Saturday, January 23, 2010

Day 2 in Mesa

I was up bright and early for the second day of the Arizona Family History Expo in Mesa. I wanted to attend Thomas MacEntee's "Become a Genealogy Blog User" class. I was really curious as to how the audience would respond to the topic. I roll with a crowd of avid genealogy blog writers and readers. However, the big genealogy world isn't there yet in terms of tech experience. The good news is that they want to learn, if this class is any indication. Thomas talked about all aspects of blogs, shared some, showed Google Reader and more. The crowd took notes and I think we'll have some new blog readers and writers based on all the blogger conversation and exposure this weekend.

After Thomas' session, I went to sit in the Bloggers' Lounge. It's really just two tables and a power strip in the exhibit hall. There is a screen that scrolls live and past tweets about the conference. This Bloggers area was a good idea. We had a place to sit and focus on writing blog posts about the conference. At the same time, we were strategically placed in an area that conference attendees could come up and ask questions about blogs--and many did just that. Thomas took the brunt of the questions because he's a celebrity and the best teacher. I really did like this Blogger Lounge and the interaction it provided me. Other conferences should consider a similar set up.

In the afternoon, I hit the exhibits. I picked up a copy of Personal Historian from Roots Magic. I bought The Map Guide to the U.S. Federal Census: 1790-1920 from Leiland Meitzler. I sat some more in the Bloggers' area. It may sound lazy, but people stop and talk (even vendors). It's a great way to hear the latest news in the genealogy business world.

After the grand prize drawing (which I didn't win. They must have lost my ticket.), I thanked Holly Hansen for a wonderful Expo. Then I went to dinner with some of the great friends I have made through my genealogy blog and conference attendance. We had a good time.

Next up...a summary of my experience with my first Family History Expo, and a comparison of this event with other conferences I've attended.


  1. Since I live in Indiana, its good to learn what goes on at the Expo. I have to admit that I dearly wish i had been there for the German classes since much of my maternal line comes from there. Sounds like you learned and had fun!

  2. Amy - was one of the things you learned in Thomas' presentation something about increasing the font size and text spacing in your blog? Just noticed a difference today. What are your settings?

  3. The Bloggers' Lounge does sound like an excellent idea - would be quite a talking point at an expo I imagine.