Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Skype me...

The Royal Heraldry Society of Canada (RHSC) has taken another step into the 21st century by holding its first "virtual" meeting of a number of Executive Committee members. Seven members of the Committee, included the Society's President, David M. Cvet, and from the west to east, Carl Larsen, 2nd Vice President, Darren George, Director and Editor of Gonfanon, David Rumball, 1st Vice President, David Steeves, Toronto Branch President and Robert McColgan, Ottawa Branch President and Peter Hannen, Director and Editor of HinC. The virtual meeting was indeed "coast-to-coast" as David was at his summer residence in Nova Scotia for the call.

For the past year, David has been encouraging members to download a popular software application called Skype. This software enables computer to computer communications, either one-on-one with video and audio interface, or one-to-many (like our virtual meeting) in audio only. Although Peter did not have his microphone functioning, he was able to hear the comments during the meeting, and sent text messages to contribute to the discussion. At this point, about 2/3's of the Executive Committee are outfitted with Skype. David encourages the Committee members to purchase a headset, similar to the one depicted on the above left. This improves both the receiving and sending audio, and keeps the conversation quiet in the house, as opposed to having people speaking over your computer's speakers and possibly disturbing others in the house. The virtual meeting was scheduled for 9:00pm Atlantic Time, Thursday, August 13. The meeting was successful as it went well, and it clearly demonstrated the possibilities of hosting virtual meetings with respect to connecting with more members of the Executive Committee and saving both the members and the Society from incurring costs.