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Hold a Virtual Family Reunion or a Company Meeting with Google Hangouts

Yesterday's company meeting reminded me of how fun Google Hangouts can be. With each of our Legacy Family Tree employees armed with a web camera, Internet connection, and free Google+ account, we were able to meet together even though we were spread across 9 cities and 2 countries.


Google Hangouts are fun, and they are pretty easy to use. First, you need a Google+ Account. You'll also need a webcam. I use the Logitech HD Pro Webcam C910.


Then, over at, click on the Start a Hangout button and invite your friends to join you.

Our family recently held our first-ever Virtual Family Reunion at Christmas time using Google Hangouts. There were 7 families online from 5 different cities. With 20+ grandchildren online at the same time, you can imagine it was a little hard hearing everyone, so we took turns by having all families click on the mute button, except for the one whose turn it was to talk. Each family then talked about their latest happenings and sang a Christmas song. Sure was special to be able to share my holiday with my parents and five siblings, even though we couldn't physically all be in the same place. The great thing is that I recorded our hangout and will have it to replay.


Our recent webinar speaker, DearMYRTLE, has been making use of Google Hangouts for her weekly shows. She will be broadcasting live from the Family History Library next week. Read more about it here. Or watch the recording of Dan Lynch's A Closer Look at Google+ webinar here.

So if you are reading this article, or you have participated in one of our Legacy Family Tree webinars, you have enough tech experience to take it to the next level. Have fun!


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Would appreciate a note on how you recorded the session

Our writers' group has held monthly Google Hangouts since October 2011. It was a little awkward at first--we had to establish a rotation for speaking and set a few guidelines like muting ourselves when it's not our turn to talk. But it sure is fun to be able to see and hear folks from all corners of the city as well as one or two from out of town once a month without ever leaving our homes. I'm starting to experiment with using the Hangouts on Air for our Legacy Users' Group for those folks that have to travel far to make the meeting in person and our "snow birds" that leave us during the summer. They will be able to attend the meeting no matter where they are! No more excuses for missing the meetings.

Alan - I used the Camtasia software ( to record the screen. There are probably lots of others available too.

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