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Every Google Hangout is a TechnoVirginity Reboot

Google Hangouts are an amazingly useful experience of online collaboration; if you told me 7 years ago this capability would be free I would have shushed you away.

In the three or so I have done this week (one one that starts in 25 minutes), it does feel like the first time every visit, especially when I am the one convening. I forget which button turns on what thing. Sometimes the camera does not work. Sometimes I see justa fixed image of other people. And those tools? Each click is a guess work.

I do not know the exact reason why we fumble so much, part yes, because Google continually switches things one and off, changes functionality.

This is what is possible when software is clouded, each time you turn it on, it’s a new version. We are always beta. Kind of like we are as imperfect, error prone… humans

Yet I am not complaining; this is quite useful for making the dynamic nature of the way the web works to people newer to activities here. It reminds me of what I love about DS106 Radio, the time honored tradition of futzing on the live radio. ”

Is this thing on?” “are my levels ok?” “is anyone hearing the music?” “I think I have the sound sources off” “Sigh this worked last week” “Ooops, I dead-aired”

When we, in public, demonstrate and recover from small failures, we show our humanity, and also knock down that perceived (and false) dynamic of who is expert and who is novice. The trick is not to get paralyzed or panicked or flustered and just work through it.

This is why the web is lovely, every time you flip open the browser, it’s never the same as it was the last time you were there. I am AMAZED at how much stuff y’all did while I was sleeping.

There that’s it, in 20 minutes, I get to be a Google Hangout virgin all over again. And that’s ok.

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An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.


  1. Some well-timed comfort here. I convened my first Hangout yesterday (had only been a participant before that) and it was a gong show setting it up. I had to send out four different rounds of invites…

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