The major benefit of Google+ Hangouts On Air (HOA) Events is the ability of the audience to interact with the Host or guests of the HOA. That is, for viewers to make comments and for the Host or guests to reply directly.
There are two main ways to track viewer comments:
- The Comment Tracker
- Q&A App
This article will look at the Comment Tracker and will be presented in two parts:
Part 1 – comments from the Google+ Event page and from YouTube
Part 2 – comments from Twitter
The Comment Tracker allows for interaction between the Host (or the guests) of the Hangout On Air and the viewers by collating comments or questions live from them. Comments can come from the Google+ Event page; YouTube, or Twitter. Viewer’s comments can also be brought onto the screen as part of the broadcast.
The first part of this two part series on the Comment Tracker will look at collating comments from the Google+ Event page and from YouTube. The second part of the series will look at collating comments from Twitter.
Before we begin, it’s important to note that the Comment Tracker only works for Public Events.
Installation of Comment Tracker
If this is the first time you’re using the Comment Tracker, you’ll need to install it so that it loads onto to the Main Menu of the Hangout Interface.
To download and install, click on this link.
A screen shot below shows the top part of the page that loads:
Click on either “Start a Hangout On Air” or “Start a Hangout”. It doesn’t matter which one.
Although this is starting a Hangout, it is being done to install the Comment Tracker. During this process, if you’re asked if you want to invite friends, just click cancel. If you’re asked to join the Hangout, just click yes.
Eventually, the following Hangout Interface window opens up and you’ll be asked to authorize it.
In the screen shot above you will see “Comment Tracker needs your permission in order to start”. Click the blue “Continue” button.
Clicking on “Continue” will open a standard Google Authorization window.
Click “Accept” and then you are taken back to the Hangout Interface where you see that the Comment Tracker is now in the Hangout Main Menu.
You’ll also note that the Hangout Tool box has opened by default in the right hand side of the Hangout Interface. That’s because when you were setting up the Lower Third you enabled Auto Load of the Hangout Toolbox when you enter the Hangout Interface. If it’s not showing then you haven’t enabled auto load.
Congratulations! The Comment Tracker has now been installed and you can exit the Hangout Interface.
Using the Comment Tracker to Collate Comments
When you use the Comment Tracker for an HOA Event, you want to track and respond to comments from the Google+ Events page, YouTube and Twitter. This brings the viewer’s comments onto the screen inside the Hangout Interface during the broadcast.
To get things started, inside the Hangout Interface you need to click on the Comment Tracker to open it up. It opens on the right hand side.
You then “Add” the appropriate URL’s from each into the “Sources” field of the Comment Tracker.
The following shows you how to Add the correct URL into the Sources field.
Comment Tracker – YouTube URL Source
When you create an HOA Event, the YouTube URL is automatically added to the Sources field and nothing else is required.
Any comments that originate from YouTube will now be shown in the Comment Tracker.
Comment Tracker – Event Page URL Source
This requires a slight work around, but if you follow the step-by-step instructions below it will become second nature.
Firstly, to add the Event Page URL you need to find a Public Reshare of the Event.
Below is the post of the original HOA Event.
This original HOA post above is Reshared. The Reshared post is below.
And it is the URL from this Reshare that is added to the Comment Tracker. To do this, mouse over the date and right click to Copy the URL link.
It’s then a good idea to copy the URL of the Public Reshare of the Event.
It is this URL that is added to the Sources of the Comment Tracker.
Paste the Reshare URL into the Sources field.
Then click on “Add”.
You will now see that the Reshare of the Event has been added to the Sources field along with the YouTube URL. Also note its color coded yellow, which is unique to that Reshare URL.
The next thing to do is load up the real Event which is done by clicking on “Check shares”.
Now the real or actual Event is loaded into the Sources field and is color coded green.
Clicking on “Check shares” on the real Event just before you start broadcasting to locate other reshares of the main Event.
This concludes the first part of this two part series on the Comment Tracker. Shown are step-by-step instructions on how to install it, and how to collate comments from the Google+ Event page and from YouTube.
The second article will show you how to collate comments from Twitter using the Comment Tracker.