35Announcing Genealogy Voice Chats
- Aug 7, 2006I thought this would be of interest to all who seek their roots thus
I'm sending this to all the lists I manage no matter what place or
I have just downloaded the software and I'm setting up and testing it
planning to be online a'chattin' with Dick this Thursday. I hope to
see... er.. hear some of you also.
The article follows:
Announcing Genealogy Voice Chats
Genealogy chat sessions have been popular for years. These "chats"
have always been conducted keyboard-to-keyboard. That is, participants
type on their own keyboards and then look at their computer screens to
read the text entered by other chat room participants. I would like to
propose something different: voice chats.
The voice chats will operate in a manner quite similar to telephone
conference calls. These will be free calls, however. Windows,
Macintosh, and Linux users alike may participate.
I am not certain if there is any interest in voice chats within the
genealogy community. The only method of measuring interest is to hold
a few chat sessions and see how popular they become.
I am suggesting that the first few voice chats be "open chat sessions"
where we can talk about almost anything. I suspect one popular topic
will be, "How do I use this thing?" If enough genealogists join in,
the agendas can be expanded. We could eventually have live genealogy
lectures or classes, conducted by experts in some different
genealogy-related topics. It doesn't make sense to hold such live
chats, however, until the amount of interest can be measured.
While the chats will be free and the required software is free, you
may have to obtain just a bit of hardware. In order to speak, you will
need a microphone that plugs into your computer's sound card. To
listen, you will need either speakers or headphones that plug into the
same sound card. Most people use headsets - headphones that have an
attached microphone. Computer headsets are somewhat similar in
appearance to those worn by telephone operators.
The use of headphones or a headset in lieu of speakers eliminates
problems with echoes or unwanted "feedback." Have you ever heard the
squeal of a public address system when a microphone is too close to
the loudspeaker? Using headphones or a headset eliminates that problem
in computer chat sessions.
The voice chat sessions will be held on Skype, a free service that
allows anyone with a computer, microphone and headphones (or headset)
to make free telephone calls over the Internet. The Skype service
includes "SkypeCasts," a new way to have telephone-like conversations
with multiple people across the world who share your interests. A
SkypeCast allows for up to 100 people to be connected together in a
single conference call at no charge to the participants. All that is
required is a computer with an Internet connection and the free Skype
software, microphone, headphones or speakers (or headset). Dial-up
connections will work although audio quality will be significantly
better on broadband connections.
I am suggesting that we first try this on Thursday, August 10 at 10:00
PM Eastern U.S. Time, 7:00 PM Pacific. International