Not Everything is Online

November 7, 2012

I am working on a “How to” search presentation for my local Family History Interest Group.

Hurricane Sandy caused the presentation to be rescheduled / postponed until the library could get it’s power back and that folks could get to it safely. There are still road closures, trees down, folks without power, even a week after the storm.

This extra time provided me with some more time to research my two “case studies” for this presentation. Two folks from the group sent me “problems”, to be used as examples for the “Group” to help search for solutions.

In the Inferential Genealogy program that I have discussed here, having a specific goal or question to answer was very important. Both of the ‘case studies’ have specific questions.

Leading up to my presentation, several presenters at previous meetings have reminded us about “not every thing is Online”; being patient with results, and YOU are an expert for your own family.

The first case study, which will be in presentation form, meaning I will present a couple of searching techniques that I use and that will be used for the 2nd “group” or “community” search case study.

Both of these examples will illustrate that “not everything is online”. But in different ways. The first is Civil War records and a Civil War Pension files. The information that is needed to order these files are online, but the details are not. The “how to order” forms are online.

The second case study will reinforce that, but in a different way. This 2nd case study will bring in the “family expert” that would go with the data that can be seen online. In working with the person who gave me the 2nd case study, I have found that there were relationships that aren’t found “online” but the “family expert” knows what the real relationships are. Just looking online, does not reflect two “step” relationships.

The good news, in working with these two case studies, where to “go next”, or what repository to visit “next” becomes obvious. This second case study, the crowd or community search will provide this second person with one or two repositories that should be visited, but with a list of items to look for at that repository.

In addition, the Friends, Acquaintance, and Neighbors (FAN) concept will be introduced, just based on the specific example / problem that was presented to me, and the importance looking broadly and not being focused on an individual. For example, who are the people on the census page before and after “your people”. Hints to resolve this 2nd “problem” became obvious is the resolution of the specific question for this case study.

Note: I am writing this as a reminder to my self, of a couple of points to be made during the presentation. Comments are always welcome.


Technical Tuesday: Post – Guest Speaker using Skype

June 26, 2012

Post Event Followup:

I recently posted this:

Technical Tuesday: Guest Speaker using Skype

Just got back from the event and must say it was very successful. We had 93 in the audience which is about double our normal attendance.

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This meeting included to groups. The normal Family History Interest Group that normally meets here, and our neighbors, Morris County Genealogy Society. We used both rooms, making the room long, but the Sound System was fed to both room.

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Because of the lighting for the opening and introduction, the screen is washed out, but we have control over the lights. The presentation was very visible.

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A view from the Q&A. The screen is to the left.

The presentation was awesome. Thank you Megan.

As my first post mentioned, this was our first attempt at a Skype presentation and I want to document the two (2) technical issues we had.

1) The positioning of the Skype ICONs that are on the screen while the Presenter is using Power Point. In about 4 slides, these two ICONs. the Presenters ICON and the Viewers ICON were in the Lower Right corner and those 4 slides had a couple of words hidden.

Not one for interrupting the presentation, we didn’t try to move them. Just be aware of where they are to to move them as far “off screen” as possible. Ours were next to one another which was our real issue. The words that were hidden were also spoken. So, move the Skype ICONs (Image inserts) during the set up

2) Feedback. It took a couple of minutes to figure out why Megan was breaking up at time.

I have this bottom picture as a reminder. The WebCam is the Mike for our end of the conversation. Every once in a while, as the ‘noise’ from the room went up, the speaker was cutting out. The first step was to lower our Speaker Volume. Remembering that the room speakers were needed for the back of the room, but if the room noise built up, so we lowered the speakers a bit, and finally had to mute our Mike.

At a slight pause in the presentation, as the subject was being changed, I let Megan know that I had muted the mike. She could see us, but not hear us, so she wasn’t getting the normal audience feedback. Letting her know, appeared to be helpful.

The Q&A was handled by muting and unmuting the mike during the dialog. Both parties needed to be aware of what was going on. Next time, our instructions will be clearer on the Q&A.

All in all, technically, it appeared to work well, with the noted exceptions, but the Presentation was Awesome. Everyone were very happy with the presentation. Folks stayed around, longer then normal, just chatting.

I am making these notes, more for myself, but if anyone else does a Skype call, can certainly learn from our experience.

Note to self: Check into the One Day Pass to the upgrade offering by Skype on a one day basis.

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