Google+ Hangouts has added some new features that I’m slightly embarrassed to admit, make a tad giddy. Yes, I was doing the happy dance when I heard that we can now do Screen Share as well as Google Docs collaboration. Hey, I embrace my geekiness… and productivity!
The truth is it’s a rare day that I don’t have to share my screen with a remote colleague. It’s been the reason why we’ve favored Skype over Hangouts. But we then have to forgo the up-to-eight-parties feature of a Hangout too. Now, I feel like I get to have my cake and eat it… along with even more icing: the ability to view and edit the same Google Doc AND the same Google SketchUp file. Whoah!
The implications are just delightful for anyone working in the online space. Here’s the heads up for the newbies… your best collaborators won’t likely be your neighbors. The beauty of our current technology is that they don’t have to be.
One of the greatest gifts of social media has been the ability and inevitability of connecting with people who share your passions and interests, right? So it’s only natural that the next step is for people to create projects around their points of intersection, which is hardly ever in a common zip code. My team currently consists of one person in Maryland, another in Oregon, another in Iowa, another in Toronto, and another in Michigan. If we can’t share the same air or even the same time zone, at least we can share the same screen!
Jen Lemen and I often joke that we live our lives inside of boxes — Skype boxes and Hangout boxes, sharing multiple documents at any given time — in order to be global. Here’s a great demo video for Google+ Hangout’s screen sharing feature… just in time for my 3-way conference tomorrow!