From itch to scratched: Google Hangout permalink

If your company employs remote workers you’ve likely tried to videoconference at some point and you’ve probably found that Google Hangouts is the best option available. If you’re like Singly and you use Hangouts every day for your standup, you may agree that it’s generally wonderful but for a few flaws.

Here at Singly, we were seriously pumped when Hangouts with Extras added static URL support, because it meant that someone didn’t have to spend 5 minutes setting up the Hangout and disseminating the URL.

We were as bummed as we had been pumped when that feature was removed and our standups started happening later and later.

At Google IO this year I got a chance to ask if that feature would come back, and while I didn’t get a clear answer I did get an awesome workaround:

  1. Use the newly released Google+ Events feature to create an event some date far in the future (I used a year in my test)
  2. Click the Hangout URL after the event is created
  3. Copy that URL and use it until the event expires a year from now!

For extra points you can create a website redirect like we’ve done at Singly (Apache syntax):

<VirtualHost *:80>
 ServerName hangout.your.com
 ServerAdmin "Your Name <you@your.com>"
 RewriteEngine on
 RewriteRule ^.*$ <YOUR GOOGLE HANGOUT URL HERE> [L,R] ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/hangout.error.log
 CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/hangout.access.log combined LogLevel warn
<VirtualHost>

We find it unfortunate that a feature we so dearly appreciated has gone to the wayside, but this project gave us a quick reminder of why we’re all here doing what we’re doing: to solve problems.

One more thing:
Check out the Singly Developer Contest!

5 thoughts on “From itch to scratched: Google Hangout permalink

  1. Pingback: Hangout Permalinks | Ryan Rampersad

  2. Pingback: Google+ Hangout Link for Repeating Events « 10,000 Startup Hours – David Cummings

  3. That is exactly what they have been doing at RubyLearning since hangouts have been able to be scheduled. It works well, and allows for the students to get together in an impromptu manner and allows the mentors to drop in as well.

  4. Pingback: Keir Whitaker | Weekly Miscellany #012

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