Sunday, May 03, 2015

Blogging less: Hangouts, G+ and Tweeting more

This post represents a bit of reminiscing on Ol' Myrt's part and isn't meant to be a definitive review of GeneaTechnology.

There has been a shift in how genealogists communicate and learn. The change started years ago after email, genealogy mailing lists and message boards became acceptable. The ground-breaking 2011 RootsTech's live streaming sessions pushed info out there so panelists like Ol' Myrt here could respond in real-time to Twitter feed comments from the global GeneaCommunity.

Online education technology is widely accepted in main stream "verticals," but genealogists are barely accepting this as the norm.

Well, to be fair, there are two genealogy camps -- those who've embraced technology and those who haven't.

Ya gotta remember, I am an old-school online genealogist from the 300 baud dial-up modem days of Q-Link for Commodore computer users. That grandparent of AOL evolved into AppleLink and PCLink, which then begat AOL. We still weren't "interneting" yet. I couldn't send email to Dick Eastman over on CompuServe because we weren't on the same "online service". I can emember using FIDO-net to have my computer "call" other computers to exchange info. Myra Vanderpool Gormley was on Prodigy. Rhonda McClure, now at HisGen, was on Genie. 

I remember when the Afrigeneas group on AOL ventured out on the internet, and folks thought it odd!  Why on earth would Afrigeneas or DearMYRTLE ever venture out on the "web"? Cyndi's List flourished. RootsWeb mailing lists ruled long before the once great book publishing house Ancestry was more than a fledgling website. Volunteers poured their souls into USGenWeb. We could only purchase genealogy books at national conferences.

Okay. That was in the olden days. And NO, we didn't 
get to those conferences in horse and buggy!

IMAGE: Circa 1910 Horse and Buggy
Courtesy of WikiPedia Creative Commons. Transferred to Commons by User:Jay8g

From 1994 to the early 2000s Ol' Myrt's main stay was blogging, though I had already dabbled in the first live internet radio streaming that morphed into podcasting. I gave podcasting up in favor of webinars, adding the visual dimension to the conversation. Even then, comments and social networking weren't on our GeneaRadar. 

Now nearly everything can be purchased via - books, electronics, tools, clothing, music, live streamed video TV and movies, and the growing phenomenon of ebooks. At hefty discounts, by the way. Did I mention groceries?

We download .pdf versions of speakers handouts at national genealogy conferences, and major genealogy webinar sites. Requests for live-streaming are on the rise at professional management conferences, regional seminars and national conferences. Initiatives like FamilySearch Indexing add to our global genealogy collaborations.

Facebook or Google+? Back in 2013, I decided to post and interact on Facebook and Google+ equally and FootnoteMaven asked which was better. My results aren't easily quantifiable. I just know genealogy conversations go on for weeks on Google+. We're not talking what's for breakfast (a la Facebook) anymore.

Longtime DearREADERS remember when Ol' Myrt here moved to G+ Hangouts on Air (auto-archived here) from the GoToWebinar platform. I wanted to accommodate larger audiences, and it doesn't hurt to save the $90 per month for a "small" room capacity of 100 attendees, particularly when 2,000 typically signed up. I could get a corporate sponsor for a 1,000 capacity room, but then I'd be beholden, wouldn't I?  

Since Ol' Myrt here doesn't like to disappoint potential attendees, perhaps I am predisposed to using a free Google+ genealogy community for our Hangouts that feature ongoing peer-to peer mentoring, discussions, software demonstrations and website exploring.

What develops is my understanding that G+ is growing, and genealogists are embracing the easy-to-use technology.  As with anything new, there is a slight learning curve, but we can use the technology itself to assist. For instance:
  • DearMYRTLE's training video VIEWer Guide to Mastering Genealogical Proof Study Group prepares potential attendees to use the technology not only to VIEW the class sessions but to interact with panelists by commenting back in the DearMYRTLE Community. Using the free Google+ Hangouts on Air, the sessions can be viewed by thousands of participants live. And it's like being in a big room together because +Cousin Russ is always there to weave comments from the community into the mix.
  • Check out Cousin Russ and DearMYRTLE's series How to Hangout and Use Google+ including: Why Google+, Hangouts and Hangouts on Air: What's the Difference?, Tweaking Your Google+ Profile, Creating a Page for Your Society or Business, Creating a Google+ Community, What about Hosting a Hangout on Air?, and Timestamps: What the heck are they?

My once busy blogging days have diminished in favor of other communication outlets. Simply put, more is happening over on Google+, Twitter  and Facebook, though the latter is perhaps past it's prime.

Substantive peer-to-peer collaboration is best facilitated on Google+ even if it means I'll be blogging less. But don't get me wrong -- Ol' Myrt here certainly doesn't want to stop learning about genealogy. I hope to see you tomorrow during Mondays with Myrt, our flagship Hangout on Air. You'll always find DearMYRTLE's upcoming online meetings at:

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

G+ DearMYRTLE Community
Twitter: @DearMYRTLE
Second Life: Clarise Beaumont

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