Participant Guidelines

Thank you for wanting to participate in a WPwatercooler show! We have a few rules and guidelines on your participation to keep the show lively and fun.

These guidelines below are written for WPwatercooler but are good guidelines for any of our shows.

  • Be Professional

    We’re professional but we have fun. We’re by no means serious and we tend to talk over one another (you try to have 10 people not talk over one another in a 30 minute discussion).

  • Don't talk about the show before the show

    We don’t talk about the show before the show, it keeps things fresh and allows for discussion to not sound prepared.

  • Use a microphone, not the one on your computer or a webcam

    Use a microphone that isn’t your laptop’s built in mic. These mics pick up sound when you type, even if it’s a few characters it will be LOUD on the viewers end. The better the mic the better the sound.

  • Minimize camera movement

    Place your laptop on a sturdy surface while recording. Having your laptop on your lap leads to movement that is distracting. Lots of movement also takes up more bandwidth (the pixels on the entire scene are changing instead of just your head... science.)

  • Use proper lighting

    Use proper lighting. Google+ Hangouts stream in SD not HD so making each of those pixels nice and bright and clear to see is helpful. Use a defused light next to your monitor and try to block out any lights behind you head. Webcams aren’t studio quality so you need to work with their limitations.

  • Hardwire Ethernet

    Hardwire Ethernet. Having a hard wire to your computer instead of using WiFi will improve your audio and video quality quite a bit. It’s not a requirement but it is very much so encouraged. The more bandwidth you have the better the quality will be.

  • Be indoors

    Background noise it never a good thing and microphones can pick up on the smallest of noises, try to be indoors in a room where you can control the background noise if you can.

  • All panelists should be active participants

    All panelists should be active participants. This does not mean you have to talk the whole time, but you should be actively engaged in the conversation, i.e not working on other projects, emailing, etc. If you just want to watch or you have things to attend to, you can go to and watch the show live or after it’s aired.

  • If you are having any technical issues after the show starts at 11am, please leave the show.

    If you are having any technical issues after the show starts at 11am, please leave the show. Dealing with technical issues during the show isn’t what our viewers came to view. Feel free to contact Jason after the show or before the next show and he can help you out.

  • Find a nice quite place that doesn’t have any background noises or any other distractions.

    The show is 30 minutes long, please find a nice quite place that doesn’t have any background noises or any other distractions. Dealing with background noises and other distractions takes time away from the show.

  • If you notice something out of the ordinary

    If you notice something out of the ordinary during the recording please wait until after the show to discuss it. Breaking topic and conversation flow to talk about unrelated events slows the show down.

Timeline of events during a typical WPwatercooler show

Morning of the show

Jason should provide everyone with a link to the site where the shows youtube embed will be at. If not, ask Jason for the URL of the blog post on and post on various social networks about you being on the show and what the topic is. This will draw interest from your social networks and everyone benefits from the mutual exposure.

A typical status update would be:

I’m going to be on the WPwatercooler show talking about XYZ plugins in #WordPress


In 30 mins WPwatercooler will begin streaming live, come by the website and see me on the show!

Before 10:30 PT

You should have RSVP’d on the website for the event, we will send you a message letting you know the hangout is starting and provide you a link.

10:30am PT

You will receive an email from WPwatercooler with the URL to the google hangout at 10:30am PT. This time is called “show prep” and it’s where the panelists will come together and talk before the show beings. Live recording typically starts at 11:00am PT so show prep would begin at 10:30am PT.

Install Hangout Toolbox

Install the Google Toolbox app in Google Hangout so people know who you are.

Enable the Text Chat

We use the text chat box to converse during the show, we also use the links in here to manage the show notes that are prepared after the show. Add your own links in here so we can make sure they make it into the notes.

Get involved!

Feel free to talk with everyone and do any show prep with your fellow panelists. This is a great time to make sure your equipment is working.

11:00am PT

Once the show starts feel free to post that the show is starting and drive some viewers to the live event on the site as stated in step 3.

I’m on the WPwatercooler show this morning, it’s streaming live come by and watch! #wordpress


On the WPwatercooler show I’m taking about XYZ theme that I love. Come watch! #wordpress


Jason will click the “Start Broadcast” link in Google Hangout. The posting process takes about 10 seconds. He’ll count down with the posting text and stop around 3 to make sure that doesn’t show up in the show. Jason will start off the show intro mentioning the topic of the day and that he will be asking for self introductions, he’ll say your name and then you respond with something like “I’m Jason Tucker, web developer at” the quicker we get through all 9 people the faster we can get into the meat of the show.

During the show

  • Feel free to interject. This show is about showcasing who you are and what you know about the topic of this show we only have 30 minutes to discuss. If you cant get in edgewise feel free to push in a bit, make yourself known but be respectful.
  • Typically a few of the panelists know one another and know how to talk to each other, don’t be a wallflower ?


At the 29 minute mark Jason’s timer will go off and the conversation closes. We hard stop at 11:30am, he does a quick outro and we’re done.


People stick around after the show to chat for a few minutes. If you have anything to add to the show notes add them to the chat window, Jason will include them in the notes on the website, YouTube and the Audio Podcast.

Feel free to schedule out a tweet, google+ or facebook update with a link to the show so people can come back and see you on it. You have full rights to reuse the show anyway you see fit for self-promotion. As credit to the show please include a link to the website can embed the video from our youtube channel if you wish.

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