Sunday, October 29, 2006

GenealogyForum chat on Monday night

My third, and last, "chat" on the Genealogy Forum chat board will be on Monday night, 30 October, at 9 PM EST/6 PM PST. The Forum people lined up guest speakers for the month of October, and I chose this night because I figured the World Series would be over. Please join us if you can.

The topic will be "Pursuing Your Elusive Female Ancestors." The talk will focus on finding maiden names of those hard to catch women hanging in your family tree without a maiden name. This is a reprise of my talk at CVGS last month, but I won't be using overheads this time, nort will they be able to "hear" my witty banter.

The format of these chats with a "speaker" are to have the speaker give a "lecture" for 15 to 20 minutes. The lecture is typed (or copied-and-pasted from a computer file) into the input box on the chat web site. I have prepared a manuscript and will be furiously copying and pasting 5 to 6 lines at a time. The challenge for me on this lecture is that I can't show my research examples as pictures - so I've described them in words to support the lecture points.

After the lecture is completed, then the attendees ask questions of the lecturer about his information, or ask for advice on a specific problem. The Q&A is moderated by the forum hosts so there is some semblance of order. Usually, after 10 to 20 minutes of Q&A, the session breaks down into a general chat session with all attendees contributing.

I've enjoyed my two previous sessions, and made several new genealogy friends and blog readers in the process.

While this is 1990's technology, it is not hard to see that a participative webcast, using the Webex tools used in industry for visuals and Skype for audio, is possible for genealogy related speakers and topics. We have already seen some online eConferencing, and Dick Eastman is doing regular Skype voice meetings.

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