A sincere apology

Tonight I attempted to use the Google Hangouts technology to create an Ars Magica chat link up. It all went horribly, embarrassingly miserably wrong. While Tellus and I managed to chat, and were joined by Timothy (and briefly by Darkwing) we were also joined by a drunk chap who had never heard of Ars Magica but just joined us because the hangout was public, and some other chap who we could not hear for feedback and i felt very sorry for. Then after this debacle, we started to suffer 15 second plus lag times. All of this would have been fine, but then I managed to find a pair of Lisa's headphones, and to connect them without deafening feedback. So far it was just a wasted opportunity -- now it all went really wrong.

Twice my computer started to make a ring tone kind of noise, and i realised to my horror it was CALLING people. I don't know who it called, and i just pulled out the plug at the wall, but if you received a call from Google Hangouts at some ungodly hour from me I can only sincerely apologise. I think I'll delete my Google plus account, as clearly it is not best suited for this purpose and now I'm terrified it might call people if th cat walks on my keyboard or I click the wrong thing, which with my stomach while playing with wires is all too easy.

So if I did call you somehow, I can only apologise. I think the idea is sound, but I don;t think I'm the man to do it. In fact, I don't think I ever want to see another Google Hangout right now. So once again, if my PC called your PC or phone unexpectdly tonight, I can only apologise.

All the best, a rather miserable
CJ x

don't worry, CJ, most the time it just does a lititle ding-ding-ding-ding-ding noise, not a full fledged ring. And we can see about creating circles that avoid the drunken stranger bit.


Sorry to hear that your latest attempt at running a hangout proved so disastrous. Hopefully, the phone-call wasn't to an international number though I suppose, having never completed the call, you'll not be getting billed for it anyway...

I use google hangout parties to run an RPG game (not ars sadly) with friends who are geographically distant and it works ok, but it does require some tinkering to get it right. I insisted before my first session that I do a quick hangout party with each player to make sure they all had appropriate kit and knew what they were doing. Took quite a while but definitely worth doing if you are going to use it regularly, now we spent hardly any time on tech support and more on gaming.

Google Plus is perfectly suited. Just don't try to run before you can walk. Get it working for a couple of people first without all the fanfare. Then expand it to a specific invite list.

We used a Hangout when starting the Diedne stuff for Sub Rosa and, apart from my web cam not working at the time, it was fine. We even had Erik Dahl hanging out on his iPhone in his car, if I remember rightly.

We use Google+/hangouts for the HBO Ars Magica game. It works really well, and in my experience better than Skype, because I'm in a different game that runs via Skype, and it is constantly developing sound distortions.

Any new endeavor requires a build up and roll out period, and walking before you run is an apt metaphor. I've been a google hangout (granted it wasn't participatory) that had several hundred people on it. The HBO game had as many as 6 (or 7?) at one time...