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Really Useful Show

Posted: 14 Nov 2020 17:19
by gwilym'smum
Spent the day at the show. Actually just about managed the technology but anyone who wasn't really familiar with using the current communicating systems I think would really have struggled. There are lots of complaints on Midland Ancestors about not being able to access both the FFHS site and not getting invites to SLACK. I think there had been problems with the live speakers as we were directed to YouTube. On Zoom if you want to comment you just type in but when I tried to comment on a live talk I lost the talk, really annoying. To be honest I am shattered after having to concentrate so much. It was a good job I spent yesterday afternoon trying to sort out how to use it all. Four talks for £5 was very good value when lots of online talks by various organizations are now £10. I think things were left until the very last minute but to give everyone their due it must have taken a terrific time to organize. There were a couple of organizations with offers. Perhaps they could have done with "rooms" for products like Family Historian or book stalls like Pen and Sword etc as well as just societies.

On the plus side the talks I attended were very interesting. Amelia, my expert, was very helpful. It remains to be seen if I will be able to access the recorded talks. (Or stay awake long enough to listen to them after such a stressful day). Looking at some of the comments in various places my experience was ok others were not so lucky.

It will be interesting to see what other's experience was
Stay safe

Re: Really Useful Show

Posted: 14 Nov 2020 17:41
by ColeValleyGirl
I am very familiar with Slack, so that wasn't an issue -- for those who weren't, the significance of an invitation to join from an unfamiliar name might have been overlooked/dismissed, so a warning to look out for it would have been helpful to them. Like you, I spent some time in advance making sure I knew how it was all supposed to work -- but unlike you I then had something come in from left field that meant I didn't have a lot of time today, although I did dip in and out on the various Slack channels.

I intend to watch the talks that interest me most over the next couple of days (I wish they were available for longer). I'm hoping there will be slides/handouts available -- do you know? I attended the Virtual British Institute as an experiment in October and found the slides/handouts extremely useful as reference material -- more so than the presentations (although that might be because my preferred method of learning is via the printed word -- I find podcasts and videos hard to take in).

Overall, I thought using Slack and Zoom was an interesting way forward. I wonder if Family History Societies will continue to do so after the pandemic passes -- I know I'm much more likely to attend events remotely (turn the PC on, sit down with a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, with the option to dip out if I get bored; versus drive a long way, and sit on an uncomfortable seat with no escape and then have to drive home. A monthly meeting that I run -- totally unconnected with family history -- has seen our attendance double since we moved to Zoom; we now have members joining from far flung places in the UK and the World -- Scotland, Lincolnshire, Wales, Ireland and New Zealand as well as our usual Surrey, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Bristol and Somerset).

Re: Really Useful Show

Posted: 14 Nov 2020 21:34
by gwilym'smum
At the moment I have downloaded the handout from Amelia Bennett's talk, "Hidden in Plain Sight". I haven't actually looked at it yet but her talk was very good. The talk on the Scottish maps site was helpful and really enjoyed Helen Tovey's talk "Mission Creep" an interesting way to get people to stop just looking up a fact and moving on. I know Penny Walters has a handout. I need to check the others. Like you I wish they were available for longer but according to the introduction it was because of agreements with the speakers.

I am ambivalent about the online talks. Midland Ancestors has a very successful series every fortnight and the audience has grown tremendously over a short time. They are working very hard to make it engaging for everyone by using the break out rooms. More people are getting to meet more other members than they ever would. However our U3A family history group has halved because many do not either like or know how to use the technology. This may apply to some older people. I think I would have had more problem with SLACK had I not been doing a course which is using Canvas, a similar application.

I have signed up to Family Tree's new online forum starting in December. The problem I find personally with discussions by Zoom is that I always feel that I am interrupting someone but then when it seems as though you could join in your chance has gone.

Our son is a professional musician and many musicians have taken to Zoom for concerts and although it is good to see the concerts the experience isn't the same and in a way talks are the same, something is missing. In the end I think that the return of "live" meetings is important but the online versions would be an extra stream of information to add to making our hobby even more popular and accessible.

Re: Really Useful Show

Posted: 15 Nov 2020 18:10
by Gardengirl
I had a great day at the Show yesterday and managed the IT OK after a bit of trial and error. I listened to the first live talk then decided to spent most of my day chatting to people via the stalls and groups. The 'expert' that tried to answer my query was not very helpful and basically after drawing a blank at the first hurdle she said 'good luck with your search' and that was that. I watched more talks last night and during today and have thoroughly enjoyed all of them. So much new information to absorb and a few more to catch up on tonight and tomorrow.

I did see a comment somewhere on slack that available handouts would be on the speaker’s pages so I shall have a look there later.

Overall, excellent value for money I thought.

Re: Really Useful Show

Posted: 18 Nov 2020 08:34
by karinf
I expect those of you who have posted here have been notified or otherwise found out that the talks are now available to people who had tickets for the show until the end of this week (21 Nov), but I thought I would post a note here in case it helped anyone. I too found the talks very interesting and useful - managed to squeeze in 12 before 4pm Monday only to find on Tuesday morning there was an extension!

If you spot me at any of the Midland Ancestors talks Ann/Gwilym's Mum do say hello - I joined them on Saturday especially for the talks and will be at the one this afternoon (18 Nov).


Re: Really Useful Show

Posted: 18 Nov 2020 09:16
by Gardengirl
The same here, Karin, I overloaded my brain trying to watch them all before the deadline then found that it had been extended.

I joined Midland Ancestors too mainly for their talks. They have one coming up about criminal records and I have a persistent criminal in my Midlands branch!