HIRL-ing in Dallas!

I was interviewed by the illustrious +Judy Croon  and here is the transcript:


Elaine Lindsay, you had a fabulous experience at a recent eWomen Network #ewnconf -conference in Dallas Texas. It sounds like it’s been a whirlwind experience for you.

Tell me about something you call the ‘HIRL’ experience?

I have to say I have never heard of this before. What does ‘HIRL’ stand for exactly?

*Elaine : *
Okay, you know how much I am a Google+ evangelist. I love Google+.

Google+ has a feature called Hangouts. You and I have done Hangouts.

This is what it is all about.

Being able to see people in a video chat face to face. When you can see the person you get to see theirs emotions, their body language, after many hangouts you are connected.

Up to ten different people in different places in one hangout ( PSST: Its free).

So you can imagine after two and a half years, we’ve now built up a very close relationship with a lot of our friends that we haven’t actually met in person yet. ( I plan to do many HIRLs over the next couple of years as I want to meet all of the people from hangouts)

Years ago, when twitter started having their tweet ups-  people would get together for  a tweet-up ( we had one of those in Dallas as well) which is a meet up in person for twitter people, they would say they were meeting IRL which means in real life.

Sadly, when it gets Hangout tagged in front of that , it becomes HIRL…(not a great visual)

So you get to go to bars and HIRL with people you’ve never actually been in the same room with before. Sounds kind of weird, it’s actually a lot of fun.

I wanted to call it HIP which is Hangout in Person…because IRL was already in use HIRL became the moniker.

I got overruled. LOL

The first one that I attended was in New York City in February of 2012..more than 70 people attended. That one was a blast.

HIRL #1 Dallas

On Tues last week, I got to HIRL with a dear friend that’s been around with me for two and a half years. I lost my mom. She lost her dad.  We've become really, really close.

+Laurie DesAutels  ♦ She’s  awesomesauce , my BFF in Texas. So it was amazing.

She drove four hours each way to come to Dallas from Houston just so we could meet in person. She stayed overnight at a hotel right near me and we went out for dinner. The next morning she popped in at breakfast, then she popped in again at lunch when she left to go home.

It was so phenomenal to be able to reach out and touch someone with whom I had shared so many deep moments.


On the last day of my conference, I was also veryblessed  to Hangout in real life with yet, another friend who has been around for almost the same amount of time- 2 and a half years. Her name is +Yifat Cohen     and she lives in Austin, Texas. She  had a three hour drive. She came down for the day and brought her little boy with her.

So very thoughtful and unbeknownst to me, Yifat put out the word that I was in Dallas. So, from Arlington Texas – my good friend, +Blair Warner    and another friend from Dallas-+Thomas Finley     It was really an incredible experience to be somewhere totally out of my element and have people just  come to see me.

We got to sit and yak for a couple of hours which was really cool. The one thing that people don’t really understand about the Google+ Hangout and why we HIRL is that when you see someone and you can look them in the eye, day after day, and you can share your highs and your lows, we get to be ourselves in these hangouts. When you meet up with them – right from across the room…Blair  yelled out my name –we've never seen each other before in real life but he absolutely knew who I was because we've been doing these hangouts.

We took pictures, there was lots and lots of hugging going on . You really feel a deep connection with these people because it’s different than when you video chat or when you are on the wall on facebook or the news feeding google + or twitter or linked in. When you get to video with people, you get to see their emotions.

Elaine Lindsay| Yifat Cohen|Blair Warner|Thomas Finley
As I said before, you get to see the body language, the idiosyncrasies that everyone has: You can tell when somebody is in a hangout, if they aren't feeling so great or if something bad is happening . We've commiserated with people over lots of different things . We've lost two good friends who were from #Hangouts, one here in Ontario and one out in Vancouver. We really are a community.

I think, more than anything else, that’s what makes Google + stand out from every other social site out there. We are all these little #communities that pull together for each other. We’re collaborative, we help each other and we spend all our time really trying to give the next guy a leg up in #Google+.

THAT’s why I love Google+ and Hangouts.

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