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FoldedSoft e.U.
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Hangout Page Invites

A recent change in Hangout video chats removed the possibility to invite Google+ Pages to your hangouts. The reasons for this are beyond me since there are many valid reasons to invite Google+ Pages to video chats.

There's a workaround for this though: If you know the Google+ ID of a page you want to invite you can construct a special Hangout URL for that page by appending ?eid={{page_id}} to the Hangout Invite URL and send this URL to a page manager to join the Hangout with.

To make this process easier I created a simple Hangout app that lets you search for Google+ pages by name and get invite links that you can then copy and send.
https://scarygami.github.io/hangout-page-invites/

The source for the extension is available here:
https://github.com/Scarygami/hangout-page-invites

As with most of my recent project I'm using Polymer, taking advantage of two previous Polymer projects I've done.

1) hangout-app (https://github.com/Scarygami/hangout-app)
This element wraps some of the Hangout API initialisation and makes writing Hangout apps in Polymer a lot easier.

2) discovery-api-elements (https://github.com/Scarygami/discovery-api-elements)
This element dynamically creates Polymer elements to declaratively access Google APIs. In this case I'm using the created <plus-people-search> to perform the search for Google+ pages.



#gde   #experts   #googleplus   #polymer   #opensourcecode  
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Bringing Comment Tracker to the Big Screen

If you own a Chromecast device you can now use it to display your Comment Tracker stream on a bigger screen.
If you visit the standalone tracker at http://www.allmyplus.com/comment-tracker/app.html you can collect your sources as usual, and provided a Google Cast device is available you will see the cast icon on the top left of the middle column. (If you don't see the button right away it might mean that the app hasn't been published all the way to your device yet, restarting the Chromecast might fix this.)

While this might not be all that useful for following Hangouts (which was the original use-case of Comment Tracker), there are certainly other use-cases for this.
For example, how about events where you want to have a "social wall" displayed? We got you covered there. Arrange your Google+ and Twitter hashtag searches for your event (see https://plus.google.com/+RonnieBincer/posts/F5EnzyFoSop for setting up Twitter) and you are all set to cast.

Since it's (of course) all over the news and social networks at the moment, the example in the video shows how to keep track of events in #sochi

While it would be possible to add the same functionality to the Hangout Extension of Comment Tracker, it doesn't make all that much sense there, so I will keep it in the standalone version for now. Let me know if you think the Cast button would be useful directly in the Hangout Extension as well :)

#chromecast   #commenttracker  
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Statistics for Hangouts

I'm not sure when Hangouts were added to Google Takeout but the available data offers some interesting possibilities for statistics that needed to be explored.

So I'm happy to be able to offer you some statistics for your interactions via Google+ Hangouts via the Takeout data.

To get started head over to http://www.allmyplus.com/hangouts/ which will tell you what you have to do:

1. Get your Hangout Takeout data from https://www.google.com/takeout/#custom:chat
2. Extract the package.
3. Drag the Hangouts.json file into the "Drop files here" area at http://www.allmyplus.com/hangouts/ (All your data will be analysed locally on your computer, nothing will be uploaded. )
4. Click on the reports you want to see.

For now I only offer a very limited amount of reports, but I have some more ideas for reports and how to improve the existing ones.

As usual I'm open for feedback. What reports do you want to see? :)

http://www.allmyplus.com/hangouts/ 
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Bringing back Twitter

More people than I expected were desperately missing the inclusion of Twitter in Comment Tracker which I had to remove because of changes to the Twitter API (see https://plus.google.com/112986009215783461617/posts/99dCrTBL3Y1). Looking at alternatives someone suggested the awesome work by +Jason Mayes (http://www.jasonmayes.com/projects/twitterApi/) and after a few adjustments I'm now able to bring back Twitter to Comment Tracker.

Only the process to get tweets into CT has become a bit more complicated, since directly searching still won't work, so before you use it you will have to decide on one or more hashtags you want to track. If you have a regular HOA show I would suggest having a single unique hashtag for this show.

Here's what you have to do before you can track tweets for a hashtag:

1) Get a Twitter account if you don't have one already

2) Visit https://twitter.com/settings/widgets and click on "Create new"

3) Decide on what type of tweets you want to follow, in most cases you will want a "Search" for your hashtag, but you can also include the timeline of users or lists.

When it comes to the other option I would suggest to keep "Only show top tweets" unchecked and add a check for "Opt-out of tailoring Twitter", you get a preview so you can check if the tweets are the ones you expect to track.

4) Once you click on "Create widget" the URL of the page will change to https://twitter.com/settings/widgets/<longnumber>/edit?something

You can copy this full URL as is and paste it into Comment Tracker to start tracking tweets. The URL itself isn't restricted to yourself so you can share it with other people who want to track tweets for your Hangout, you can try with this URL if you want: https://twitter.com/settings/widgets/352554252792627200/edit
(Note you can't open the URL itself but you can add it to Comment Tracker which will handle it correcty)

If you already created a widget for a hashtag in the past you can skip most of the steps:
1) Go to https://twitter.com/settings/widgets
2) Click on "Edit" for the hashtag/stream you want
3) Copy the URL and paste into CT

While this is more complicated than in the past I hope this will help the people who were depending on the Twitter functionality.

All of this is available as of now in the standalone-version, the separate extension of CT, as well as in +Hangout Toolbox 


------------------

You can start using the extension by opening a hangout video call via this link:
https://plus.google.com/hangouts/_?gid=301008685962

You can also use all the functions outside of a hangout here:
http://www.allmyplus.com/comment-tracker/app.html


Note:
If you want to be notified about further updates to this extension please let me know, so that I can add you to an appropriate circle. Please make sure to circle the page as well, because I can't add you to circles otherwise. And if you want to be removed from the notifications again just let me know as well :)

#hangoutapps   #hangouts   #hangoutsonair #hoa
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New Hangout application is live now :)

There are already several applications out there that allow collaboratively working on a drawing inside of a Hangout. The problem is that those drawings will only be visible to people inside of the hangout who are using the application. The purpose of +Draw Here is different. It allows you to draw directly on your video canvas, which will be visible to all participants in the hangout without them having to install the application, and it will also be visible in the YouTube broadcast if you are doing an HOA.

See http://www.allmyplus.com/drawhere/ for some more information.

You can start the application directly by opening this link in a new tab or window: http://goo.gl/zRviJ

Watch the video to learn about the basic features, and most importantly have fun :)
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Allan Palmer's profile photo
 
Oh VERY nice. Tutorials here we go!
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Bringing Google+ even closer to YouTube :)
 
SocialTube or Bringing Comment Tracker to YouTube

One of my main goals with +Hangout Comment Tracker from the beginning was to give people the freedom to use the tracking functionality where-ever and when-ever they want. After having built the Hangout extension I realized that many people will be watching HOA outside and might want to follow the conversation as well. That's why I created the Standalone Tracker quite a while ago.

Many people are watching HOAs inside of YouTube, especially since it allows easy live-commenting. And they would have to switch between the Standalone Tracker and the YouTube stream to follow the full conversation.

So today I'm happy to announce a chrome extension which brings some of the Comment Tracker functionality directly into YouTube. The extension will try to find Google+ posts that are related to the video you are watching (no matter if live or recorded) and display the posts together with the comments directly on YouTube.

For now you have to refresh the stream manually by clicking the button, which will search for new posts as well as update the comments on all the posts already found. I will probably enabled automatic refreshing for Live stream at some point, but want to monitor the traffic/API usage for a while before enabling this feature.

Related posts are found by using the VideoID in a search request. Since the Google+ Search API isn't all that reliable sometimes it might not find all important posts. Sometimes refreshing the stream will find some more relevant posts.

I want to thank +Ronnie Bincer for giving me the idea to do this and for being an early tester with lots of invaluable feedback. While there are still lots of improvements possible for the extension, it has reached a stage for me, where I would miss it while using YouTube, so I'm putting it out into the public now, but be aware that it might not work perfectly at all times. Also consider this as an early Christmas present from me to all of you :)
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Comment Tracker Update
 
Profile Photos

By popular request the "comment screen" now features a photo of the commenter. Note that this is just a quick prototype, I'll have to spend some more time to rewrite the comment screen with some better styling.

In addition for YouTube comments I now try to retrieve a proper profile image when available, as opposed to just showing the YouTube logo.

As always, feedback welcome :)

#commenttracker   #hangoutapps   #hangouts   #hangoutsonair #hoa
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New Hangout app just launched :)
 
Custom Background for Hangout Video Calls

This new Hangout app enables you to easily use photos you have uploaded to Google+ as a background replacement for video calls.

After starting the Hangout app you can use the "Select/upload photo" button to select one of your Google+ Photos or upload a new one. You can then either keep the "Auto Adjustment" option enabled, or disable it and use the slider to control how much of the video should be replaced with your selected background.

To get started start a new Hangout Video Call via this link: https://plus.google.com/hangouts/_?gid=155810810795

(If the link doesn't work, please try to open it in a new tab or try this link instead: http://goo.gl/NRR3yB)
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Enhanced reports for Google Apps users

Thanks to the Google+ Domains API launch yesterday (https://plus.google.com/116328570070842584752/posts/PUTNfXBeUDH) I'm now able to offer more data for Google Apps users.

If you have a Google Apps account, you can now choose the second sign-in option. This allows you to retrieve all your activities (public and private) to be analysed and not only public activities as previously.

As with all other options none of this data will be available on/visible to my server. The data is retrieved directly from Google servers to your local machine using HTTPS, and then analysed locally on your machine. Your private data will never be exposed to other people using this service.

I'm planning to extend this functionality with more detailed Google Apps specific reports, but for now you can compare your public vs. your private activities (inside and outside of communities). If you have ideas for reports you want to see, let me know in the comments.

If you don't have a Google Apps account you can still analyse your private activities by downloading your data from Google Takeout and using those files at http://www.allmyplus.com/.

If you want to be notified about major updates to this service (like this), please let me know in the comments so I can add you to an appropriate circle.

http://www.allmyplus.com/
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Good news & bad news

Bad news first:

No more Twitter
Since Twitter has now turned off their public search API, tracking tweets via search terms/hashtags can unfortunately no longer be supported by comment tracker. Re-enabling this feature would require adding an additional authentication flow where you would have to connect Comment tracker with Twitter and I haven't yet found a good and unintrusive way to do this, especially since Twitter doesn't seem to allow client-side authentication and server-side authentication doesn't really work in a Hangout Video Call environment.

------------------

Now to the good news:

One Button to rule them all
With Twitter removed I was able to simplify the UI so that only one button is necessary. If you insert a Google+ or YouTube URL the according comments will be tracked. Inserting or typing anything else will perform a Google+ Search on the keyword.

People/Pages Streams
In addition to tracking comments and searching posts, you can now also add the profile URL of a person or a page. This will add recent (and freshly incoming) posts to the tracker stream.
One scenario where this will be especially useful is for adding event posts to the tracker (which unfortunately doesn't work directly by adding the event url). What you can do now is the following:

1) Copy the profile URL of the person/page who created the event and add it to comment tracker.
2) Find the event post (and relevant other posts) in the stream and add them with the "Track comments" link available on each post.
3) If you want you can then remove the person/page stream from the sources again.

Community streams
Similar to adding the profile URL of a person or page you can also add the URL of a community to the tracker. This will show recent (and freshly incoming) posts in the community in the stream. This can for example be interesting if you have a community dedicated to your HOA show where people can ask questions as well. Please note that this uses an unofficial feature of the Google+ API which might stop working without prior notice, but it works for now.


All those changes are now available in the separate Comment Tracker extension and in the stand-alone version. The comment tracker module of the +Hangout Toolbox will be updated soon as well (watch out for a separate post about this).
Edit: update available in +Hangout Toolbox as well now.

------------------

You can start using the extension by opening a hangout video call via this link:
https://plus.google.com/hangouts/_?gid=301008685962

You can also use all the functions outside of a hangout here:
http://www.allmyplus.com/comment-tracker/app.html


Note:
If you want to be notified about further updates to this extension please let me know, so that I can add you to an appropriate circle. Please make sure to circle the page as well, because I can't add you to circles otherwise. And if you want to be removed from the notifications again just let me know as well :)

#hangoutapps   #hangouts   #hangoutsonair #hoa
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Google+ Sign-in and more

It's been a while but I found some time to make some updates (with still some more things planned).

1) Google+ Sign-in:

The Login button has been replaced with a Google+ Sign-in button (finally). While not used yet, this will enable me to give you some statistics based on the people in your circles as well. I have implemented the button to get your active approval on each sign-in process, this will enable you to easily log out and log in with a different choice of circles to get statistics for subsets of your circles once the reports have been implemented. (Look for future updates about this.)

2) Visual refresh:

I've been meaning to update the visual look of All my + for a while now.

Instead of multiple tabs (which many people found confusing navigation wise), the data is now presented all in one page, with a side bar for quickly jumping to the part you are interested in. The reports are not calculated automatically (to keep the loading time shorter and so you can choose the reports you are actually interested in). You can either calculate a report by choosing from the report images on top of the page, or clicking the "Refresh data" button available in the header of each report.

If you apply any filters or load more data you will have to click the "Refresh data" button again. The button will disappear after a refresh and only reappear when a refresh is necessary. So if you see the button you know that the currently displayed report data doesn't use all the available (or filtered) information and the button should be clicked.

http://www.allmyplus.com/
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Dietmar Heidelberger vulgo (Dieter Wiedenhofer)'s profile photo
 
echt super Gerwin. danke!
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A new fun project, still in early development stages :)
 
So I've been working on another hangout project, which I think could be fun.

This hangout app allows you to draw your own overlays which will be visible to other participants in the hangout (updated live while you are drawing).

Since it's unfortunately not possible to capture mouse events directly on the video, the drawing has to be done on a separate canvas with a "face" added for orientation based on face-tracking information. I hope you all will appreciate my amazing drawing skills ;)
You also get a cursor displayed on your video stream which should make drawing a little easier.

This is still very much in pre-alpha state but the basic functionality works and I wouldn't be me if I didn't publish test-version out into the public :)

You can start the application via this link here: https://plus.google.com/hangouts/_?gid=1055008931516

If you are wondering about the "Drive"-permission in there: I'm planning to let people save their finished works to Drive for re-use in other hangouts, but that feature isn't available yet.

As an added bonus (and because I wanted to test out in how far this is possible) this hangout application has been created completely inside of Google Drive using some Drive Apps and hosted on Google Drive.

Drive Applications used:
Drive Notepad: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/drive-notepad/gpgjomejfimnbmobcocilppikhncegaj

DriveCode: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/drivecode/cafaeenamnaaddgainjldnlhikikobpd

Pixlr editor: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/pixlr-editor/icmaknaampgiegkcjlimdiidlhopknpk

I'll publish the code to GitHub and Google Code later (which unfortunately isn't possible directly from Google Drive yet...)

Edit: Source code now available:
https://github.com/Scarygami/gplus-experiments/tree/master/droverlay
http://code.google.com/p/gplus-experiments/downloads/detail?name=droverlay-r28.zip
http://code.google.com/p/gplus-experiments/source/browse/#svn%2Ftrunk%2Fdroverlay
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