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!


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”)


Aug 09

Movie Review: The Apartment

As some people know, my DVD collection has gotten out of hand.  Be glad to hear that my purchasing obsession ended a while ago, with the advent of HD.  It would be unacceptable to buy such a lowly quality movie when there is the pristine beauty of Blu-ray!  ;-) Yet, I have no HDTV, and therefore no need for HD movies….  So I still rent DVD’s from Netflix.

I’ve been copying my DVD collection to a hard drive for more convenient viewing.  Today I found “The Apartment” with Jack Lemmon laying around.  I don’t know what it was, but I got sucked in and watched the whole thing!  I had never watched it before and was blown away at how awesome the movie was!  I was completely enthralled in the character and story.  Now, the plot is about the darker side of humanity, and really surprised me that a movie from 1960 had such blatant topics that I would have thought sensitive topics for a movie of that time.  But then again, I’ve been realizing, the more I watch older movies, that stories have always been pretty risque.  Maybe it is because I am now older that plot details are much more apparently adult to me.

Nonetheless, I highly recommend “The Apartment’!  It is probably one of my favorite movies now!  Jack Lemmon is awesome (and young!) and Shirley MacLaine is incredibly believable (and beautiful).  She totally makes the movie.  Incredible.

I am really excited to discover more “classics” as I travel backwards through movie history.  Excellent movie.  No wonder it got the Oscar for Best Picture that year.

Billy Wilder directed the movie.  Here’s the trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cRta_ko0XGU

If you want to see the New York Times’ critic’s pick clip, it gives some of it away, but covers the whole movie and isn’t as cheezy as the old trailer!