Saturday, February 08, 2014

Rootstech 2014 - Day 3

 The Rootstech fountain - now an accustomed spot for people to meet. Photographs in this post, M. Diane Rogers

Yesterday was a great day - from the very first moments - as Judy Russell (The Legal Genealogist) and Spencer Wells (The Genographic Project) were Thursday's opening speakers. Can't top these two!

Judy's energetic talk made her point that a family's oral history can be lost (or confused!) in just 3 generations unless we analyze it, document it and preserve it, (No, I didn't know the answer for her first question - what was your mum's first childhood illness - not even for myself (!) but I do remember Mum's story of the time her appendix burst and of the time I 'ate' her glass horsies. Those aren't written down, yet. but they will be very soon, Judy. I'm not sure if I could document my childhood 'accident' but Mum's I likely could as she was apparently in the hospital for a while.)

And Spencer Wells entertainly introduced his own family history and his reasons for becoming interested in population studies, explained the concepts, then took us on a whirlwind tour back to our very beginnings. And he saluted the new citizen scientists who are participating and funding in these projects, and have enhanced the research with their own questions and analysis.

I've signed up for a sponsored lunch each day. Wednesday's  was with Find My Past. I can say I liked it better than last year, but I'll likely write more later. I feel their 'message' is confusing to people. Great product(s), but then I've 'known' them as a consumer for years, and I don't need convincing. (Although I do have FMP questions I'd like answered!)  But FMP still seems to be an unknown quantity here in the US.  They have a lot to offer, and have had great success in English projects, with member groups of the Federation of Family History Societies, for instance, not to mention that their technical expertise has to be above the norm. Why not capitalize on that? (Maybe if they had relaunched in Canada first they'd be better known by now. Oh, wait, they'd have to learn French first. Maybe that's a problem. )

Thursday my lunch was with My Heritage. I do think this is the company to keep your eye on if you are looking for future trends, and I was not disappointed with the lunch talk. (Although it was hard to hear everything, and I don't think the speaker ever gave us his name?) More about this talk later.

The rest of the day went very quickly, a session on Google Analytics (webmistresses love Google!) and 2 labs, one with DearMyrt on Google Hangouts on Air (Google again!) and one with Lisa Cooke of Genealogy Gems on Flipboard. I do plan to use this for the British Columbia Genealogical Society. Later I attended 2 unconferences for on-line Facebook groups I belong to. So nice to really meet the people behind the photos.

Of course, I bought a few more books and the new version of Legacy which is my own main genealogy software now.

 Leland Meitzler of Family Roots Publishing, in his booth. Note the poster for his famous annual Salt Lake City Christmas Tour.

And I had a little chat with Canadian Louise St. Denis, founder of the National Institute for Genealogical Studies.  I'm thinking of taking an Australian research course or two, and she let me know fees with soon rise, so if you've been putting off taking a course, decide now!

 Louise St. Denis, at the National Institute for Genealogical Studies booth.

Looking forward to the last day, but sad too that this will all end on Saturday. Of course, many times, relationships and learning continue on-line later. We are very lucky in this day and age in that regard. Remember the meetings? One of those groups sprung up after a Rootstech conference and has been going strong ever since. And the other group grew out of the first one. (Sounds like family history, doesn't it?)

(And yes, I am numbering my days here counting from the Innovator's Summit!)

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