Libbi Skypes the Web

 I’m now multimedia on the web, getting my toes wet in the audio-visual surf.

I got a small, inexpensive Web camera on Amazon, a Microsoft Lifecam VX-1000. We had a headset microphone from my days as a hardware and software reviewer. It took all of 15 minutes to install the camera and plug in the mike, download Skype and sign up. I don’t know why I thought this would be a long, difficult process complete with gnashing of teeth and rending of garments, but I did and so put it off for way too long.  I won’t say the result is Emmy-level, but it’ll do.

I’ve done this at the urging of my friend DearMYRTLE, author of DearMYRTLE’s Joy of Genealogy, and she was one of my first Skype callers! She and I have plans to help spread the knowledge and fun of family history research with these tools; stay tuned to our blogs for details!

Further, I am researching the subject, thanks to my editor at McGraw Hill, Roger Stewart. On his recommendation, I am reading How to Do Everything with Online Video by Andrew Shalat and How to Do Everything with Podcasting by Shel Holtz with Neville Hobson. These two books, in the first chapters, have already taught me a lot about how I can use these simple, cheap tools to help me reach out to the wonderful world of genealogists out there! They are well written, organized and illustrated, and so far I’m finding them most helpful.

Ways I intend to use these technologies:

  • Communicate with the progeny. My daughter has had Skype for quite a while now; I hope my son will when he starts his graduate education at Duke
  • Communicate with cousins and other relatives
  • Communicate with genealogy peers, associates and friends
  • Perhaps, once I finish reading the two books above, create my own video blogs for your use and enjoyment!

However, I do realize that the days of working in my jammies until time to go to the gym may be over, because you never know when a colleague might ring in on video! Still, I’m like a kid with a new toy right now, and excited about what this can mean for online genealogy.

About Libbi

Writer for 30 years. Genealogy a hobby for about 40 years. Yes, I'm in my 50's, I learned about genealogy at my mother's knee!
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2 Responses to Libbi Skypes the Web

  1. Russ says:


    I have been a Skype User for a while. Don’t use it much, but I do use it. A couple of months ago, I held a committee meeting with Skype as a conference call. There were 8 of us on the call, from all over northern New Jersey. It save each of us at least an hour of travel time. It was not a meeting that needed to be face to face, but did need to get some business done. It went well.

    I was involved with a ’round the world’ conference call that was awesome. In fact we have had a couple. This group is Emailing daily, but we needed a couple of conference calls to make sure the group was “on board” with this project.

    Another use, for me, has been a couple of friends retired and moved to Florida. It’s a great way to Keep in touch.

    Kids and Grand-Kids are “no brainers”.

    But, what about Family Research. You mentioned Genealogy Peers, Associates and Friend. You bet. The thought for another use was a “Family Reunion” planning committee “meeting”. Remembering that Skype has a conference call feature.

    I think I remember seeing a Blog or FaceBook post of a Genealogy Presentor giving a talk via Skpye across the Atlantic.

    I think we have lot’s to learn. I know that I do.

    Thank you for your journey into Skyping. (if that’s a word).

    All the best,


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