Jan 152013
 


Last week, I took part in a Google+ hangout: A free 1.5-hour panel on How to Be a Better Food Blogger with

And it was a blast! This was my second public Hangout on Google+. It was a huge success, with close to 200 participants and more than 400 comments and questions about the session.

If you haven’t seen this video, I hope you’ll watch or put it on in the background while you’re cooking. Typically you’d only have access to a session like this during a conference — for which you would have paid beaucoup bucks — so please take advantage of a freebie. The panelists discuss best practices for bloggers, writing craftsmanship, structuring posts, writing killer titles, and we take lots of questions from the crowd.

I’m still learning how to use Google+, and I don’t have many followers yet. Google hopes it will eclipse Facebook and Twitter as a way of sharing information. What’s different about it is the access to free video. You appear live on a Hangout that’s automatically recorded to appear on YouTube (unless you are charging for it, and if so, you can turn off that feature), and you can invite others to join you.

While it’s fun to do free hangouts and have yet another channel to share content, I’d like to see this medium evolve as a way to make money. I know. I’m so crass. But God knows, we already have lots of opportunities to share our content for free.

Some people are already trying to making money. A pioneering group, ChefHangout, charges for cooking classes. Chef Dennis joined in September 2011, originally one of 24 chefs. To be expected, it has been slow going and some teachers have dropped out.

Dennis’ first class was almost a year ago. His most successful one so far was on paella, with seven people paying $45 each. “It took me a little over an hour to do it. Not a lot of money, but I never left home, and my wife and enjoyed a wonderful dinner afterward,” he concludes. He has another one-on-one class that lets students choose what they want to learn to make. “Those classes can go up to $150 but still are a great value for what they’re getting.”

For me, this medium comes down to video and whether there’s a way to charge for it. Are you active on Google+? If not, why not? If so, do you use it to share content, or do you think there’s a way to make money? If so, what are the possibilities? Let’s brainstorm.

* * *

You might also like: