Thursday, December 18, 2008

Skype those Cousins

Has your genealogy research located distant cousins in farflung corners of the globe? You probably communicate with these new relations by email. Being able to hear and see people adds an extra dimension to communication.

Consider setting up a Skype account and (if your computer doesn't have an inbulilt one) purchasing a webcam and encouraging your cousins to do so. You don't need a sophisticated setup; my simple EeePC is perfect for the task. With Skype software you can make free video calls over the internet to other people on Skype for as long as you like, to wherever you like. It is free to download. If you add your Skype Identity to your email signature you will let fellow researchers know that you are willing to be contacted.

With a wireless internet connection Skype gives genealogists who visit family sites the opportunity to make live connections with those with shared interests enabling them to virtually share in the site visit. When we have family celebrations we set up a laptop runnng Skype in the room so family members in Canada are able to share in the proceedings in Australia and become virtual partygoers.

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