Quarterly Newsletter of the Florida Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists

Saturday, March 20, 2010

01 September 2008

Scheduling Problems Leads to Discussion of New Meeting Technologies

Difficulties in scheduling the regular August meeting led to consideration and discussion of alternative meeting technologies. Alvie Davidson suggested a video conference call using Skype video, or, failing that, a teleconference using Skype. Skype is a system that allows, after downloading the Skype software, free voice and video calling, IM and SMS on a wide range of operating systems and mobile devices.

Skype is a for-profit company, to be sure, but they have very cleverly introduced their VOIP communications system to the world of the internet by allowing free download of their software and free use of it to make Skype to skype calls. Their profits are made through the growing number of Skype to non-Skype phones and through their partnerships with companies such as Verizon, Panasonic, LG, and Samsung, among others. Unfortunately, too few members had the technology to allow its use for the meeting under discussion, but it looks worthy of consideration for future use.

Alvie Davidson, through his work with the Records Preservation And Access Committee, and Jack Butler, though his day job, have had extensive successful with meetings via teleconference, and Alvie suggested using that system for the meeting in September. Alvie will set it up and will email everyone with a telephone number and code to be entered so that members can join the conference call.

It seems likely that these technologies and others currently being developed or improved will eventually play a significant role in our business - routine communications, remote meetings, and even remote presentations/lectures. The technology train is picking up speed - it is time that we consider getting on board.