Sunday, March 22, 2015

Hangouts: Pay what you want

From here on in, Ol' Myrt will add a "Pay what you want" button to every blog post, unless it is an announcement from a vendor. Why am I doing this? Frankly, I don't want to perpetuate the myth that genealogy should be a cost-free endeavor. We should expect to pay for professional services. And I want to play nice with other virtual speakers in the genealogy space.

Years ago, I toyed with the possibility of providing archived versions of my online classes for a fee, but I didn't like the set up and high maintenance scenario including massive weekly snail mailings, refunds for downloads that didn't work, etc. In short, I want to focus on substantive online genealogy education, not product fulfillment.

We've observed the "virtual" classroom scenario is growing in the genealogy space. Some professionals actually prefer the online opportunities, effectively skipping the lost luggage, lost research & development time, and the seemingly ubiquitous overdue flights experienced by many a weary genealogy presenter. 

Someone has to pay the piper. As online classrooms proliferate, we cannot depend on big-name genealogy websites to provide the service without bias or cost. Every member of the community will realize we can't expect something for nothing.

Most of Ol' Myrt's "classes" are panel discussions with real-time feedback from the DearMYRTLE Genealogy Community on Google+. +Cousin Russ makes sure everyone is included. And then there are my "very distant cousins" to consider, but I digress.

I'm going to take a middle of the road approach: 
  • DearMYRTLE's private, genealogy society virtual presentations will continue at the current rate, as these are custom-designed for each society in question.
  • There will be no change in the format or location of DearMYRTLE's calendared, live and archived public Hangouts on Air. 
  • DearMYRTLE's public virtual presentations will continue to be available free, with the following change:
What's different? Every Hangout on Air announcement will include the "Pay what you want" option, where you may specify what you'd like to contribute to the cause. This permits Ol' Myrt and +Cousin Russ to:
  • Provide blogger beads, writing contest prizes, and challenge awards without digging into our own pockets.
  • Share complimentary gift card with intensive study group panelists, as a small token of our appreciation.
  • Continue to bring AmbushCAM short-subject interviews at the genealogy conferences we're able to attend. 
  • Undertake professional development.
So it's simple. If you value the work Ol' Myrt, +Cousin Russ and our beloved panelists do week in and week out on your behalf, please:

Check the GeneaWebinars Calendar for exact dates of DearMYRTLE study groups and Hangouts on Air, in addition to over 200 hours of online genealogy classes, webinars and tweetchats from other hosts and presenters in the next 12 months.


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

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Twitter: @DearMYRTLE
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