Tuesday, April 24, 2012

If you were designing a webinar lineup

DearREADERS,
This past week, Myrt firmed up a sponsor willing to support the larger "room" capacity of 1,000 ~ a great improvement over the limit to 100 attendees to my current GoToWebinar subscription. This means I'll be doing a lot more webinars -- either as a presenter or a host to other presenters. My question for you is...

WHAT would you like to see in genealogy webinars?

I'm already considering:

  • A 1940s Census Indexing Support Group, with a panel of leading specialists.
  • Regular DearMYRTLE Workshop Webinars, with a lot less PowerPoint and a lot more demos.
  • A three-way series spotlighting Legacy Family Tree, RootsMagic and Family Tree Maker 2012 genealogy management software.
  • An expanded English Research series where you have homework during the week to view specific online how-to-videos, with follow-up instructions from a Family History Library British Isles reference specialist.
  • A multi-week study of Tom Jones' revised Inferential Genealogy series from FamilySearch.org in a similar homework, then discussion format.
  • Joint presentations with Carrie Keele, my daughter who blogs at NotYourMothersGenealogy.com
  • Touring various genealogy websites from a "user" point of view, with input from an official rep from that site in the wings to answer questions.
Some of the webinars I'm considering involve experts where we haven't yet sealed the deal. Some support will go to foreign-language webinars hosted by companies with genealogy managers in various countries.

An important component of this work will be periodic access to the archived version of a webinar, and the option to purchase archived webinars in digital or DVD format for a nominal fee.

I firmly believe that live streaming of conference sessions (like RootsTech 2011 & 2012) and webinars are the best way to reach a large number of people at nominal cost -- and it's perfect for the "category" of genealogy. 

Ol' Myrt here wishes to support every instance of genealogy webinars, globally, in any way I can. There are tricks to "finalizing" the GoToWebinar recording that have been worked through over the years of using the service. Geoff from LegacyFamilyTree.com and Mike from RootsMagic.com have been particularly helpful in sharing their experiences in this regard. GoToWebinar is just like any other service -- they try to provide tech support, but we all get by with a little help from our friends. I still see that service as providing the most stable platform at the best price for hosts.

I encourage all hosts and presenters to contribute to the GeneaWebinars calendar and blog.


I'd like to see societies embrace this technology by incorporating virtual presentations into the lineup for at least half of their regularly-scheduled meetings. I'd also like larger organizations like the Washington DC Family History Center use webinar technology to expand the reach of their annual conferences beyond the confines of the meeting room walls. (Can FamilySearch assist larger FHCs by providing access to FamilySearch's webinar software? They do it for the Riverton FamilySearch Library.)

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

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Twitter: @DearMYRTLE
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Second Life: Clarise Beaumont








12 comments:

  1. Congrats!
    Looking forward to LOTS more of your Webinars.

    Andy

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  2. While you asked for subjects of future webinars, my wish is about past webinars. I would like to see all webinars recorded and available for viewing at a later time.

    In that way, when I miss a webinar, I can view it later when I have some time.

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  3. Love all your ideas! At the moment the comparisons of software programs interests me as I must update soon. As time goes on, more ideas will pop into everyone's heads, that is if we can stop indexing long enough! ;-)

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  4. Sounds great! I really appreciate the opportunity to learn new things and webinars are a fun way to learn. How about a webinar on genealogy blogging for us "newbie bloggers?" I know I'd appreciate any tech advice I could get!

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  5. My wish is the same as Cathy-O the webinars be recorded:)

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  6. Agree with others. Make webinar's available for review at a later date/time, even if its only for a couple week or so. It's hard to accommodate all schedules around the globe. :)
    Would also love to see brainstorming sessions... I guess more like a G+ hangout, but with someone who is an "expert" in a certain area. If I have a brick wall that ends in Michigan, for example, can we hang out with other folks researching in that area and someone who specializes in that area.

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  7. Definitely would like to be able to have recordings for later use or review.

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  8. OK, OK. I hear you on the archived webinars.

    From the host's point of view, finding server space for storage of large webinar files, and paying for bandwidth to permit downloading of those file is always going to be a problem for some folks out here on the web. Lulu.com no longer support video downloads, and Amazon.com takes 2 weeks to approve a webinar after it has received the submission in DVD via snail-mail.

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    Replies
    1. The Internet Archive is very squirrely, and attempts to upload these large files isn't reliable.

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  9. My request is for TOPICS you'd like to see discussed on upcoming webinars.

    Do you think it's a good idea to have a "Week in review" webinar, like a genealogy news magazine? Perhaps featuring multiple guests? It take about 10 hours to produce a 1 hour webinar in this case.

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  10. How about lining up experts on, say, three states and letting us non-experts ask them questions on their states?

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  11. I love these ideas:
    --A multi-week study of Tom Jones' revised Inferential Genealogy series from FamilySearch.org in a similar homework, then discussion format.
    --Regular DearMYRTLE Workshop Webinars, with a lot less PowerPoint and a lot more demos.
    --An expanded [insert any topic here] Research series where you have homework during the week to view specific online how-to-videos, with follow-up instructions from a Family History Library reference specialist.

    I also ditto the recording of the webinars. I cannot always listen at the time scheduled due to other activities.

    Really appreciate you working on this!

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