Watching a webinar (or web-based seminar) on your computer is sometimes even better than being at a national conference - you don't have to do all that walking, you can watch at midnight in your pajamas and slippers, and (if you're watching a recorded or archived webinar) you can stop it to go get lunch or let the dog in.
I've found webinars to watch in a couple of different places online. The blog GeneaWebinars has a calendar and a fairly up-to-date listing of upcoming webinars. Legacy Family Tree has sponsored some terrific webinars. A few professional genealogists, such as Michael John Neill and Michael Hait, present webinars for a low fee.
A couple of months ago, I saw an announcement for a webinar on Selective Service Records of World War 1, sponsored by the Friends of the National Archives, Southeast Region in Atlanta. It was a simple matter to sign up with my name, email address, city and country.
Most webinar producers are thoughtful enough to send a confirmation email, a reminder email the day before, and a last reminder email a few hours before the webinar begins. I like reminders!
I usually check into the webinar about 5 minutes before it begins. Sometimes there will be an introductory few minutes, explaining how you can participate in the webinar, by either calling in on your phone, or typing a question for the presenter.
If you happen to miss the live broadcast, very often the webinar is archived on the hosting website for several days. For example, I missed the live broadcast of Marian Pierre-Louis' "Cracking the Case of Nathan Brown's Parents" on November 2, so I watched it the following day. All I had to do was click on the link, and the webinar began playing in the browser window.
This was an excellent webinar - Marian stated what she would be covering, and told us of getting the background information on this family. She included photos of original documents such as deeds that provided clues:
Webinars are great fun, and you can watch them at home, at your own convenience. I'm signed up for several upcoming webinars, including:
- "It is Well With My Soul: Finding Ancestors Amid the Rubble of Disaster and Misfortune (Thomas MacEntee, Nov. 9, on Legacy Family Tree)
- "Creating a Shareable CD with Legacy and Passage Express software" (Jefferson Shupe, Nov. 16, on Legacy Family Tree)
- "Tracing Immigrant Ancestors" (Lisa Alzo, Dec. 7, on Legacy Family Tree)
- "Military Personnel Records" (Kevin Pratt, Nov. 14, on Friends of the National Archives, Southeast Region)
- "Digital Books and Sites for Genealogists" (James Tanner, Jan. 4, on Legacy Family Tree)
- "Pilgrims and Patriots: Discovering Your Massachusetts Ancestors" (Marian Pierre-Louis, Jan. 18, on Legacy Family Tree)