What, Me Worry?

I just got back from the annual conference of the American Medical Writers Association in Memphis (still scarred by hearing the Saturday night band at BB King’s Blues Club lead with “Celebration” by Kool and the Gang. And it only got worse. It was like a awful wedding. But I digress).

One of the sessions I led at the conference focused on ways that Google Hangout and Hangout On Air can be used in personal and professional circles. During the session, I “beamed in” two writers from opposite coasts to lend additional perspective to the discussion and to demonstrate to the audience how Hangouts work and what they look like.

The main takeaway of the audience? “Wow, that was easy!”

I wasn’t surprised. It’s the same reaction we got from a number of our panelists who had never participated in a Hangout before our test run. Apparently, something new and different automatically carries with it the assumption of a steep learning curve. Is that the way we all looked at cell phones the first time one was thrust in front of us? I honestly don’t remember.

A few technology providers have contacted Derek and I over the last few weeks offering their platforms in case something goes wrong with the Hangouts. I’m not here to malign or undervalue any of these providers (and watch as our thousands of viewers crash “the Google” on Wednesday after I’ve said this), but there really is very little that Derek and I are worried about on the technology front. We have both used Hangouts dozens of times for personal and professional purposes with very little problem. Sure, there are minor issues that crop up from time to time, but it’s rarely more than making sure the audio on your computer isn’t muted.

We’re now a little less than 48 hours away from the start of CMEpalooza, and we’re about as ready as we can be. Our moderators and panelists have come up with some great agendas and discussion guides to keep them on track.

We hope that what they say both surprises and engages you.

We hope that you take the opportunity to ask questions and interact with our panelists — we’ll remind you how to do this at the start of each session.

We hope that you gather your colleagues around you to watch a session or two, and then discuss what it means to your organization.

And we hope, at the end of the day, that you say, “Wow, that was easy!”

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