Sunday, March 10, 2013

Brave New World of Technology

Dave Schroeder and Leeann McNabb Speak at Irish Program
Ever since our society started a Facebook page, we have had more and more requests for some of our programs to go online. The HCGS Tech Team has struggled with exactly how to do this. We think we are getting closer and closer to that reality.

Yesterday Dave Schroeder and Lee Ann McNabb gave wonderful presentations at the library. Click on this link for a description of their topics. With no forewarning, both speakers agreed to be part of an experiment on using Google+ Hangouts on Air which allows you to record the talk live using YouTube and then saves the program for all to see.

OK -- bear with me for a moment. To learn to do these things, we've had to explore Google Hangouts, YouTube channels, Youtube for Non-profits, technology for recording, etc., not to mention the technical difficulties of sound, lighting, and possible editing. Non-techies -- keep reading, please (just ignore this last paragraph).

Well, take it from me, it's been exciting. Jenny Davis, Gail Burkholz, John Tholking and I have been hard at work on these issues. But, WE NEEDED GUINEA PIGS!!!

Patricia Van Skaik aka DigiGenie is always willing to play along. What's so great is that so were both speakers. So we've learned lessons. It's obviously going to be awhile before we get this down. David Schroeder's talk had pretty good sound, but we did not pick up any of his slides because they were washed out. The video is a little dark and his voice is slightly out of sync. Not bad, though, since we used a webcam.

After the break, we re-positioned the camera, hoping to be able to capture Lee Ann's wonderful slides. This attempt was not much better, and the lighting was still bad. So we may not be able to share this video in it's current configuration.

So what did we learn? We learned we have lighting and sound issues. We may need to use a better video camera. Some editing skills may be in order -- but, we're making progress.

Now this is where YOU come in. If you go to the latest copy of the Tracer that just came out, you'll see a plea from our Director of Digital Resources, Jenny Davis, for more volunteers. She has a survey where you can let her know just what kinds of things you might be interested in doing. You don't have to be an "expert," (obviously none of us is), but if we're going to do more and more of this kind of thing, we're going to need additional hands. The motto of the HCGS Tech Committee is, "If we don't know how, we'll find out."

So here is our first attempt. Let us know what you think. Better yet, let us know how you want to contribute.


P.S. If you are already on Facebook, "like" the HCGSOhio page using the link in the first sentence. We're trying to get to 200 "likes" this month.

Submitted by Kathy Reed


  1. How wonderful that your society is giving this a try!! This is exactly the kind of initiative I wish many more gen societies would undertake :-)

  2. Thanks for the vote of confidence, Taneya.

  3. The video of the speaker is much better than I would have expected from a distance using a webcam. I'll be interested to hear if you find a solution for the slides. I guess one solution would be to broadcast from the laptop running the slides but then you would lose the live feel and have more of a webinar experience. Plus a speaker probably couldn't run the HOA and concentrate on his presentation.

    Big points for giving it a shot.

  4. Thanks, Linda. We're still going to have to do a hangout and compare Ohio and Kentucky experiences.

  5. This comment was added on behalf of Karen Klaene:
    I loved the video! It was so great to 'be there' when I couldn't be there! I hardly notice a lip sink problem. The inability to see the slides was not much of a problem with Dave because he gave a detailed explanation when he referenced them. This would be such a great thing. A word about the speaker .....he was terrific! this is my favorite subject in researching and have read a lot on it. He was very inclusive in his talk. Thanks for doing that!


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