Friday, November 22, 2013

DearMYRTLE's Google+ Hangouts on Air - Mondays With Myrt, and More!

I have known DearMYRTLE (AKA Pat Richley-Erickson) for about five years now, and am amazed by her ability to adapt to the rapidly changing world of genealogy technology.  Pat is, I think, one of the very best genealogy educators, and friends, that we have in the genealogical community.

In addition to her DearMYRTLE Genealogy Blog, she takes regular turns on the Legacy Family Tree Webinars.  She also has a DearMYRTLE Facebook Group page, a Google+ DearMYRTLE's Genealogy Community page, and has been doing Hangouts On Air on Google+ for more than a year now.  Her Google+ Hangouts On Air are all archived on the DearMYRTLE YouTube page.

1)  Pat did a discussion series using Google+ Hangouts On Air several months ago on Thomas Jones' recent book Mastering Genealogical Proof that was educational and helpful to those who participated in the discussions, or watched them, and who studied the book.  She wants to do a second series with new panelists, and has put out a call for MGP Study Group 2 members in this Hangout On Air video:

2)  I have been on several of the "Mondays With Myrt" Hangouts On Air with Pat and 8 other folks (the cast varies) on the panel as they discuss the issues of the day, and I've watched most of the ones I've missed.  Here is last Monday's With Myrt Hangout On Air for 18 November 2013:

3)  This past week, Pat has made several other Hangouts On Air on short subjects, including:

*  Ancestry Member Trees: Sharing Options with Russ Worthington:

*  Ancestry Member Trees: What Is Syncing with Russ Worthington:

*  Ancestry Member Trees: Practical Collaboration Tips with Russ Worthington and myself:

These Hangouts On Air are fun to do and, hopefully, are educational for the viewers.

I will discuss some of the issues that we discussed in the latter Hangout On Air in a separate post.

4)  Needless to say, genealogy education has really gone to the video side (with webinars, streaming video from conference sessions, and Hangouts On Air).  The Hangouts On Air really facilitate discussions between panel members (it helps having a capable moderator like Pat!) and therefore exposes different views, knowledge and skills of the participants.  This is how collaboration should work, and I think that this is one of the most entertaining and useful ways to collaborate with other researchers.

Google+ Hangouts can be done one-on-one between two people, or up to ten people, in a live setting that is not archived, or they can be done with a number of panelists in a Hangout On Air that will be archived on YouTube.  The real beauty of Google+ Hangouts is that they can be done without a fee-based software provider like GoToWebinar.  They are free to participate in and watch.

Hangouts really open the possibility of distance sharing between family members, distant cousins, etc. They also offer the possibility of distance learning between speakers making presentations with genealogical society meeting attendees, since panelists can share their screen with the viewers.  Free.

If you are not a user of Google+, then you are missing out on one of the most active and interesting social media outlets for genealogists. Many in the genealogy community have adopted Google+ and are participating in genealogy-oriented groups like the DearMYRTLE's Genealogy Community.  You do have to join the group, and put other persons in your Circles, but it's all free.

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Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver


Sheri Fenley said...

I absolutely agree with you Seaver! Google+ Hangouts and Hangouts on Air are the best way to meet with anyone virtually. It's the next best thing to being there!

Hilary Gadsby said...

As a fellow panelist on some of the hangouts I have to agree with what you have said here . What I would really like to happen would be to get the local genealogy societies to make use of the technology in a similar way. This would be a real advantage to their members especially those who cannot make it to meetings.

Tony Proctor said...

I'm new to DearMYRTLE's hangouts since I've only been in one. It's a great idea to use the technology to get real discussions going. Making them face-to-face rather than simple text posts or email means you also get to know the people. I regularly use video conferencing for work (with several different technologies) so I know that Pat is very skillful in chairing these meetings. It can be hard to keep "the flow" going and to give everyone their turn at the front without that skill.