his family," they remark in my ear.  

Jul 12, 2012

Cameraman App for Google Plus Hangouts On Air

Photo Credit: flickr.com

Two Alternate Uses for the Cameraman App

The Cameraman App announced today (July 12th) enables the host to bring people on and off stage in a Google Plus Hangout On Air.  (A G+ HOA streams live and is recorded to You Tube whereas a regular Hangout does not.)  Here's how the App works:

The G+ Hangout 10 Commandments

Joe Tomasone Uses Google Effects to put a halo on his child
A series of Thou Shalt Nots for people who frequent Hangouts.  

Hangouts have created a coffee shop of sorts for TV newsies like myself.  But instead of reading the newspaper, guests watch and talk about the day's news in a Google Plus Hangout.  Every Hangout host has their own set of rules.  I share mine below in hopes it can help you craft your own set of rules.  Here's a link you can download these rules as an attachment.  http://goo.gl/YqcnJ .  

Jul 4, 2012

How to Host a Hangout On Air

A Hangout On Air is a group video chat room within Google Plus that also streams live on You Tube.  In this HOA, France 24, KOMU-TV, KRNV-TV, WSPA-TV, Developers and Independent Journalists share tips, tricks and tools on how to host your own Hangout On Air.        

This 10 person video chat room is fueling a Journalism Renaissance as it's a collaborative space bringing together developers with traditional and independent journalists.  For more examples of how Journalists are using Hangouts On Air, please see 10 Ways Reporters are Using Hangouts On Air.

Jun 30, 2012

10 Ways Reporters Can Use Hangouts On Air to Enhance News Coverage

Equipment Needed:
Click "start broadcast" and your Google Plus "Hangout On Air" streams live on You Tube.  The recording is then automatically saved to your You Tube channel. 

Jun 3, 2012

The New Door Knocking Campaign

Hangouts: A Politician's Alternative to Walk Cards?

When my sister, a 4th grade school teacher in Missouri, decided to run for State Representative, she literally wore a hole in her shoes going door to door meeting with voters face to face.  She walked dozens of miles across 6 counties and many of the homes she visited, no one answered the door so she left what politicians call a "walk card".... a business card or brochure that tells that household about the candidate.  Now, there's a new kind of door knocking that spares your Sperry's thanks to a feature called Google Plus Hangouts On Air
Robert Brawley
Courtesy: www.RobertBrawley.com
Yale University has provided at least one case study that in person door knocking is effective.  Meeting people face to face is what Robert Brawley credits for his recent North Carolina Primary win, an upset.
“I think people voted for me because I went door-to-door, shaking hands, talking to people, right from the beginning,” said Robert Brawley in an interview to Dave Gowing with the Mooresville Tribune.  “I think they appreciated the direct, personal contact,” said Brawley.
Similar to in person door knocking, a hangout enables virtual door knocking but will it be just as effective?  "There are some aspects of this which will make or break success," said Joseph Puglisi, a NYC blogger who writes about G+ Hangouts.  "A candidate holding a hangout may not attract a lot of people unless they know about it.  Building a following or promoting the event through email or other means will be critical to the success. "
A hangout is a face to face group video conference for up to 10 people that is streamed live on You Tube. One host and 9 different guests can join.  When the host talks, they are automatically displayed in the largest box of the Hangout.  The technology is not the only feature that makes it powerful. A Hangout is in the middle of the social network of Google Plus, which is a crowd sourcing tool, a phone book_ of sorts for politicians.  Within G+, politicians have the ability to find people in their district, invite them to a hangout, connect with them face to face and leave a virtual "walk card".  

Hangout hopping is a popular past time on Google Plus.  The open Hangouts are displayed like houses in a neighborhood. These are individuals who have turned the lights on their virtual front porches. You can choose to watch or join them.  All that's required to Hangout is a web cam, an Internet connection and the guts to talk to strangers.  In the future, not only could candidates hit a number of virtual doors in an evening without leaving their office... but with HOA, that conversation is then amplified live on You Tube and automatically saved on You Tube for sharing on your social sites later.  Instead of in person "listening posts", a candidate could hold virtual office hours and allow their constituency to share via web cam the issues important to them. 
How to Host your own Hangout On Air:
  • Create a Google Plus account by going to www.plus.google.com.
  • Upload a profile photo and fill out your bio.  
  • Go to www.findpeopleonplus.com to find G+ users in your area.  Circle them and provide them with a compelling reason why they should circle you by sharing interesting content in your stream.
  • Google Plus is not Facebook.  It's not necessarily for your friends.  It's all about talking to strangers. 
  • Join some public (open to everyone) Hangouts to understand how the technology works.  I have a public Hangout M-F daily at 3:30 pm Central.  You're welcome there.  In that hangout, we talk about how to mute your mic, Hangout etiquette and how to navigate the internal chat  window. 
  • Once you get the hang of Hangouts, start your own Hangout.  Email your constituents the date/time of your Hangout.  Check the "enable Hangouts On Air" box and invite your circles.
  • Invite your guests to share, ask questions and invite others to the Hangout. 
  • Click the "start broadcast" button and that puts your Hangout On Air live on You Tube.  
  • At your You Tube Channel, (created from the email address you provided for your G+ account), you'll find the link to watch your streaming hangout. Post the link to the Hangout On Air on your other social sites like Facebook and Twitter.  Let people know they can watch your HOA live or they can join in the conversation. 
  • Invite your guests to share, ask questions and invite their neighbors to watch the Hangout.  Invite your opponent to the Hangout and create your own virtual debate live on You Tube. 
  • Do not share any copyrighted material or music. Do use the ice breaker apps like face overlays and games to make your guests feel comfortable.  Can you imagine schooling your state representative in a game of Monster Milk TruckAfter the Hangout, click "end broadcast" and the video recording of that session is automatically uploaded to You Tube where you can then share that link on your website or other social sites as a video log of your interactions with constituents.  No capturing software required.  It's automatic.  You can also edit that video using the free tools on You Tube. 
Joe Tomasone and his kids try the Hangout Ice Breaker Apps
  • Contact your local news anchor and ask if they'd like to host a virtual town hall via Hangouts. Ask if they'd like to play you in a game of Monster Milk Truck.  :)

Hangouts are like a magic carpet that can take you around the world or around your district in a matter of minutes.  I wondered how long it would take politicians to experiment with this space.  President Obama was the first to use a Hangout.  The GOP and Libertarian Candidates have also had Hangouts and last week, I had our first Mid-MO Missouri politician ask how to use the Hangouts On Air feature.  Virtual door knocking doesn't replace good old fashioned shoe leather politics but in the future it might be able to greatly reduce the holes in a candidate's shoes.  

May 8, 2012

A Gutenberg Moment for Broadcasting?

The "Ignorant Mob" now has a 10 Person Satellite Truck

Google announced on May 7th, it's giving people around the world the ability to go live on YouTube via G+ "Hangouts On Air".  While this is great news for citizen journalists, it has some traditional TV types scratching their heads.  If more people worldwide have the ability to broadcast, doesn't that weaken the power of traditional broadcasters?  Depends on whether you think people with call letters are the only ones capable of doing heavy news lifting.  I do not.

Hangout OnAir during Montreal Demonstration

Google Plus Hangouts On Air allow people to stream live on YouTube a 10 person video chat.  After the broadcast ends, that clip is automatically uploaded to YouTube for sharing.  No Ustream account or recording software needed.  The Hangout On Air also tells the host how many people are watching the live Hangout broadcast.

In his book, "Reinventing Local Media: Ideas for Thriving in a Post Modern World Volume II", +Terry Heaton and others have called empowerment of the broadcast masses  a new "Gutenberg moment", a reference to the 1440's when Johannes Gutenberg first used the printing press.

"The new Gutenberg moment, however, is taking culture beyond even that, because knowledge that was once protected is now available to every day people.  And so the grand narrative of the press that assumes an ignorant public runs smack into the horizontal connectivity of the World Wide Web and the explosion of heretofore protected knowledge that it contains.  Perhaps this ignorant mob isn't so ignorant after all, and that has staggering ramifications for the press of tomorrow."--Terry Heaton

Psssst.  Press of Tomorrow....that "ignorant mob"....now has a free 10 person satellite truck.

Jean Francois Desmarais Reports Live from Montreal
This week's announcement of  G+ Hangouts On Air worldwide means everyone (in most countries) will have the ability to bring 10 different perspectives to a breaking news situation.  A Google Plus Hangout provides 9 thumbnails for guests and 1 for the host to provide multiple views of a riot, fire or concert.  We used a Hangout with +Jean Francois Desmarais last weekend to bring live coverage of the Montreal demonstrations.  Inside that Hangout, Canadian viewers asked questions about what they were seeing.  I hosted the Hangout from my kitchen in Columbia, MO.  No broadcast studio required.  Viewers now have their own broadcast tower in the middle of a crowd sourcing tool.  Expect to see Hangouts On Air used in the future for coverage of the Arab and American Springs.  Live tweeting from a breaking news event still has value in immediacy but "live hanging" on Google Plus brings an added layer of group video chat.  (If you have a better, less lethal term than "live hanging", I'd love to hear it).

Hangout technology is already transforming how newsrooms do live news coverage because it punches through the TV glass and enables the viewers to ask real time questions about what they're seeing.  For some newsrooms, this will scare the heck out of managers.  A viewer ask a question during a breaking news event on live TV? What if they say the "F" word?  That's why newsies need to start now building a large circle of vetted viewers who won't give their stations an FCC violation.  It involves hosting your own hangouts and actually talking (gasp!) to the public.  My "FCC approved" circle is about 4000 from about nearly every country on the globe.  If we're smart, we'll encourage this kind of viewer interaction during a live broadcast.  If we're not, we'll continue to sink in the quicksand of irrelevancy. h/t +Matt Markovich  Viewers don't just want the facts, mam.  Some viewers want a forum to talk about it.  "This doesn't kill the traditional broadcast journalist but it better be a huge warning to the industry that times are changing," said Jen Reeves, Media Development Director at KOMU-TV, my employer and NBC affiliate in Columbia, MO.

With this week's announcement, traditional broadcasters have a unique opportunity to tap into millions of viewer satellite trucks via Hangouts.  If you're not building your circles, you're limiting the scope of your station's live news coverage.  You have to find these satellite truck operators.  You need to join their Hangouts.  You need to invite them to yours.  Any broadcaster who wants to survive in a Post Modern world has to see the traditional journalist as the right hand and the citizen journalist as the left hand.  We cannot continue to kid ourselves that we can do the news heavy lifting ourselves.  We need both hands... and now both of them come equipped with their own 10 person satellite truck.

Apr 22, 2012

The Viewer Has Left the Living Room

How long do you think it would take you to shake the hands of 10,000 people around the world? It took me about a year and I will have completed much of it during the sound bites and commercials of a live TV newscast.

Come July 2012, 10, 000 is the estimated number of people I will have “hung out" with on Google Plus.  If you’re a newscaster, politician, or anyone who gives a flying flip about “engagement”, the fact that a small market news anchor is able to personally interact globally with 10, 000 people in a year might make you want to turn the light on your own “virtual front porch”.

Google Plus Hangouts are what +Vic Gundotra calls Virtual Front Porches.  Basically, these group video chat rooms are allowing people globally and locally to find each other and meet face to face.  A hangout is a magic carpet that can take you around your town or around your world in a matter of seconds.  Google Plus is a social network but not just for your friends.  +Cliff Roth calls it a virtual “super convention” or “trade show.”  You can visit the booths at photographer’s alley, newscaster’s alley, musician’s alley.  I use my Hangout as a listening post for viewers during our live newscast. We also use Hangout as a live satellite truck and a viewer's forum for group conversations about the day’s news. 

This election year, it will be interesting to see how many politicians take advantage of this virtual door knocking hopping from Hangout to Hangout.  Because G+ has millions of users in the middle of a crowdsourcing tool, you have the ability to find and meet a large amount of people without ever leaving your home or office.  Will that lead to more votes for a candidate who frequents Hangouts?  It has yet to lead to more votes (ratings) for my employer, KOMU-TV, the NBC affiliate in Columbia, but it has deepened our level of engagement with viewers, increased the time spent with our content, enriched our coverage and greatly expanded our reach.  How do I know?  Keep reading…

KOMU's Jim Riek and Sarah Hill Hangout with Viewers during a Newscast

In 2005, David Teten & Scott Allen ‘s book likened social media interaction to a “Virtual Handshake”.  In 2012, that handshake is a lot more human than any text based tweet, LinkedIn or Facebook interaction.  Currently, there are no quantitative data to support my anecdotal evidence that the level of engagement with someone face to face in a Hangout exceeds the level of a text-based interaction on another social network.  But why else would someone in Brazil, Pakistan or India regularly tune in to watch KOMU News, a local program in Columbia, MO?  It’s a personal interaction.  Social Media=Human Media and it doesn’t get more human than a living breathing person. When I read a story about a child’s death, I hear the Hangout guests sigh in my ear.  I wear two earpieces, one in my right ear for the producer and another in my left ear to hear my Hangout.  My laptop is filled with a collection of 9 omniscient narrators talking to me during the newscast. They correct me.  They question me.  They give me silly words to try to work into my scripts.  The viewer has left the living room and is sitting right next to me on the news set.  I’ve told several of my research friends someone needs to test my Hangout theory.  Viewers talk to an anchor face to face in a Hangout, they feel connected to that anchor.  Viewers text chat with the anchor’s avatar via a tweet, they do not feel as connected.  Perhaps your 12 year old needs a science fair project?  And while he’s at it, I could use a third ear.

The Hangout 's Perspective during KOMU News

Due to the human interaction in Hangouts, I would argue your “Hangout Count” (how many people you’ve hung out with) might be a better barometer of interactivity than your Follower Count.  A high following does not equal high engagement.  Perhaps +Circle Count or someone in coder’s alley will figure out a way to determine how many people we’ve actually hung out with thus far?  By a rough estimate, I’m currently at 7, 200 and my Hangout Count should hit 10, 000 in July.  Here’s a journalist doing math. 

About 3 Daily Hangouts M-F with about 40 people
200 people a week
200 X 36 weeks =7200 Hangout Guests since July 2011
Projected 10, 000 Hangout Guests by July 2012

On Monday, April 23rd, KOMU will start a new noon newscast called KOMU News @ Noon (This is a rebranding for U_News. We’re changing the timeslot, graphics and music).  It will continue to push the boundaries of interactivity and will also feature you…. in Hangouts on TV.  This airs on “TV” and on “GP” at Noon (Central), 1pm (Eastern), 10pm Lahore, 7pm Paris…3am Sydney.   By the way, as evidence of the level of connection we have people who get up at three in the morning in Australia to Hangout with us.  Crikey!

Michael Tucker of Australia on KOMU's "Cyber Couch"

The most common feedback we get from people who join our Hangout is “I wish my local news anchor did this.”  Anchors: All it takes is a laptop and the guts to punch through the TV glass and allow viewers to talk to you…. not just text you on social media.  News Managers: Be transparent...warts and all.  Don’t put a velvet rope around your news set.  People want to interact with your anchors live from the studio.

I enjoy hearing what’s news to you.  In addition KOMU News @ Noon, I also host behind the scenes Hangouts M-F at 3:30 pm (open to the public) and during our 5pm news (with my pre-approved Hangout Circles).  Office hours aren’t just for professors. They’re for News Buoys, too. (News Anchors are sinking. We float between platforms now.)  

Let’s swap stories on this virtual front porch.  I’ll leave the light on for ya.

Feb 19, 2012

Google Plus Plusketeers Challenge

Photo Courtesy: Alex Rozier
Jose trying to cross a room in San Bernardino, Guatemala
How much is your Hangout worth?   

If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me how I was going to “monetize” my Hangout, I’d be a rich woman.

With emerging technologies, the pressure to figure out a way to make money on this new platform is intense.

For some businesses, if something doesn't hit a financial grand slam immediately, it’s benched.

I hear routinely, “Sarah, that’s great you’re able to talk with your audience live during a newscast but how are Hangouts going to benefit your station’s bottom line?” Well folks… I think I've figured out a way to monetize my Hangouts….in a way that would make even Robin Hood blush.

A few years ago in Guatemala, I watched the 8 year old boy pictured above crawl through vomit on the floor because his family couldn’t afford a wheelchair. In 2007, I met a mother in Vietnam who’d been carrying her son in her arms for 31 years because he had no other form of mobility.

These are just two of the millions worldwide who are part of “The Culture that Crawls.” They are victims of landmines, poor nutrition, crocodile bites and agent orange. They are spat upon, looked down upon and in some countries, all but forgotten.

What do these people who crawl have to do with monetizing Hangouts?

Antonia Lopez Crawls Toward a P.E.T. Cart in Central America
Fifteen years ago out of a one stall garage in Columbia, Missouri, a gentleman by the name of Mel West built a mobility device to navigate places where wheelchairs can’t go for instance in the mountains or the jungle. 

All it took were three wheels, a few pieces of wood, a hand crank, and a chair. Today, it’s a called a P.E.T. cart or Personal Energy Transportation device. Initially, this device was intended to mobilize one man in Zaire, Africa. 

Fifteen years later, with the help of volunteers, he's mobilized more than 30,000 people in 93 countries worldwide. Even though it was a tiny one-car garage, Mel used his platform for good.

Courtesy Firoze Shakir
Mumbai, India
When I first created my Google Plus account back in July, I was drawn to photos taken by +Firoze Shakir. I couldn't take my eyes off of his stream because his images reminded me of others I've met who live on the ground in poor countries. It was as if his pictures were speaking to me. A photographer in Mumbai, Firoze routinely photographs street people, many of whom had lost arms and legs and lacked adequate mobility.

Firoze’s images of people crawling shared alongside Google Plus posts about the new iPhone, stood in great contrast to me.  

It made me question the true value of what I was sharing. Whether it's one G+ follower or one million, if you have the ability to respond, then you have responsibility.

Use your platform.  Join the Plusketeers.

The Plusketeers are a group of individuals from around the world who met in Google Plus Hangouts. You can join us by using your platform to share stories about people on the bottom of the world's pile of human misery and ways we can help them.

Today, along with the leadership of a group of G+ Merrymen, we're launching a million dollar Plusketeers Challenge….a way for all of us to realize the true value of the G+ space.

We’re monetizing our Hangouts alright…..but instead of turning over everything to the Sheriff of Nottingham, we’re giving it all away....100 % to charity.

You can contribute to the cause here or choose your own cause under the “G+ Plusketeers Challenge", help us crowd source a logo, and share this blog post through G+ and other social networks.

Here are some ways you can be part of the G+ Plusketeers Challenge:

  •  Monetize my G+ Hangout by sponsoring the On-Air Text Announcement for $250, the price of a P.E.T. cart.  Hangout Text appears in stream of my G+ Followers.    
  • Donate to my cause on our Crowd Rise Page. There, you can also donate to other Plusketeers Challenge causes like Camp No Limits & Honor Flight.  Donor names are added to our donation scroll.
  • Reshare and +1 posts about the $1M Plusketeers Challenge 
  • Seek out corporate sponsors who smell like rich mahogany and many leather bound books.
  • Suggest other charities we might support 

What’s your Hangout worth?

I hope mine is worth a million dollars, enough to buy PET carts for 4,000 people but it's not just my cause. 

Whatever your passion…whatever your Nottingham, we’re asking you to take up arms with us in the Sherwood Forest. All for One and Plus One for All.  We may take a few arrows but using Hangouts for anything less….would be an error.

Feb 7, 2012

Storify Wrapup of MO Primary

Here is a collection of social media on the Missouri Primary

Feb 5, 2012

Nielsen TV Ratings: Measuring a Sprint with a Sundial

U News @ 11 with a g+ Hangout
Plenty of TV stations have dipped their toes in the water of interactive news and I have a theory why television stations aren’t finding the water inviting.  Could it be the chilling effect of an antiquated “TV” ratings system?
Much like U_News @ 11, KOMU’s hybrid newscast, these new interactive newscasts have a layer of social media with 140 character soundbites, Facebook posts and in my case…. guests are interviewed on TV via Google Plus Hangouts.  The blending of TV newscast with on-line news has never been easier thanks to G+ Hangouts because people are now able to watch your newscast from two different perspectives.  As much as KOMU’s interactive newscast is a glimpse into the future, the TV ratings system in many markets is a throwback to the past.
In Columbia, MO, market #138, viewership is measured with paper diaries sent via snail mail.  The paper books are mailed to a sample of people in our viewing area.  Those sampled are asked to write with a pen or pencil the shows they watch and then mail that document back.  No, I’m not making this up.  Larger markets have “set top boxes” that measure viewership automatically but there are many markets like ours that rely on viewers to fill out ratings diaries by hand.
Now I ask you….when’s the last time you responded to a mailed-in request to complete a survey?  Sometimes, the survey is conducted via phone…a landline of course.  If you read your mail and use your landline, God love ya but that paper survey doesn’t come close to measuring all of the platforms where people are now consuming our content nor does a set top box (STB) in the larger markets.  Take Google Plus for instance, we have 550, 000 who’ve circled us on that platform.  How many of those people watching via Hangouts are measured in the Nielsen ratings?  Zero.  How many who watch our streaming newscast online are counted in our Nielsen ratings? Zero.  And then… there’s mobile.
So advertisers:  Why are you still asking for a station’s Nielsen numbers?  Stations:  Why are we using these numbers to set our advertising rates?  If it’s because there’s no other alternative, then I’d like to ask someone who’s reading this to please innovate a comprehensive alternative that measures local TV stations’ content consumption on ALL  platforms….including Google Plus Hangouts.
As TV stations move toward multimedia companies in the future, we have to have a comprehensive ratings plan or “broadcasting” will certainly be stuck in the past.  It’s like promoters of a Swedish House Mafia concert trying to sell those seats to Elvis fans.  Right now, we have one accepted form of measurement for TV and no accepted form of measurement for broadcasting within a social media stream.  Social media isn’t just a portal to our TV content anymore.  With Hangouts now, it IS our TV content.  I wonder who will be the first to cut their landline in terms of the traditional ratings system? Plenty have tried but some have gone back to Nielsen because there are few widely accepted alternatives.  If we can innovate newscasts that blend TV and social media, then why can’t we innovate and agree on a comprehensive ratings system to measure all of the places where people see our content?
G+ Hangout ratings anyone? In the news business it doesn’t matter how fast we run if the sprint is being measured with a Sundial…. we will never know the real winner of the race.