Hangouts are a popular "feature" here at AwakeNetwork, but the scheduling of them can be a little challenging. In an effort to streamline this process a bit, I would like to suggest that you consider the following guidelines for creating future Hangouts.
1. Since Google Hangouts require, by definition, a Google account, there is now an AwakeNetwork Google+ Community that you can join. The benefits are several, not the least of which is that inviting people to a Hangout becomes a matter of simply sending the invitation to the Community. You can access the Community from the link in the top menu. So if you would like to participate in Hangouts, you are encouraged to join +AwakeNetwork. Acceptance is guaranteed, and YOU DO NOT NEED A MEDICAL EXAM.
2. There is a new discussion category called "Hangouts", where you should announce a new Hangout. Each Hangout should be a new topic, with a suggested name of "Hangout: <your subject here>". By naming it this way, it is clearly visible when someone views the forum by "Recent Topics", even though it is redundant with the topic being in the Hangout category. Also, please do NOT include the date in the topic because you may not always know ahead of time (but see point 3, below), but DO include a description/subject, such as "General Chat", or "Book Club", or the name of a featured guest. Your opening post on the topic should describe in more detail what the Hangout is about, and a clearly shown date and time. If the date/time evolves, then feel free to UPDATE this first post as needed, so that anybody interested in the Hangout doesn't need to follow the whole thread of conversation (if there is one) to figure out when it is.
3. Scheduling Hangouts is a bit of a challenge, but we seem to have settled on reasonably agreeable times of around 9-10 Eastern, 8-9 Central, North American times. It is recommended that if someone wants a Hangout, then just simply drive a stake into the ground and say "It will be thus". People will attend, or not, as they can and even at the last minute there are always people dropping out or wanting to join. Of course, depending on the stakeholder, the time can also be vastly different, and that is just fine. If you are willing to lead, then you can pick what works for you. Our Down Under friends, for example, can and should set something up that works best for them, and they may be surprised at who might also show up.
4. When a Hangout is scheduled, please create an Event for it here, so that it can be easily found by people from the "Events" menu. The event can also be used to track the expected attendees, and give you a sense of how popular your Hangout is likely to be.
5. At Hangout time, the stakeholder should be able to simply blast out an invitation to everyone in the +AwakeNetwork Community. This ensures nobody gets left out although, of course, it is first-come, first-served as people pop on. This may need to be fine-tuned, but seems the easiest way to go initially.
6. After the Hangout, feel free to have additional discussion in the topic created for it. That is why each Hangout should have its own topic.
This post will be "sticky", and may be updated from time to time, but hopefully it provides enough structure to make Hangouts easier without being overly heavy-handed and cumbersome.