Monday, October 13, 2008

Virtual appearances

DearREADERS,
Virtual appearances are coming into their own in the world of online genealogy.

Virtual appearances? This is where participation in a genealogy lecture is accommodated through the use of technology and the internet. The chief benefit is that time and travel expenses are saved as both participants and presenters attend via home computers or workstations from anywhere in the world.

Participants can hear the presenter speak (in real time, not pre-recorded) and see anything on the presenter's computer screen (a PowerPoint or demo of genealogy software, etc.)

Two types of "virtual appearances" have emerged of late, which for ease of discussion Ol' Myrt here has labeled:
  • Type A - One computer connects to many computers (with many attendees)
  • Type B - One computer connects to one computer (with many attendees)

Type A - One computer connects to many computers (with many attendees)
This type of virtual appearance is the more expensive type, as the cost is related to the number of incoming connections. For instance, the more people attending, the higher the cost for the host.

FamilySearch holds technical webinars to coordinate with outside (& distant) programmers who are refining software to coordinate with the newly emerging version of FamilySearch.org. You'd expect techies to use hi-tech to get their work done.

On a level Ol' Myrt can relate to -- Ancestry hosts virtual appearances of a variety of genealogy professionals who share their how-to knowledge with researchers like you and me. In fact, you may register to attend this week's webinar, Saving Family Treasures, featuring Maureen Taylor, the photo detective. You'll need to pre-register to attend. Ancestry bears the cost of participation for such events.

Type B - One computer connects to one computer (with many attendees)
Individual speakers contract with local genealogy societies to appear virtually using an interface such as www.gotomeeting.com . Ol' Myrt will make such a virtual appearance Tuesday, Oct 21st at 6:30pm Eastern US with folks that gather in the meeting room at the public library in Moultie, Georgia. The cost to me as the presenter is relatively low since only the computer with projector in that meeting room will connect with mine.

Given the high cost of travel in an economy of declining returns on our investments, virtual appeances are a trend worth looking into.

FOR FURTHER READING

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,
Your friend in genealogy.
Myrt@DearMYRTLE.com

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© 2008 Pat Richley All Rights Reserved.
This and previous blog entries are fully searchable by going to
http://blog.DearMYRTLE.com. Myrt welcomes queries and research challenges, but regrets she is unable to answer each personally.