Sep 13

The Hangup with Google Hangouts

Confusing phone

Where’s the link to start a Google Hangout???

It’s a strange thing what Google has done with the UX (user experience) of Google Hangouts in the last several months or year. For the life of me, I can’t figure out how to get a link to a Google Hangout to invite people to. Google assumes that everyone is using the web client, Hangouts Chrome extension, or mobile app. Regardless of all of this, it’s nearly impossible to start a group hangout. (Please show me what I’m missing — it must be obvious.)

As usual in situations like this, I look for a way to understand how the Hangouts software is designed to find a “loophole” or similar to achieve what I want. And I found a VERY simple solution.

Here’s how you start a Google Hangout with a link

Simply click here to start a Google Hangout. The link is very simple, and creates a new group hangout automatically (if you are logged in). This is the link:


The underscore is not a typo. It’s the magic that creates a new room for you. Remove the underscore, and you’re forced to navigate all the confusing options around Hangouts, none of which will give you a link to send to people. (Again, please show me what I’m missing.)

After clicking the link, copy the automatically-generated URL from your browser address bar and share it with your friends or co-workers.

Enjoy your Hangout!


Nov 10

Microsoft’s Kinect Already Hacked!

Is it silly that Microsoft spends so much time and money chasing the goal of preventing their hardware (and/or software) from being hacked?  If you build it, someone will hack it.  It’s pretty much a fact this day and age.  I think it’s time to embrace it.  As a matter of fact, wouldn’t this HELP push the product?  More people will buy it because you can do much more with it than with the limited functionality that is shipped with the product!

Via Network World.


Nov 10

Focusing on Your Idea, and the Benefits of Distraction

Paul Graham wrote about the ideas that preoccupy our minds.  He has observed that we will typically focus on an idea that we always think about.  For entrepreneurs, it will be your product or business, and how to continually improve it, market it, and sell it.  The problem that arises is when we are distracted from this one main idea we have on our minds.  His example is raising money for your business.  Businesses that start to raise money tend to slow down progress in developing their products.  This is because raising money becomes the main idea.

I completely agree with this.  I will obsess over my latest idea and get irritated when I’m distracted by other things I have to dedicate a lot of time to.  The point that Paul makes about being distracted is a good one though.  Being distracted from your main idea gives your mind a moment to breathe.  Solutions to problems or road blocks you may have run into tend to come out of thin air when you are NOT consciously thinking about your main idea.

Read Paul Graham’s post: The Top Idea In Your Mind


Jan 10

David Allen is Lazy

Because David Allen is a “procrastinator”, we’ve had the privilege of seeing the results of his research into “how to get from here to there easier”. He’s always been about improving process, and I’ve found that that has become a priority in my life as well, figuring out how to improve the processes in my life.

I’ve started reading Getting Things Done, but never finished it. I also have procrastinated in reorganizing my life to follow his principles. But I’m also at a turning point in my life where I do want to purge all the things in my head and write them down somewhere so that I don’t think about them all the time.

Get a little insight into David Allen’s process with this very informative little video. It’s actually 30 minutes, but watch a couple minutes. It may help.


Oct 09

Price Your Photography Services

I’ve spent a long time… “refining” my photography skills and invested a lot into the hobby.  I only lack the discipline to share the products of my experiments and experience.  I hope to get better at that in the near future.

As I’d love to earn a living working on creative projects, such as photography, here’s a post to help you set your prices when doing freelance photography:



Oct 09

Tribes: Please watch

This is a great video about “tribes” and the different kinds. It is very insightful and inspiring. It also pointed out to me what I’m struggling with myself, and where I want to get to. Please watch this and give me your thoughts!


Sep 09

How to Unlock a Community’s Insights

Here’s an article by Roland Legrand about unlocking a community’s insights using the Socratic method.  He explains why both too much and not enough control over a community can cause it to fall apart.  Thankfully he describes how to foster engagement in a community to encourage participation.



Sep 09

“Shift Happens”

Hey!  This is a great presentation… There are 2 videos, so check out the 2nd one first, and then the first one is an update to it… it’s really cool and informative.



Sep 09

Lemonade Movie, Art & Copy

I saw Art & Copy the other week and it was great!  Very inspiring and insightful into advertising and business….  I HIGHLY recommend it.

Another movie coming out is about how professionals that lost their jobs started doing what they really wanted to do.  They are from all facets of life.  They are still working on the film, but sent a rough cut to Sundance before the deadline.  Sign up on their site to keep getting updates, and also check out their Posterous blog to see clips and stuff….

Website: http://lemonademovie.com/

Blog: http://lemonademovie.posterous.com/ (the blog password is “makinglemonade”)


Sep 09

What Makes an Entrepreneur

This is a great article about what it takes.  Lots of different examples and points are made.