My newsroom is preparing to launch a very new show in September. It’s called U_News@4 and we’re planning to make it a social media-based newscast and conversation. Thanks to that show, the show’s anchor, Sarah Hill, and I are trying to experiment on as many new tools as possible on the air. When Google+ came out we both knew this was a great opportunity for us to test out the tools.
Fast forward to last night. Our engineers figured out how to route the audio from one of our computers and share a Google+ hangout conversation live on the air. Here’s what it looked like:
I had a chance to discuss what Google+ is to our viewers and pick up my kids from summer camp without missing the 5pm newscast. How perfect is that?
We have a number of ideas on future uses of the Google Hangout tool:
*Create live panel discussions – Hangout is the new round table
*Create a circle of people we trust and open it up to join in on a conversation we start at the beginning of the broadcast
*Use this as an easier way to allow different sides to debate about a topic live on the air.
What other ideas do you have?
A little sidebar: We already livestream behind the scenes of the newscast on our Facebook page. The Livestream participants were jealous and demanded a mention on the air during last night’s broadcast. I thought that was really interesting.
You can read about Sarah Hill’s experience using Google+ in this MediaShift article.