Friday, September 27, 2013

Please Provide Soft Copies...

A simple system - Fling it in the folder
...we might even save a few trees.

I am trying really hard to cut down on the amount of paper I keep in my Geneacave.

This morning finds me scanning handouts from a conference I recently attended. Only one of the presenters in the sessions I attended (thank you Cora Num) at that conference offered handouts in a digital format. At the beginning of her talk Cora gave us the URL for her handouts, I was able to download the handout onto my tablet and annotate it as Cora proceeded with her talk.

I must say that I prefer a hard copy handout to no handout at all but soft copy is the way to go in the 21st century.

I don't keep hard copies of handouts, I scan them and file them into the Family History -
Presentations folder on the external hard drive where I keep all my genie stuff. (I have previously discussed my filing method in the Fling it in the Folder and subsequent posts).  The hard copies then find themselves in my recycling bin.

The scans are filed by presenter name and title eg Num, Cora Research tools for the digital age. If I was really organised I could add some tags but I find that I can usually find a document I need via the Windows search facility. I find it much easier to file a soft copy than to have to go through the whole scanning process.

There are many options for sharing handouts in various formats on the internet:  one's own website, Dropbox, Facebook, Google Drive, Prezi, and Slideshare are just some options.

I realise that presenters may be concerned about the intellectual property of their work and not want to post in a public forum. In this case they could collect the email addresses of those who want a soft copy and send it out; this could be rather tedious if several hundred people want the presentation. They could offer to send copies of the presentation by return email to those request it. Handouts could be saved to a private page on Facebook. Where there's a will there's a way.

Organisers of large conferences should make provision for the storage and delivery of  presentation notes to attendees. Smaller local groups and societies may not have the resources or expertise to manage this; presenters need to be mindful of this and ensure that their audiences can easily access digital copies of presentation notes.

I am wondering if other genies prefer hard or soft copy handouts.


Unknown said...

I attended my first 'big' genealogy conference this past spring. Maybe a week or two before the conference, the conference organizers sent out a digital copy of the entire conference syllabus as a .pdf via email. I loved it. I downloaded an app on my iPad that allowed me to type notes in the margins of the pdf while I was listening to the speakers. And I know have all my notes from the conference in one file. I do understand why some people still like to have the physical paper copy in front of them, though, but my genealogy 'lab' is overflowing as it is, too.

GeniAus said...

That is fantastic, Emily and not hard for the organisers to manage.

Rosemary said...

Soft copy Jill.


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