Thursday, March 5, 2015

Rough around the Edges

My GeniAus' Hangouts on Air are, like me, a bit rough around the edges.

Each time I start a Hangout I seem to have some sort of technology glitch. In this week's Hangout the invitations I sent out for people to join the panel did not work so with three minutes to go before the Hangout was due to start I cancelled it and scheduled another which allowed some panelists to join me. Apologies to those who couldn't join, time was of the essence and I just had to get on with the show.

During the Hangouts sometimes there is an echo because someone (I'm guilty here) doesn't mute themselves while others are speaking, sometimes panelists forget to unmte themselves and  are just talking heads when responding to questions so I have to remind them to unmute themselves. Sharing computer screens creates issues as we wait for them to appear, sometimes my screen freezes and conversation halts so we have periods of silence. I do get stressed at these times but  I don't worry because it is all part of a learning experience.

What is gratifying is that those who are viewing have become quite competent at contributing to the conversation by comments during the live sessions. To do this you must be a member of the GeniAus Community on Google+. I do it this way so that we have a private forum in which to converse, only those whom I approve for membership of the community make and view comments but anyone can watch the sessons via my Youtube Channel.

What the panelists and I are doing is having an enlightening conversation on a genealogy topic and a practical learning session (on mastering the Hangout software) concurrently. I am so proud of those brave souls who put their hands up to join me as panelists and share my learning journey. If you haven't tried a Hangout yet please get yourself a headset and give it a go.

This prattling is by way of an apology for the quality of some of the hangouts I present but I will keep plugging on as they appear to fill a need (96 peple have watched the last recording on Youtube already). Apologies done here is this week's Hangout - Let's get Organised.


John Sparrow said...

Hi Jill. As a newbie to Hangouts, I didn't realise I had to collect my email to get the link for the second attempt.
John Sparrow

GeniAus said...

Sorry, John. I didn't even have time to send out lots of imvitations on my second attempt - it takes a while to do this.

If you are signed into Google you would normally get a notification in the bell icon at the top right hand corner of your browser. Clicking the link there will take you into the hangout.

I'll find a link on How to join a Hangout and post it in the GeniAus Community.

Michelle Nichols said...

Jill I enjoyed this hangout, despite the technical issues. Good to hear what options other people do with their research. We need to be flexible as we are dealing with digital as well as physical information whilst keeping abreast of technology. I picked up a few tips. Sorry for being thick but tell me where are the comments people were making during the hangout? You mentioned on the Geniaus community...? Thanks :)

Tessa Keough said...

Jill - something else that all of us need to remember is that we are using a new technology that is constantly changing (most times for the better). We schedule a hangout and send out invitations. We start a hangout and hope people show up (either in the room or watching online during the event OR after the fact watching on YouTube). We prepare (yes we do prepare and it takes time) and it goes beautifully one time only to be glitchy the next. But that is the nature of this beast and we do the best we can.

Kudos to you and all the others who have embraced this online broadcast studio. We all need to take the time to learn how to use this technology - the presenter, the recorder/tech person, the viewers, and the attendees (and there are many helpful tutorials or posts about it). If everyone does their part, our hangouts will continue to improve and prosper. If some complain and make no effort to learn the system - my only suggestion is to give it a go yourself (host a hangout) so you will see just what an effort is being made on your behalf.

For my part, even with glitches I find I learn something at the various hangouts I attend and I am grateful that Google+ has made this broadcast ability available to us to get together from all over the world. Keep it up Jill and thanks!


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