18 May 2020

Are Meetings OnlineTooooo Loooong ?

Family history society meetings online are following the physical meeting format. Why do online presentations still have to be 50 minutes plus time for questions?

When you go to a meeting in person you may well spend as much time travelling to and from the event as in the meeting. Then there's time to dress to go out. You wouldn't do all that for a 10 or 20-minute presentation, but with an online meeting there's no special dressing, no travel or parking. So why continue with the physical meeting length presentations?

TED Talks are 18 minutes, "long enough to be serious and short enough to hold people’s attention. It turns out that this length also works incredibly well online." That's from The Science Behind TED's 18-Minute Rule.

You might be interested in this series of short talks organized by The Walrus in November 2019. The average talk is 7 minutes.

The average YouTube video is less than 5 minutes.

BIFHSGO holds Great Moments in Genealogy sessions twice a year with three of four presentations of 15 minutes each. They're usually the most population meetings of the year.

And with longer presentations, there's more Zoom Fatigue.

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1 comment:

Barbara T said...

I couldn't figure out how to complete your suvey - there didn't seem to be a submit button. So here is my comment, for what it's worth.

Recent circumstances have required societies to go "online" and they may be following their usual format because they already had a program in place, whether they had advertised it or not. Adapting program to fit another format is not as easy as it sounds. Innovation takes effort and energy, not just ideas. Personally, I wouldn't tune in "live" for a 10-15 minute presentation. TED talks and YouTube videos are what I tune into when I have a bit of time to "spare" or want to be entertained. I expect to get a bit more from a society "meeting", whether in person or online. I'm less likely to watch those not "live". I think there is room for both but I'm not sure that most family history societies are nimble enough to change direction instantly. It takes more energy and effort than most societies have in reserve.