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Comment Tracker
The must-have hangout extension for Hangouts on Air
The must-have hangout extension for Hangouts on Air


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PSA - YouTube Live comments are broken

Due to a bug or unannounced changes on Google's side, YouTube Live/HOA comments don't show up in the API and therefore can't be included in Comment Tracker.

(They also don't show up on the video page after the HOA is over...)

Sorry for the inconvenience. Unfortunately there's nothing I can do about it until Google fixes the issue.
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Since the question came up several times, and Google doesn't really make the process obvious/easy, here's a step-by-step guide on how to enable Comment Tracker (or any other Hangout Apps) when running a Hangout as a Google+ Page:
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Everything new and shiny

After having the new version tested by a beta group (thanks to all of you!) I felt the new version was ready enough to publish to all.

You will find the new version using the URLs you are already used to.

Stand-alone version:
Hangout app:

If you should run into problems with the new versions, the old versions are still available as well:

Old stand-alone version:
Old Hangout app:

The attached Google Doc should include all the important infos about features in the new version:

Feel free to ask questions and provide feedback :)
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Beta is live for testing!

If you have signed up as beta tester you should have gotten an invite to a community where all relevant information is shared.

If you haven't gotten/have missed the invite or still want to join the beta, head over to and "Ask to join".
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Looking for testers. Please comment on this or the original post to sign-up for the beta, which should be available in the coming weeks.
Sneak peek - Materialization and Polymerization

+Comment Tracker desperately needed a design and code refresh for quite a while now. With the new material design and accompanying Polymer paper elements coming out at #io14 (and the web-starter-kit that was published just before I/O), I felt inspired enough to get started on bringing Comment Tracker to more screens inside and outside of hangouts.

There's still some work to be done, but I'll be looking for testers in the coming weeks. So if you are interested in trying out the new version of Comment Tracker let me know in the comments, and I will add you to the circle I will share the links to the standalone and hangout-extension with, once it's stable and feature-complete enough for testing.

Some interesting custom elements that I needed to create in the process of implementing this so far (all of which will be open-sourced soonish)

A <twitter-fetcher> element based on the work by +Jason Mayes ( to retrieve and parse tweets as JSON from a Twitter widget.

A <text-screen> element based on the work by +Allen Firstenberg that takes text as input and displays a Hangout overlay.

A <simple-html> element that takes html as input, removes most of the tags, but still allows links to be displayed. This was necessary because Polymer automatically escapes all html input, so the only way to get links to be displayed is to split the html in text and link parts, extract the href from the links and have a template like this:

<template repeat="{{part in parts}}">
  <template if="{{}}">
    <a href="{{}}">{{part.text}}</a>
  <template if="{{!}}">

Having the design fully responsive also means, that it automatically works as Hangout extension which are limited to a width of 300px.

So now I have one <comment-tracker> element that includes all the functionality, and is included directly on the website.

For the Hangout extension I have a <hangout-comment-tracker> element, extending my <hangout-app> element ( to do the necessary Hangouts API setup. And inside the <hangout-comment-tracker> the same <comment-tracker> element as on the website is used. In the <comment-tracker> element I then check for existence of the Hangouts API to enable Hangout-only functionality, like the overlay.

#gde   #googleplus   #polymer   #article  

PS. Device template adapted from:
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#io14  is coming closer and closer

If you can't attend in person and also can't attend one of the numerous #ioextended  events, but want to keep up-to-date with what is currently going on, we have prepared a tracking URL for you, which brings together #io14  posts from Twitter and Google+.

And once the URLs for the live streams are public you can simply add those to the tracker and watch the video right there together with the social stream. (We'll try to update the tracking URL in this post including the live streams, but can't promise to change it in time for the keynote).

Edit: URL Updated with the live stream.
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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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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 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 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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Thanks +Ronnie Bincer for putting together another great tutorial on how to use the not-so-obvious Twitter-functionality in Comment Tracker :)
10 Steps to Bring Twitter Comments into your HOA Broadcast
HOA Tips & Hashtag Tips
Hangouts on Air are a Magical Communications Tool... but not everyone can be In the Show, so we have found a way to make the HOA more interactive when live by bringing the viewer's comments onto the screen as part of the broadcast.

Grabbing the comments from all over the place can be a challenge... that is why we use the +Comment Tracker tool to help wrangle them into one place. They come in fairly easily from Google+ and YouTube, but take a bit more work to herd them into the broadcast from Twitter... but it is possible and this step-by-step set of graphics shows you how.

For those that don't like pictures as much:
Make a Twitter Widget using a unique hashtag for your HOA show, copy the URL of the Widget and paste it into the stand-alone Comment Tracker tool's "Sources" field... do the rest of the stuff you know/should know how to do ref:  - now you got 'em.

If using the HOA (Hangouts on Air) tool is part of what you do, or will be, you should check out our awesome membership community called Hangout Mastery here
=== ===
#HOAtips   #CommentTracker   #TwitterTips   #TwitterComments   #HashtagTips   #HangoutMastery   #TheHangoutHelper  
10 Photos - View album
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Comment Tracker now appears in a new and awesome look inside of +Hangout Toolbox. Huge congrats and thanks to +Moritz Tolxdorff and +Robert Pitt for getting this out into the public :)
Introducing Hangout Toolbox v2

Today we are please to announce the release of the long-awaited Hangout Toolbox V2.

Hangout Toolbox V2 has been re-designed with simplicity in mind. we have created the application from the ground up, putting performance and beauty at the top of the list, it’s now clean and super friendly to use.

You can now enjoy your Lower Thirds or Custom Overlays in HD quality as they have also been redesigned allowing for a better experience for your audience.

We also changed the Comment Tracker’s Overlay. This will give your next Hangout On Air a really cool professional look.

We are also introducing a new settings tab that allows you to Auto load Hangout Toolbox when you enter a hangout, we have also added the ability to mute hangout sounds, allowing you to be more professional within Hangouts On Air.

We are deprecating Hangout Toolbox V1 during this release, we are also sorry to say that your previously stored overlays are not compatible with V2, but we are sure you are going to love V2 so much, this shouldn't be a problem :).

We are currently doing a staged roll-out, this means that over the next 24 hours more and more people will have V2 activated.

You can learn more about Hangout Toolbox on and check out the videos for each feature.

#HangoutToolbox   #Hangout  
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