Thursday, November 6, 2014

DearMYRTLE's "3 Months to Better Organization" Hangout With the WMGS

Remote broadcasts of genealogy educational presentations are not new, but I think that they will become much more prevalent over the next few years.  Being able to see and hear a respected presenter on a genealogical subject in a genealogical society setting is very attractive, especially if your society is remote from the presenter's location.  The presentation can be made digitally over the internet, with slide presentations, questions and answers between the presenter and the audience, etc.

The society gets a quality presentation, and has to pay the speaker an honorarium, but saves money by not having to pay travel and other costs for the speaker.

Yesterday, DearMYRTLE (Pat Richley-Erickson, who lives in the Salt Lake City area) made a remote presentation via Google+ Hangouts On Air to the Western Massachusetts Genealogical Society in Agawam, Massachusetts on the topic of "3 Months to Better Organization."  During the live broadcast, DearMYRTLE showed her presentation slides, discussed issues with the audience, asked questions of the audience, and answered questions from the audience.  The audience could see DearMYRTLE, and she could see the audience.

The presentation/discussion is online on DearMYRTLE's YouTube channel - see

Here is the 95 minute presentation:

Does your local genealogical society want to see and hear other noted genealogical speakers?  In order to do this, the local society needs to have:

*  a meeting room with excellent Internet connection, an LCD projector and large projection screen
*  a computer with a webcam, microphone and speaker system
*  a local moderator with a Google+ account, and who is experienced with Hangouts On Air (it's not hard!)
*  a presenter who has similar equipment with a Google+ account, and experienced with a Hangout On air.

DearMYRTLE currently has three regularly scheduled Hangouts On Air every week (subject to life issues), all with Russ Worthington (Cousin Russ) to help with production issues.  They include:

1)  Mondays With Myrt on Mondays (12 noon Eastern time, 9 a.m. Pacific time) - a weekly news review with several panelists.  I'm usually on this panel.

2)  Wacky Wednesdays on Wednesdays (9 p.m. Easter, 6 p.m. Pacific) - a focused discussion of a genealogy-oriented topic, skill, website, etc.

3)  Genealogy Game Night on Saturdays (9 p.m. Eastern, 6 p.m. Pacific) -  a "Who's In My Line" question/answer game.

You can watch all of the past episodes of these shows on DearMYRTLE's YouTube channel -

There are many other genealogy presenters who have a YouTube channel and make online educational presentations.  Some are using Google+ Hangouts On Air, which are archived directly to YouTube.  Some presenters also use Go To Webinar or LiveStream, and archive their videos and make them available, for free or for fee, to the genealogy industry.  Other education providers have regularly scheduled webinars with noted speakers that are free to watch live, but are then accessible to members after the live presentation.

Is this something that might appeal to your local genealogical society?  There is some preparation and training required, but having regular presentations may spark interest in genealogy and family history among the society members.  Using technology such as Google+ Hangouts, YouTube and other tools may attract working or homebound members who might be able to watch them at their convenience.

Kudos to the Western Massachusetts Genealogical Society (WMGS), and especially to their leader, Dave Robison) for making this happen on a regular basis for their membership.

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Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver

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