Hello again; I am writing this post to share the happy news that I finally had my first successful Google video hangout on air. It happened Wednesday night. We did have a couple of hiccups, but we solved them within the first few minutes of the show. I am now confident that I can manage future hangouts. The next step is to build an audience and get more participation.


The Youtube Video

After a hangout on air is over, the video is posted to your youtube account. Below is a link to the first successful show. I hope you will at least listen to the first ten minutes or so and tell me how I am doing?



Starting The Show


This week I was more confident, but I still went through the process of getting prepared. I called Mitchell Walker, my moderator with the names of people to add to the hangout on air circle on my google plus account. And I verified that he would be available and online by the start of the event. I signed into the hangout and did everything but press the button to go live. At 09:00PM Central I started the show. I introduced myself. Then, I thanked Mitchell for agreeing to serve as the moderator until I have more experience running a hangout.

Then I mentioned being featured on two blogs this week and mentioned the Interview with a blind man on Lorraine Reguly’s site www.wordingwell.com and the podcast Building an online business from scratch with the blind blogger Max Ivy that could be found on Ashley Faulkes’ site www.madlemmings.com Mitchell hadn’t logged in, but the system said I was live; so I continued.


Audience Questions


Earlier in the week, I had asked people to submit questions that I would answer during the hangout. Since things seemed to be going well, I went on to answer the two questions that were submitted. The first was from William Butler of www.williambutler.ca He asked what are some of the most important life lessons you have learned so far. I mentioned three things having a sense of humor, deciding to be positive, and always learning from your mistakes. I further explained that my dad taught me the value of laughing at a bad situation. I said that being able to laugh at yourself is important and that I could do better at this one myself. I said that being positive is a choice and this is good because some days you will really have to look to find the good in your world. And I said that we are never going to be perfect. Whether it is something you have never done before or something you have done a hundred times; we are all still going to make mistakes. The important thing is to learn from them, get better, and move forward.

Next,Paul Graham of www.thedailywail wanted to know if the carnival business is a seasonal occupation or is it one of those things where it is always sunny where you are. Sadly, I had to tell him that its a weather dominated business where rain or snow mean higher expenses and smaller bottom lines. I told him that there are more events being held indoors in cold weather cities, and some carnivals overcome the weather by traveling thousands of miles during their operating season. Of course, I mentioned my good friends on Wright’s amusements who work a lot in Colorado and Wyoming where they often still get crowds with snow standing on their midway. And most importantly for my purposes I want people to know that since my site is international in nature I don’t really have a off season. So, are you wondering where Mitchell is? So was I.


Solving A Minor Problem


So, I had done my intro, thanked Ashley and Lorraine, and answered all the questions I had; but Mitchell still hadn’t showed up. So, I checked the system again and everything was working fine. I decided what the heck I’ll call him. So, I got him on the phone, and he said he had been there since the beginning but he couldn’t get on. He told me that before I called him he figured out that you have to invite people twice. He said you have to invite them to the event, and then once the event is live; you have to invite them to join in. it seemed redundant to me, but I went to the invite people box and typed in hangout on air so anyone else on the guest list could get in too. Next, I hear a series of dings from my headset telling me the invites where sent. After that I hear Mitchell in my ear and can hang up the phone. To show you how ready I was I had even preprogrammed Mitchell’s number into my cell phone’s address book. So, I am confident that I can conduct future hangouts whether Mitchell is there to help or not.


A Great Conversation


I’m glad I finally got Mitchell online with me. I was prepared to find some way to fill the time, but it is so much easier when you have someone to talk to. We discussed his previous suggestion that I use crowd sourcing to fund taking the youtube show on the road. We discussed possible venues to include, equipment to be used, number of people required, and how many episodes would be included in the first round of shows. We talked about the costs involved and kicked around ideas for shortening the time required and lowering the expenses. We then talked about my getting a second url www.mr-midway.com and whether midway marketplace or mr. midway was the better name to go with long term. He agreed with me and several of my friends that it is a tough call because midway marketplace is obviously more descriptive while mr. midway is more marketable. I then told him that it had been a very good night so far but would be much better if we could get at least one other person to come on before the hour was up. He said he had been trying to get his friend Ryan to come on. I asked him to remind his friend.


Another First


One of the reasons I was glad that Mitchell has agreed to act as my moderator is the fact that I have never done this with more than one other person. Also, I have never been on a group phone call either. So, I was happy when Mitchell’s friend Ryan made it into the hangout. Ryan is what is called an infusionist at a mobile tea operation called Cafe Barnabas It is a non profit organization. Ryan is kind of on the quiet side, but having him online did let me get a little more experience. Apparently, He and Mitchell were part of the promotional efforts that got Cafe Barnabas going. I didn’t know that it was a mobile business at the time, or I would have asked different questions. I would have also offered to add a link to them on my concessionaires page. Given the explosion in mobile food vending in general and food and drink trucks in particular; this could be an untapped market that people need to hear about. It could also be a potential area for sales of new or used equipment. So, I’m going to try to get in contact with the founder and schedule an interview text or via skype for a future post. We did have a nice conversation and filled out the rest of the hour.


How To Participate


I will be doing another hangout on air next Wednesday night at the usual time of 10 Pm Eastern, 9 Central, 7 Pacific, etc. If you want to join in on the conversation or watch and listen to it live; then you have to be invited. To get invited you have to connect with me on Google Plus and ask to be added to the guest list. I can invite up to a hundred, and up to ten can participate in a conversation at one time. If you come in late, you can rewind it to the beginning. If you don’t want to be at the event, but you have a question to ask; just mail it to me along with your name and website, blog, or social media page so I can mention you in the show notes. If you appear on a hangout, or if I answer your question during the show; I will include a clickable link to you in the description of the youtube video that will be posted after the show is over. I don’t know that I will continue doing blog posts after each show like I have been. These posts were primarily written to explain the process in the hope that others could learn from my experience. If I continue these posts, then naturally, links to participants would be included. As youtube is one of the most searched social media sites out there, appearing in one of my videos or having links to you because you asked a question could be very helpful in gaining your site additional search engine traffic. I hope you will consider taking part soon.


Sharing Is Caring


I do want to thank everyone who has helped me conquer the challenge of doing Google video hangouts on air. I also want to thank those who have encouraged me or promoted my site; so I’m not asking you to share this post. Don’t get me wrong, I would love for you to tell your friends about my success and invite them to participate. But what I really want you to do is to visit some of the sites mentioned in this post. Stop by their website or blog and see what they are up to. If you see something you like, then share that with your friends, family, coworkers, and social media networks. The thing I know about online business owners is that there is a sense of community. If any of us succeed then we all succeed. And I wouldn’t have gotten to where I am without the help, friendship, love, and encouragement of a lot of great people out here on the net.


I’m glad to have finally solved the issue of Google Hangouts. A couple of friends have asked what I plan to do next. Honestly, for now I’m just going to continue doing weekly hangouts and try to build an audience that will help promote the site and the equipment people have for sale on it. I will continue to do video show cases and hope to someday soon take them on the road. I’m working on a new logo to go along with the new branding campaign. And I’m looking into using crowd sourcing to raise money for some of my plans. But, I’m never too busy to listen to my readers. If you have a question or just want to talk with me about the amusement industry, social media, blogging, blindness issues, whatever; I would love to hear from you via the contact form or the comments section. Until next time, thanks and take care out there, Max