Friday, February 01, 2013

WHY Google Hangouts on Air webinars?

OK, I know we just got the hang of as the generally-accepted platform for viewing online genealogy classes posted at the combined calendar. Now, Ol' Myrt is planning a gradual move to Google+ Hangouts On Air. This post discusses why I am making the jump beginning 1 March 2013. My previous post discussed HOW you can participate as an attendee.


  • The GoToWebinar cost is high. $99 monthly for a room capacity of 100 attendees, and nearly $500 monthly for 1,000 attendees. Google+ Hangouts on Air are free.
  • GoToWebinar requires the presenters screen resolution is 1024x768 when most of our attendees typically have better quality computers and devices. Google+ has no restrictions.
  • Sound goes in and out frequently. Sometimes this happens, but Google Hangouts On Air appear more stable.
  • During the GoToWebinar online seminars I've hosted, the organizer sees 3-5 little pop ups stating “there is a problem with the recording”. G+ Hangouts appear more reliable. The Legacy Virtual Users' Group has a number of Hangouts on Air recordings in their collection.
  • Post-webinar production of the unreliable GoToWebinar recording is time consuming. The recommended use of Converter, augmented by Handbrake just to get a viable recording to upload is a big roadblock. G+ Hangouts on Air are automatically recorded, and automatically appear on YouTube when the webinar ends. Yes they can be edited, but it isn't necessary. I usually only added bumper music anyway.
  • Upload of the recorded GoToWebinar file takes time. G+ Hangouts on Air automatically appear on YouTube when the webinar ends.
  • Storage space for the GoToWebinar file is costly. YouTube is free.
  • Promoting the archived webinar is problematic. YouTube provides access beyond your current circle of FANs.
Basically, Google offers more options, smoother transmission, easy screen sharing along with auto-archiving and file storage at zero cost. GoToWebinar must think of an alternative to keep me there beyond the webinars I've already scheduled at For me, it's just a matter of showing my DearREADERS how to get to a Google Hangout and the move will be simple.

We learned to use GoToWebinar and we can learn to use Google Hangouts.

YES, I'll keep posting to the GeneaWebinars calendar regardless of the platform we decide to use to deliver the online seminar. You can attend online genealogy classes using GoToWebinar, Skype and Google Hangouts On Air. Isn't it a great time to learn about our favorite topic - genealogy?

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

Twitter: @DearMYRTLE
G+: +Pat Richley-Erickson
Second Life: Clarise Beaumont