In many communities you may want to run a Q&A session, a discussion panel about a specific topic or issue, or a live webinar. In these occasions, it can be extremely beneficial to share a video feed with your users to increase the participation and engagement. Thanks to the native video embedding feature, it's very easy to achieve this in Lithium. In these steps I will show you how you can do this by leveraging the Google Hangouts On Air (Live) feature. It is very simple and it does not require special technical skills, but I figured out that a guide may make things simpler for a lot of folks!
Go to the Google Hangouts On Air page in your Google Plus account. You may need to register with an account and then link it to your YouTube account first in order to access the feature (if you need detailed help with these steps, have a look here)
Click on the "Start Hangout on Air" button. You will be able to name your Hangout and provide a description. You can also decide whether the Hangout will be started immediately or scheduled for the future, along with the intended audience. This would be normally public.
Once the Hangout has been created - you can embed it in the Lithium Community regardless of it being started or not. For example, you could create a blog article like this one, and embed the hangout in readiness for the event to start.
To embed the Hangout, you will need to look in the Google event page that is associated to the Hangout. Look for the "Links" in the "Details panel, and then copy the YouTube Page link. This is what you need to embed in the Lithium Community post.
On your Lithium Community - you can create a new post (for example a Blog Post) and then use the "Video Embed" feature (provided that you have appropriate permissions for it). Look for the appropriate icon in the Rich Text editor for your message.
Now you just have to paste the YouTube link you copied in point 4 above into the "From the Web" video tab. After having verified that the preview works fine, you can just embed the Hangout into your message as if it were a normal video.
That's it! Now you can just complete your message normally, and publish it when ready. The page will include the embedded Video Hangout - and will stream it as soon as you decide to start broadcasting in Google Hangouts. When you are done with the broadcast, the page will retain the embedded recording for future viewing.
It was quite simple, wasn't it? This could be really useful to run highly interactive focus groups and to reach out to a wider audience.
I would be very interested to hear from anyone that is planning to use this feature, and how it went, or maybe experiences from those who already tried this on their community. Thanks for reading!
Written byPaolo Tagliaferri . Paolo is working in Lithium Professional Services as a Technical Consultant. In his role he is responsible for the discovery of the technical requirements, scoping and estimation of customizations and specific bespoke integrations with existing APIs or third parties, as well as their implementation. He is a web-addict since the early 2000s , and has participated in several online communities in his spare time. He is particularly interested in online security. Follow him on Twitter