**********Update On This Post 10/10/15***********

So, Google has shut down helpouts. Never mind that it was an incredible place to exchange information, promoting cross cultural communication, learning and engagement. Or the fact that they only had it open about 1 year before announcing the shutdown. What a waste. I am actually a member of the Google trusted photographer program as well, which is now being rebranded “street view | Trusted Photographer”, though really it means that it is no longer going to be any barrier to entry, anyone with a cell phone can now do it, sorry if you spent $3000 on equipment for the program.

Long story short, beware what you invest in – many things have short life spans, and are not worth your investment. This really applies to many things – when doing SEO for your Gilbert Business, do not focus on links, because content is something that will still produce 2 or 3 years from now, but the links or meta tags or other items you optimize with can lose value very quickly, I.E. squidoo, hubpages, both removed mass amounts of links and content, ezine and press releases were devalued, etc…

Really, well done web design in Gilbert combined with unique rich media is the best investment there is in terms of digital assets.

Google Helpouts Really Helpout

A few months back, I signed up for a new program Google emailed me about called Helpouts. A Helpout is a lot like a Google hangout, but it has a very interesting interface and twist.

To become a helper on Helpouts, one must be an expert in their field, and submit a convincing and compelling listing that demonstrates your expertise is a big part of the acceptance process. You can find the signup for helpouts here: https://helpouts.google.com/pwelcome

As part of the process, you must have a webcam, and will need to do a short intro video for your Helpout. Each listing has its own video, making for some cool content. Be sure to have working webcam and mic going into this.

Each listing has a paid and free option. You can charge whatever price you like per minute or per Helpout, which is a great resource for students and teachers. (why get hours of tutoring when you need 10mins?). As I go through and sign up, I elect to keep my Helpout free intially. My reasoning here is that you get a review for each Helpout you do, and a better reputation should help you to command a better price for your Helpout, so start free and inch up, depending on what the market will bear.

Joshua Jacoby in a Hoodie sent to him by the Google Helpouts team

All of the listings are reviewed by the dedicated Helpouts team. In fact, before your listings can go live and you can begin giving Helpouts, the team will need to webchat with you to make sure you are ready to service customers, and that your connection is good. Very cool talking to people at Google directly! They unfortunately would not divulge any secrets related to the algorithm, nor was Eric Schmidt playing dice with Matt Cutts in the background or anything awesome, but still cool!

Helpouts Swag!!

So, as cool as it is to talk to people from all around the globe, live on camera, and discuss technologies about which we are both passionate, but the kicker is that all the Helpouts are able to be recorded! It is not entirely obvious, but as you enter a Helpout, there is a checkbox for “record this Helpout”. So, piece of Swag #1 is the videos you can get from doing them, great content.

Next up is a very special item, which Google emailed me a questionnaire a few weeks back, asking my jacket size. Naturally, I was hoping for a full length leather trench coat like Morpheus had in the matrix, but with a gigantic black and white Google logo on the back. What came was almost equally awesome, and I feel it makes me look kinds like a Google employee, very tempted to take this awesome Google hoodie and try to visit the campus in CA, see where it gets me.

 

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