Social networking software

Google+ Hangouts Host Olympic Athletes

Google’s Hangout feature is once again giving Google+ users a chance to get closer to the stars, this time with a Olympic twist.

The New York Times-sponsored series started on Wednesday with basketball stars Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks, and Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers. Both are members of the 2012 USA Basketball team. The hangouts will run through next Tuesday.

Google Hangouts have been a favorite stop of politicians, celebrities, and friends. President Obama used the feature to connect with voters back in January, and musical artists the Black Eyed Peas participated in a hangout last October to chat with fans shortly before they took the stage at a concert in New York City.

But with the Olympics coming up in short order, it makes sense for these hangouts to feature some of America’s top athletes, doesn’t it?

That said, the list of athletes participating is heavy in the marathoner department, with three runners. Friday’s chat featured Shalane Flanagan, a long distance runner planning to participate in the Olympic Marathon.

Monday's Olympic Games Hangout will also feature another runner, male marathoner Ryan Hall, who is expected to contend for a medal in London. His Google Plus hangout begins at 2 p.m. ET. Hall will be followed by brothers Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan, the second ranked men’s doubles team in the world and widely expected to earn a medal in the Olympic tennis tournament. Their chat occurs at 5 p.m. ET Monday.

The Hangout series ends on Tuesday at 6 p.m. ET, with yet another marathoner, Kara Goucher. All chats occur from The New York Times’ Google+ page. If you would like to ask a question, either comment on the post announcing the Hangout or post the question to your own Google+ wall with the hashtag #London2012Hangout.

Those with the best questions will get the chance to ask them live of the athletes during the event, the paper says.

For more tech news and commentary, follow Ed on Twitter at @edoswald, on Facebook, or on Google+ and follow Today@PCWorld on Twitter, too.

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