Would you like to see more webinars or less?
Recently I received a pamphlet in the mail from a local hospital. They were offering a parenting class on dealing with teenagers. "Hmmm," I thought, "I could really use that information." The talk was at 7pm at the hospital which was a 30 minute drive away. The timing for this Mom of one teen and two pre-teens was right in the middle of homework and wind down for bedtime. I decided to pass.
This really got me thinking, however. I really wanted the information they had to offer but I didn't like the parameters they set for me to obtain it. Is there a better way?
This made me wish that everyone was providing webinars as a service. Could you imagine what a loyal patron I could be if they would provide webinars through my computer? I would love to have the information they are offering with terms that were convenient to me. I would love it if I could tune in through my computer and learn how to be a better parent.
I can hear lots of you saying already that isolating people is not the answer. We need social interaction. I agree but not in all situations. Here's the divide:
I believe that groups that strengthen their membership through relationship-building and continued interaction of its members over time should be limiting the use of webinars. If these groups share information more often over the internet they will erode their base and the members will no longer find benefit in the organization. Local and county genealogical societies are examples of this.
When a group grows from face to face interaction but is spread across a far flung geographic area, intermittent use of webinars can help bond the group together and help some members stay in touch when they otherwise wouldn't be able to because of travel. Larger regional and national genealogical societies like the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) are good examples.
When you have a situation where strictly education or information is the goal, then there is little need for the members to interact. Information needs to be shared and the relationship being built is really between the provider and the viewer. In a case like this I would say that webinars are absolutely the way to go. Legacy Family Tree and other commercial entities are just perfect for this.
Broadening it across all facets of life
I would love the information that the hospital has to offer. I do not, however, feel the need to bond with any of the other people who also need that information. So in this case I would much prefer a webinar. Make it convenient for me to get the information and start building a relationship between me and the organization providing the information.
I wish more organizations and businesses would starting thinking this way. Do you want to build a relationship with me or do you need to drag me out in the cold, dark of night to see something live with a bunch of people I will never see again? I promise you, as a busy Mom and career woman I will likely opt to stay home.
What do the rest of you think? More webinars across all topics (not just genealogy), less webinars or selective webinars?