If none of your contacts are playing around on Google+, you'll see a sad little robot telling you the whole place is empty. But you can still send an invitation or two. When those folks log on to Google+, they'll be notified that they have been invited to a hangout. Others in your circles can also see that you're hanging out because it's plastered all over your Google+ page.
Katherine Murray is a technology writer and the author of more than 60 books on a variety of topics, ranging from small business technology to green computing to blogging to Microsoft Office 2010. Her most recent books include Microsoft Office 2010 Plain & Simple (Microsoft Press, 2010), Microsoft Word 2010 Plain & Simple (Microsoft Press, 2010), and Microsoft Word 2010 Inside Out (Microsoft Press, 2010).