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 Post subject: Are internet meetings now the standard of the hobby?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2021 7:35 pm 

Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2005 7:16 am
Posts: 1623
How are your groups making use of internet meeting tools? Two successful groups in my area are using Zoom for their monthly meetings. One other local group that was still stuffing envelopes with meeting notices prior to last year has not had any activities in a long time, if they still exist at all.

Anyone care to comment on what hosts you are using and how it is working for your organization.

PC

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 Post subject: Re: Are internet meetings now the standard of the hobby?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2021 9:19 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:25 pm
Posts: 1973
At National Capital Trolley Museum we are using Zoom, YouTube, and a blog to present programming.

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 Post subject: Re: Are internet meetings now the standard of the hobby?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2021 10:52 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 4:02 pm
Posts: 1424
Location: Back in NE Ohio
Potomac Chapter NRHS has been meeting via Zoom since last Summer. I've been participating from Ohio for several months and I've found it enjoyable to have contact in real time with other fans and old friends. I and others have urged the chapter to continue the Zoom connection whenever in-person meetings are allowed to start again in Maryland, as it has brought in a significant number of out-of-town members and guests on a regular basis. It also enables good programs from out of one's area to be brought in remotely, without having to deal with travel and lodging expenses for presenters. You may be hearing about a future program like that for the chapter in the near future. Stay tuned.


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 Post subject: Re: Are internet meetings now the standard of the hobby?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2021 12:35 am 

Joined: Tue Aug 31, 2004 3:04 pm
Posts: 140
Location: San Jose, CA
At my museum employer, we have successfully offered programming via zoom. The largest offering has been our education programs for elementary grades. This is in response to losing an ability to provide on-site interpretation for the past year. The key, if in-person or on-site, is the interpreter’s skill to interact with the audience. There are on-line offerings that frankly are no different from something on YouTube, aka the teacher starting a film in the classroom. But with a well prepared zoom type offering, the experience can be engaging.

An increasing number of our zoom classes are being booked by teachers beyond our typical geographic reach, including some bookings from across the country. While staff looks forward to resuming on-site programming, we are already planning to keep some level of zoom offering to take advantage of this larger market outside of our area. Additionally since our zoom classes are 50 minutes in length, a new potential market are secondary grades who typically do not take half day field trips to experience our on-site offerings.

Like anything, success depends on your preparation and presentation.


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 Post subject: Re: Are internet meetings now the standard of the hobby?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2021 10:37 am 

Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2005 7:16 am
Posts: 1623
PaulWWoodring wrote:
It also enables good programs from out of one's area to be brought in remotely.................

And with that in mind it could benefit the individual chapters if the national organization were to maintain a database of programs, clinics, and presenters to assist the chapters to locate persons who have existing programs and are willing to participate. The NMRA was doing this several decades ago, as early as the 1990s, for model railroad clinics and programs, but for some obscure reason the railroad history and preservation communities don't seem to have organized anything similar. Some of the railroad "history" organizations don't even maintain any record of what was shown at their own annual conventions over the years. I noticed this when I was trying to identify some programs Jim Boyd had shown to various groups. Despite "history" in their names and stated missions some organizations did not keep a history of what they were doing.

PC

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 Post subject: Re: Are internet meetings now the standard of the hobby?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2021 11:02 am 

Joined: Sun Sep 26, 2004 10:51 pm
Posts: 154
Location: Eastern Pennsylvania
The RCT&HS (Reading Company Technical & Historical Society) started using Zoom for their previously in-person monthly meetings a few months ago. I think that it is working out well for the group.

I had been a member for over ten years and never was able to attend a meeting until they switched to online meetings via Zoom. So, from that aspect, I am glad that I am now able to attend the meetings.

I think that the ideal setup (once COVID is tamed) would be in-person meetings, with Zoom integration, as there is definitely something special about being together in person, but the ability for remote participants to attend is a definite benefit.

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 Post subject: Re: Are internet meetings now the standard of the hobby?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2021 12:25 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 4:02 pm
Posts: 1424
Location: Back in NE Ohio
PCook wrote:
Some of the railroad "history" organizations don't even maintain any record of what was shown at their own annual conventions over the years. I noticed this when I was trying to identify some programs Jim Boyd had shown to various groups. Despite "history" in their names and stated missions some organizations did not keep a history of what they were doing.

PC


You can add the Akron Railroad Club to the list of organizations that Jim presented at. I no longer am sure of the year, but he was a speaker at our former December Christmas banquet, as was R&R Publisher Hal Carstens several years before that. We actually had a run of several years of really great speakers in the late 70s/early '80s. In 1979 we had Bill Howes from Chessie System, coming off the Chessie Steam Specials and before the Chessie Safety Express, both of which he was in-charge of. 1980, we had the last public appearance of Rogers E. M. "Frimbo" Whittaker, noted author, editor, and railroad passenger. 1981, we had one of our own, John B. Corns, right after he started working as Chessie System's company photographer. Hal Carstens was in 1982, and topping off the run was former Amtrak President Paul A. Reistrup in 1983. Somewhere I have a photo of Mr. Reistrup at the banquet conversing with then just another member Jerry Jacobson. After that, for our 50th Anniversary banquet in 1986, we had club founding member Robert W. Richardson, still running the Colorado Railroad Museum at the time, as featured speaker and guest of honor.


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 Post subject: Re: Are internet meetings now the standard of the hobby?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2021 8:37 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2011 4:29 pm
Posts: 1519
Location: Youngstown, OH
I still cannot fathom why in this age of easily made video, that presentations are not recorded and then put on Youtube. Even the HRA conferences are not videoed. Are these Zoom presentations being recorded?

Years ago the T1 Trust did a series of online presentations on steam locomotives. I participated and recorded each one. Which reminds me, I should sit down and watch those again.

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J&L Narrow Gauge Railroad
"The shortest and narrowest Railroad in Ohio"


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 Post subject: Re: Are internet meetings now the standard of the hobby?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2021 9:49 pm 

Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2005 7:16 am
Posts: 1623
Rick Rowlands wrote:
I still cannot fathom why in this age of easily made video, that presentations are not recorded and then put on Youtube.


YouTube is unfortunately part of the problem. It used to be in this hobby that if you did a program or clinic using suitable copyright compliance for educational showing to a non-profit group, and anybody wanted to film it, they would ask the permission of the presenter and usually observe the copyright restrictions.

That level of courtesy is now long gone. Nowadays anything you show in a program or clinic will probably be filmed without your permission and the next time you see the program it will be someone you have never seen or heard of, selling copies of it or posting it on the internet. I have seen articles people wrote for websites of non-profits that had credits removed and are being sold as documentaries or technical papers on other, paid access websites. And any resulting copyright violations are of no concern to the information pirates.

A sad situation that just makes things more difficult for the non-profit groups.

PC

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 Post subject: Re: Are internet meetings now the standard of the hobby?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2021 11:48 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 9898
Location: Somewhere east of Prescott, AZ along the old Santa Fe "Prescott & Eastern"
Without naming names.........

I have seen several groups/places (rail and non-rail) quickly, seamlessly, and confidently transfer meetings and even annual conventions to Zoom® meetings, YouTube programs, or lengthy e-mails/newsletters, weekly content-laden Facebook posts and e-mails, etc. Even clubs where human contact and mutual presence would seemingly be mandated, like beer-drinking, wine-drinking, homebrewing, and cooking clubs!

Then I have seen groups where a board member or two were all but panicked at the suggestion of Zoom software, citing the (very) early security issues that arose (and were apparently mostly dealt with), and killed the proposal. Or they're either too technically un-savvy (being older?) or can't understand the potential or see the future of this stuff.

The groups that DON'T adapt to this (temporary, or else it will get ugly fast) "New Normal" are probably doomed to extinction.

The ones that do adapt, temporarily or permanently, have a chance. And maybe even the potential for a new, expanded membership.

We are now in an era when the platform many of us were (and remain) hesitant to use--Facebook--may be in jeopardy of joining Friendster, MySpace, Napster, and AOL chat rooms into the digital graveyard, thanks to their own idiocy.


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 Post subject: Re: Are internet meetings now the standard of the hobby?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2021 11:34 am 

Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 3:07 pm
Posts: 682
Location: B'more Maryland
Alexander D. Mitchell IV wrote:
Then I have seen groups where a board member or two were all but panicked at the suggestion of Zoom software, citing the (very) early security issues that arose (and were apparently mostly dealt with), and killed the proposal. Or they're either too technically un-savvy (being older?) or can't understand the potential or see the future of this stuff.


Amen to this.

It's the "fear the future and you will have none" thing.

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 Post subject: Re: Are internet meetings now the standard of the hobby?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2021 12:54 am 

Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2013 1:26 pm
Posts: 122
Groups that have monthly meetings, like the NRHS and some of their members are getting too old to drive to the meetings. Zoom meetings might be the answer to keeping their older members. Maybe there is a way to attract younger people through technology, too. A question I have about zoom meetings, is there a way to record them and then a person can download the video. I realize they wouldn't be active participants, but it might help with someone with a schedule conflict.


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 Post subject: Re: Are internet meetings now the standard of the hobby?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2021 1:03 am 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 4:02 pm
Posts: 1424
Location: Back in NE Ohio
Yes, the host can record the meeting.


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