With the advance in technology over the past decade, reaching out to as many people as you want has become much easier. The means are just waiting to be explored. I used to have a Skype video session for music lessons. However, Skype sessions are just 1:1 i.e., you can only converse/interact with one person at a time. Same issue with Apple’s Facetime. Over the past two years, Google has had Hangouts on the Air. With this tool, you can broadcast, say, a performance to multiple audiences simultaneously. This was something I never explored till last week. I used to use Hangouts for SMS texting. I could have just kept on using the Messaging app that comes with my smart phone. However, I switched over to the Google Now launcher that I think is just awesome and at that time it made sense to switch over to Hangouts.
Over the past year, I restarted teaching Yoga to friends and family. We have these sessions in each one’s home on a rotating basis. Over the winter and even some days in summer, it is just not possible to have the session due to bad weather or vacations, etc. A couple of weeks before we tried using Apple’s Facetime and it was, I should say, a great success. But with a one-to-one session, you can reach to many people only with many broadcasting devices and many accounts. That isn’t practical. Hangouts on the Air, can broadcast to up to 9 users simultaneously which is a great step forward. We ran into some technical glitches to start with mainly because everyone wasn’t setup ahead of time. For those who aren’t in the technical world, setting up an app on your mobile devices can be a challenge in itself.
Hangout’s another nice feature is that it stores the broadcast on the broadcaster’s YouTube account automatically. For this to work, the broadcaster has to use Hangouts on his computer/laptop and not on a mobile device. For now, using Hangouts gives the ability to expand the audience base with both live attendance and virtual participants. Once the 9 user limit threshold gets challenging, will need to explore other alternative. Hopefully, by then Google will let more users participate and even it does on a nominal fee basis, that would be just great.