Sunday, July 8, 2012

Webinar Tips

In a recent post on Twitter  @ancestorchaser asked about advice for taking part in webinars. I responded with "Sit back, relax, participate".

That response elicited a second tweet from  @ancestorchaser " Is there a list of them or anything to join?"

As I couldn't do justice to this question in 40 characters I promised to respond in a blog post drawing on the content I shared in my recent talk on Geneawebinars for Unlock the Past's Brisbane Expo.

This advice on Preparing for a webinar comes from Familysearch techtips:
  • First, find a webinar!
  • Review system requirements. You will also need an active internet connection with enough bandwidth for streaming. Dial up will not serve you well in this capacity.
  • Register, if needed.
  • Prepare your computer. Download required software, and make sure in advance your equipment works. You will have the greatest success if you close extra programs you are using on your computer. Streaming video content, as is the case with webinars, puts a large load on your computer’s memory and processing power.
  • Log in early.
  • If audience participation is allowed, make sure you mute your microphone when not talking!

I would add:
  • Invest in a microphone/earphone headset for your computer and get used to using it
  • Shut yourself away in a quiet room and put a "Do not disturb" sign on the door
  • Set yourself up with a nice cool drink
  • Use a second laptop or tablet to take notes during the webinar so you can have the webinar screen visible at all times
  • Sit back, relax, have fun

Where do you find webinars?
  • GeneaWebinars Site - Check the calaendar
  • Commercial Organisations' Websites – Ancestry , Legacy and Rootsmagic offer webinars
  • Genealogy Societies - IGS ,
  • Professional Genealogists –
    Dear Myrtle 
    Michael John Neil ,
    Elise Friedman,
  • Internet searches - don't restrict yourself to genealogy webinars. Search for webinars about general tools you use for genealogy purposes like Evernote, Google+, etc.
  • Social Media Notifications - Monitor Twitter, Google+ and Facebook for news of future webinars.
  • Society Newsletters may give details of webinars
  • In Australia the SAG website lists their webinars - These are for members only webinars 
A major problem for Australians is that most of the US webinars are broadcast in the early morning hours (Australian time); there are some that are on in the evening in the US and these are available around noon in Australia.

The good news is that Unlock the Past is planning to host webinars that will be scheduled at times to suit Australian audiences. Watch their website for news about this initiative.

These speakers have expressed an interest in presenting webinars for Unlock the Past:

Jill Ball (NSW)  Carol Baxter (NSW)  Vicki Eldridge (NSW)  Jan Gow (NZ)  Shauna Hicks (Vic)
Rosemary Kopittke (Qld)  Noeline Kyle (NSW)  Thomas MacEntee (USA)  Michelle Nichols (NSW)
Cora Num (NSW)  Chris Paton (Scotland)  Geoff Rasmussen (USA)  Helen Smith (Qld)
Lyn Whelan (NZ)

There are exciting times ahead for Australian Genealogists.


NoOceanInKansas said...

Great post! Thanks for the information.

Kylie Willison said...

Thanks for the webinar tips Jill. I attended my first webinar just recently and it was very good. I'm especially looking forward to the Australian webinars though!!


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