Announcing: Video Hangouts

Some of you have asked in the past about having a virtual meet-up. And now we are going to try it! Jen from Emerald Sunshine has been inspiring me and investigating our options. We have decided to host two Google+ video Hangouts to discuss our January book, The Soul of a Chef by Michael Ruhlman. I really hope you’ll join us!

We are going to run two video hangouts this month as tests for what will become (hopefully) a regular feature of our book club. We are hoping you can participate and provide feedback so that starting from the end of February we will have a time and format that works for as many people as possible. There is no requirement for you to take part, but it’s an optional Kitchen Reader “goodie” for members!

We are hoping that these hangouts will allow us to meet and talk with each other over video. It will be cool to see you in person! Jen and I were inspired by watching a recording of a photography club’s hangout. You can see that the members first introduce themselves, they talk, and they share ideas. If you click forward to about 50:00 minutes you can see they share photos with each other by sharing screens on their computers. We both thought that the conversation flowed really well and everyone enjoyed meeting each other.

We are going to run two hangouts to accommodate our different time zones, both on Thursday, 2 February.

Hangout #1 (evening for Asia and Australia, morning for Europe): 21:00 in Sydney, 10:00 GMT (check your local time here), facilitated by me, Sarah

Hangout #2 (evening for North America): 21:00 EST, 20:00 CST, 19:00 MST, 18:00 PST (check your local time here), facilitated by Jen


Questions and Answers about the Hangouts

1. What if I can’t participate this month?

We will be videoing the chats and sharing them on the Kitchen Reader blog, so if you can’t hangout, you can watch the conversation afterwards and participate by piping up in the comments.

Also, please let me know when would be a time and day that you could participate. These first hangouts are just trial runs.

2. Do I need to be a Google+ member to participate in a hangout?

To participate in one of these hangouts you need a Google/gmail account. But you do not need to be a Google+ member, nor do you need to “circle” (befriend) Jen or I. You will need to email me ( and let me know if you plan to participate. (North American chat participants, please email me at least three hours before the start time to indicate you want to hangout. After this I will be at work and unable to see your messages until after the chat starts.)

3. How do I know where to go and join the video chat?

Make sure you have emailed me to say you are going to participate. Five minutes before the video chat the facilitator will send out an email with a link. Click on this link and you will join the fun! Please plan to be at your computer five minutes before the start time. When you join you will see a screen with the questions. Please don’t start chatting until the start time so that no one misses out on any of the fun! Use those five minutes to get your book, pour a drink, and make sure your webcam and mic are working. Some people may find chat works best with headphones, since this avoids any feedback between your mic and speakers.

4. Do I need a webcam?

You do not need to have a webcam, though I expect most of you will participate via video. If you do not have a webcam, click the hangout link and you can chat via text in the chat box.


This is going to be a relaxed chat, getting to know you and talk about the book. Jen and I are both super excited to talk with you all!

The dates and times of these hangouts are for this month only. If you can’t come this month then we would like to know when would be best for you! Weekday evening? Weekend morning? Weekend evening? January is just a trial run and in February we hope to have worked through all the logistics and found a smooth system for us all. After the chat I will be emailing those who took part about what worked and what didn’t.

Please email me straight away ( if you know you can participate and tell me which hangout you would like to attend. I hope you can take part!


2 thoughts on “Announcing: Video Hangouts

  1. Pingback: The Soul of a Chef: January Round-Up | The Kitchen Reader

  2. Jen

    How did this go? Such a fun idea. I’d love to participate sometime! (And I’m going to try to get more regular with reading the books…) I don’t have a webcam or mic, but could “hang out” via text chat in the evening, North America, PST. Please let us know when you plan to have the next one!


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