Google Helpouts. Have you heard of them? This isn't just a Google Hangout you do with your friends or colleagues. This is a HELPout that provides a one-on-one video chat to hundreds of experts on hundreds of topics, all over the world, at all hours of the day, right onto your smartphone, tablet or computer. I'm a huge fan and here's why you will be too! (Click through any of our links in this post or enter code "KATE16P" to get $25 off your first Helpout!)
Google launched Helpouts in November 2013, but recently added some new topics and experts especially geared towards parents. Imagine getting sleep advice from a trained sleep specialist in the middle of the night. Or breastfeeding advice from a lactation consultant who can give you tips on adjusting your latch technique while you're breastfeeding. Or having a medical professional actually look at that rash over your tablet video camera and tell you if it's chicken pox, an allergic reaction, or rosella instead of waiting until you can get an appointment with your pediatrician. This is the genius of Google Helpouts. It allows you one-on-one, face-to-face time with an expert at your convenience. Or as Google says, "Real help from real people in real time. "
Google Helpouts work like this:
1) Browse the list of topics available. Currently Helpouts cover Art & Music, Computers & Electronics, Cooking, Education & Careers, Fashion & Beauty, Fitness & Nutrition, Health, and Home & Garden. Or check out those geared specifically for parents. I tried out one called "Urban Farming Basics" with Todd Jones.
2)Select an Helpout and set a time. Some Helpout experts are available immediately while others list available times or give you the chance to contact them to set up a mutually convenient time. Todd had a list of times at 15 minute intervals and it was easy to choose one that worked with my schedule.
3) Pay. Many Helpouts are free, but others list their fees for a pre-set time ($15 for 25 mins) or a per/minute rate ($1/1 min). Currently you can only pay by Google Wallet which took about 30 seconds to sign up for and only requires a current credit card.
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4) Download the free software, log-in at your scheduled Helpout time, and get your question answered! You can download the needed software or app for you computer, phone or tablet and then just log on when it's time for your Helpout. You're easily and immediately connected to the expert you've chosen for your session.
I really enjoyed the "Urban Farming Basics" Helpout with Todd. The audio and video worked perfectly and it was so cool to be able to take my tablet outside and show him my actual plants and garden space, get his advice, and explain my problems.
From tutoring to home improvement help, cooking classes to singing lessons, Google Helpouts has tons of topics for your daily life (leaky faucet! baby not sleeping! geometry!) and dream goals (learn Spanish! play the guitar! paint a picture!)
Here are a few others I'm eying for my next Helpout.
- mastering the smokey eye with an expert from Sephora.
- paint color help from Darlene Molnar for my bedroom redesign.
- a yoga lesson with Mia Hall
Try a Helpout! Ready to try out a Helpouts? There are lots of free ones, but if you want to choose a paid Helpouts, click on any link in this post or use the code KATE16P to get $25 off your first one. (Coupon can only be used once per user.)
Whether you need an answer to a problem or tips on a new skill or hobby, the experts at Google Helpouts have you covered.
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