Thursday, August 21, 2014

A Week of Webinars

All webinared out
In the past seven days I have watched four webinars from different providers in Australia and the US.

1. Evernote for Genealogy, Cyndi Ingle for The Society of Australian Genealogists $10

2. Golden Genealogy Rules, Shauna Hicks for MyHeritage FREE

3. Getting started with Research, Joanne for Queensland State Archives FREE

4. Staying Safe Using Social Media, Thomas MacEntee for Georgia Genealogical Society  FREE

I learnt a little from each presentation and a lot from the Queensland State Archives as I was not at all familiar with that institution amd its holdings. I learnt about presentation techniques from Thomas, he is an excellent and experienced presenter who speaks slowly and clearly with lots of humour (although having known Thomas for a while I have heard some of those oneliners before). He does not rely solely on slides but gives live demonstrations showing how things work on his computer. He engages with attendees during his talk by naming some of them, we realise he can't do a full roll call.

Three of the presentations used the GoToWebinar platform while the Queensland State Archives used another that I much preferred as it showed a video stream of the speaker as well as her slides, this webinar was recorded in front of a live audience and the moderator did a great job of involving the online attendees in the event. I did not realise that one could show a livestream of a presenter on GoToWebinar but Thomas came on screen at the beginning and end of his talk giving it a more personal touch.

This was Shauna's first webinar, she commented on her blog afterwards " I found it a bit strange just sitting in my study talking to my laptop knowing that there were about 120 people out there listening to me."  Shauna and Joanne were first time presneters and did an awesome job in their debuts. 

Having become used to Google Hangouts on Air, where there is video of presenters and panel and more interaction,  I find that, although I learn from them, some webinars are real "chalk and talk" formal lecture sessions. I fear that the moderators do not realise that they are using social media tools and that they have a role to make presenters feel comfortable and to interrupt presenters occasionally to ask questions and pass on comments from attendees.

While my $10 for the The Society of Australian Genealogists wasn't too expensive there were empty seats in the room (webinar lingo) I can't understand why SAG don't offer seats to non-members. This could be done as a last-minute offer via social media once members have had a reasonable time to enrol. I know my mates in country Queensland and the Northern Territory would be happy to add to SAG's coffers if they had a chance to attend the webinars.

Thank you to those three organisations who used their webinars as outreach or marketing tools, I appreciate being able to use your services. Getting a freebie leaves me with a good impression of your organisations.


Kylie Willison said...

Love the photo Jill and it's good to hear about your webinar experiences too.

Annette said...

Hi Jill,
re SAG - I often see Member & Non-member prices, perhaps they did this for members only.
Or, it might be that they offer both pricing but only speak to members!! Your idea about last minute offers via social media is a great one - I hope they're reading your blog.
Cheers & thanks,

Sharon said...

Your photo says it all! Love it :)


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