Thursday, October 11, 2012

Webinars: Why charge for archived versions?

Imagine the producer of a genealogy webinar has deep, deep pockets. Imagine genealogy corporations where webinars are a key component of tech support.

Although Mr. Myrt is very generous, I certainly don't fit either category. DearMYRTLE may have a .com address, but I am a person, not a corporation. I'm like a number of other "sole proprietor" genealogy presenters out there.

In a tight economy, travel costs and speaker fees are difficult hurdles for local genealogy societies wishing to invite well-regarded genealogy presenters for monthly meetings and annual conferences. Genealogy webinars go a long way toward sharing how to improve genealogy research skills.

But someone's got to pay the piper.

Here's about what it costs me to produce DearMYRTLE Workshop Webinars:

$1188 annually - GoToWebinar room for 100 attendees ($99 monthly, some years I get a break)
$360 annually - webinar archive space
0 - Converter software program
0 - Handbrake software program
$199 - Camtasia (usually annual upgrade from the initial $299 cost)
$1,747 annually (not counting Ol' Myrt's time, computer equipment, 2 headsets annually, ISP fees, etc.)

Since Ol' Myrt here doesn't want to be 'a slave to the computer', I've kept all of my live webinars free. That way I don't have to deal with tech support issues or refunds as people forget to show up, cannot get in the room, have connection issues, etc.

Taneya Koonce gave us four great webinar sessions on the use of WordPress last summer, and she should be compensated for her time. My cousin Russ Worthington freely shares information in his blog about the use of Family Tree Maker, and his expertise in guiding me through learning that software program in our joint webiars should be compensated.

As a responsible member of the genealogy community, I must demonstrate respect for the expertise of genealogy webinar presenters.

In the future I'd like to sponsor more presenters in my webinars, and offer them a fair return, based on the sale of archived versions of their webinars.

From this point forth, my webinars will be handled as follows:

1. GeneaWebinars Calendar lists all my webinars

2. Mondays with Myrt - always free archived versions at:
No fees here, because I consider this weekly show as a form of "blogging" if blogging is defined as getting the word out about genealogy news.

3. DearMYRTLE Workshop Webinars will be presented live and free, but the archived version will go behind the pay wall located here:

You'll find the "Webinar Archive" link on a tab at

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

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


  1. A very reasonable position, else the piper will start debt collection proceedings! Nobody should complain about this decision -- we're all too grateful for all you do.

  2. Thanks for sharing a free webinar... I'll be watching this soon. Thanks!

  3. More than reasonable position! Thank you for the free-live versions Pat, you are very generous.

  4. From my DearREADERS personal emails to me is the understanding that folks had no idea how much it costs to do webinars.

    Myrt :)

  5. And she's not even including how generous she is by hosting an area just for genealogy in Second Life (it's not cheap, believe me). Add that to the webinar fees, travel costs, and everything else, and I'll bet the piper has much to collect. I don't know of many people who are as generous with the community as Myrt. Thank you for all you do!

  6. Myrt - there's nothing wrong with that! You of course cannot continue to front the costs of this all on your own. The prices are very reasonable!