Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Google Drive Hangout App is NOT for Presentations

Discover the proper way to use the Hangout App for Google Drive

Using Google Drive Documents inside a Hangout has a lot of value, but it is not very useful if you are trying to do a presentation to a group within the hangout or to a group watching it from the outside. The main problem is everyone in the hangout can open up their own version of the document and may be at a different place than the ‘leader’ or ‘presenter’ is. We have some great ideas on how to utilize Google Drive docs as a presentation method which will be shown in our example HOA/video.

What the Hangout App called Google Drive is really quite useful for is online collaboration inside the hangout. Inside a hangout, you can have a virtual meeting where each party involved can brainstorm, discuss, etc. and get those thoughts into a shared document all at the same time in the same meeting.

If you're any kind of a power user of Google Docs (i.e. Google Drive), you know about the power of collaboration. Your document lives in "the cloud" (i.e. Google Drive) and is only available to you. However, by "sharing" your document, you can assign specific rights (view, comment or edit) to individuals. Now a group of people can work on a document together - either at the same time or at a time convenient for the individual (how to set up document sharing:

If you understand this, then it's easy to see the purpose of the Google Drive tool within Hangouts - it allows you to *edit* collaboratively within a Hangout. You basically see the same window, except it’s within the Hangout. With Google Drive for Hangouts (GDH), you choose from the files you have access to that you want to work on with the participants of your Hangout. Just like working on a document together from Google Drive (web app) you can see changes being made in real time *if you're both looking at the same page*. This is where the confusion comes in.

Let's assume we're both working on a Google word processing document in a Hangout. By default, it opens on the first page and as I make changes, you see it happen in real time. Same thing goes for a spreadsheet or presentation. However, we can actually work on different parts of the document at the same time. With word processing, I could be editing on page 2 while you’re adding new text on page 5. However, because the default view for both of us is page 1, we can’t see the edits happening.

This is why many people are confused about using the presentation tool. When GDH is loaded, we both see slide 1. Here again, we could both be working on different slides. However, you’ll also notice there’s no way to actually view it as a presentation within the Hangout - the purpose of GDH is to *edit* the document collaboratively.

So, is there a way to present a presentation? Yes there is and we’re working on instructions on how to do that and will be presenting that very soon.

#googledrive #hangouttips #hangouts #googledriveinhangouts #HOA