Adventures in Genealogy Adventures in Genealogy

Internet Chat

Or "Rednecks, Big Talk and Little Rooms"

by Uncle Hiram

I don't put syrup on my pancakes or sugar in my cereal. I've never had much use for sweet words or empty praise. If I recommend a site, book or a chat it's because I've read it, visited it, or sat in on a chat and been favorably impressed. After Seven years of online chatting, (Five in Genealogy chats), I have come to believe there are seven distinct types of hosts:

  1. The Perfect Host --- An Expert in the subject and knows how to run a chat that is informative and fun.

  2. The Great Host --- Good fundamental knowledge of the subject matter plus knows how to run an informative and fun chat.

  3. The Good Host --- Not much knowledge of the subject but knows how to run an informative and fun chat and is willing to ask for help from outside experts.

  4. The Host in Training --- A new host that is learning how to run a good chat.

  5. The Bad Host --- Does not know the material and doesn't have a clue on how to run the chat.

  6. The Lousy Host --- Doesn't know the subject and won't admit it.

  7. The Arrogant Host -- Knows the subject but doesn't know how to run a chat and doesn't care.

Most of the Internet chats are hosted by people that fall into category 2 or 3 but you will run across hosts that fall into one of the other categories. I like to flatter myself and believe that back when I was hosting a chat room that I fell into category 2 or at least category 3.

In the next few weeks I wanna discuss with Yall several of the chats that I have visited in the last few months. Last week's column on the Native American Chat was the first in this series. In the coming weeks we will discuss the Canadian chat at about.com/genealogy, DearMyrtle's Monday night Chat, Computer Basics chat in the Golden Gates Forum (AOL), American Civil War History Chat in the Golden Gate Forum (AOL) and the GenTrek chat in the Golden Gate Forum (AOL), plus one or two others.

I am also gonna mix in some interviews with some of the experts that host these chats. The general ideal is to acquaint you with some of the chats out there and to show Yall that they are worth visiting. If there are any chats that you visit that you would like me to cover please send me an email telling me where they are and when they are.

I want to be honest with you, I will not "Slam" any chat in this series. If I visit a chat and don't like it, I won't do a write up on it. Not every chat will get a full column, I want to cover as much territory as possible before I start boring you (GRIN).

I hope that you will enjoy this "mini-series" and will visit a few of these chats.

- Adios and Keep Smiling!

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About the Author
"I am not rich or famous so I don't have a pre-prepared Bio written by some high paid ghost rider. So I will just give Yall the relevant facts."

- Bill Hocutt (Uncle Hiram)

Additional Information
  • Native American Chat
  • Why Go To The Courthouse
  • Historical Societies
  • What's New in Genealogy ... Today!
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