Prepared by Elisabeth Lindsay.
A webinar, short for web-seminar, is a seminar, workshop, or lecture conducted over the Internet. The Webinars may be presented live in real time or previously recorded video or audio. Webinars may also be interactive, allowing participants to post questions or comments. Webinars were designed as a way for people to attend seminars and hear well-known speakers over distances, without the need of travel. Participants typically login to some kind of online meeting program or dial-in through a designated phone number. Like other seminars, participants typically register in advance and then receive confirmation and instructions via e-mail on the time and date of the meeting. Some webinars are free and some are fee-based. As with anything, be sure to check out an organization's credibility in advance of payment.
Webinars are a convenient way for researchers to participate in genealogical training from the comfort of their own homes. Many genealogy organizations and enterprises offer genealogy-related webinars such as those offered by New England Historic Genealogical Society, Ancestry.com, and others. Although not marketed as webinars, FamilySearch offers a wide range of free and worthwhile, online video classes covering dozens of genealogy topics.