Helping out with Helpouts, or what I’d like to call HelpRaising

UX Help

If you haven’t heard, Google announced an exciting new program called Helpouts. I’m honored to have been selected as one of the first providers in the program. This has a great introduction to some of the providers out there. I’m excited to help our computer repair clients here in Lawrence as well as Topeka and Kansas City but also extending our “mouse calls” to all corners of the globe.

Since I enjoy helping people, I came up with (what I think) is a brilliant idea and I’m calling it “Helping out with Helpouts” and starting a Helpraising effort for local charities.

What it is

If you’ve got questions about your computer (Apple Mac or Windows-based PC) as well as your iPad, iPhone or Android device, I can help you remotely via Google’s excellent Helpout tool based on Google Hangouts. It works best when you have a webcam that has audio and video, though text-based chats are totally acceptable. Google even includes a tool with which I can remotely control your Mac or PC for repair (with your permission of course). It’s really neat.

The Helpraising component comes in the fee structure. I’m going to charge a nominal fee (current at an introductory rate of 99 cents for 15 minutes and will move up slightly later) for my 20+ years of industry experience. While processing of the payments takes a small percentage, the entire rest of the fee will be donated to a charity. Instead of selling cookies that just make you fat, selling wrapping paper you don’t need (I try to use recycled newspapers) or walking for hours, I’m going to use my computer expertise to raise money. You especially don’t want me to sing or dance on a telethon, unless of course you pay the charity for me to stop.

Who I’m helping

The first charity I’m choosing for November and December is one near and dear to my heart and very appropriate: Connecting for Good. This great organization helps bridge the “digital divide” by providing computers, internet service and training to a community that could not otherwise afford it. Our clients already donate their computers to them so this seems a logical extension.

For the first time, I’ll be making environmentally friendly “mouse calls” all over the world. I can help people remotely while both of us save on gas an impact on the environment.

What I can do

Practically anything that can be discussed over the phone or connect to your computer remotely. The Hangouts program works via almost any web browser or Android device (no iOS as of yet). Some ways I’ve helped in the past are

  • Sorting out pesky iCloud issues with duplicating contacts or calendars
  • Inability to configure and in particular send emails
  • Securing and configuring wireless networks
  • Setting up family safety and training parents on how to protect children online
  • Viruses, spyware and all sorts of malware that frustrate and annoy us
  • Computers that run slow or just don’t seem right
  • Backup and testing of backups (a personal favorite of mine)

How you can help

Spread the word via your social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and of course Google+. Give them my Helpout link and encourage them to come to me with their technology woes such as:

They (or you) get expert quality help and try out a groundbreaking new tool provided by Google and together we raise money via a local charity. Sure beats the old 20th century method of fundraising.

To spread the word, just have your friends go to and that will direct you to my page.

The fine print:  this Helpraising effort is not sponsored or affiliated with google and while I’ll be donating my proceeds to charity your purchases may not be tax deductible.


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