Friday, October 22, 2010

FamilySearch Bloggers' Day, Part 1

Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending the FamilySearch Bloggers' Day. The by-invitation, all-day meeting was held in Salt Lake City, but I called in remotely from deep in the heart of Texas.

I am going to attempt to provide to you the information provided by FamilySearch (FS) at this event and my take on it. Before I do that, I'll say the following:

1. I am not a member of the LDS church. It shouldn't matter, but--based on  presumptive comments I've received--it's something I need to say to reiterate that I have no religious, emotional or moral connection to FamilySearch. I am a researcher. I view FS and all its facets as a research tool and that's how I will talk about them.

2. I was not compensated for my participation in Bloggers' Day. FamilySearch reps told me that I will be getting some papers and stuff in the mail, but I have no idea what that includes. Any freebies will be mentioned in my disclosures page when they arrive. FS provided me with a link to connect to the live presentation and a phone number to call. The system then called me back on their dime. I was able to hear the speakers and all the other bloggers in the room, as well as see everything on the screen that they were seeing.

3. Bloggers' Day was like a FamilySearch open house to all of their tools and services. We were encouraged to utilize social media during the meeting and after. You can see the #FSBlogDay Twitter stream here. I've decided to share with you a little bit about each session. Just know that I look at things differently than most genealogists because of the whole library thing. I am more interested in user experience, ways to improve search strategy/search results and a lot of info-geek stuff that I will not bore you with here.

Here is a short version of the Bloggers' Day sessions in the order in which they occurred:

  8:00 Welcome
  8:05 Introductions of FS staff and bloggers
  8:20 Who is FamilySearch? How to think about us.
  9:00 RootsTech: A very different kind of genealogy conference
  9:40 Volunteer Indexing
10:00 Break/Discussion
10:15 Family History Library / Family Search Centers
10:35 FamilySearch Online Research Courses
10:55 Q and A
11:15 FamilySearch Wiki
11:45 FamilySearch Forums
12:00 Working Lunch and Discussion
12:30 FamilySearch Software Community
12:50 Digitally Preserving Personal Family Histories
  1:10 Q and A
  1:30 FamilySearch Family Tree
  2:15 Break / Discussion
  2:45 Upcoming collections
  3:15 The Next Generation of
  4:00 FamilySearch Catalog 2.0
  4:15 Open Discussion Q and A
  5:00 End of meeting

  6:00 Dinner for those in SLC. Leftovers at home for me.

In the next several post, I give re-caps of these sessions and provide comments. Go to part 2 here.


  1. Amy, I was with you all day, via Twitter, and I can't believe it was so interesting. I left twice, and came back, to 50 tweets and 150 tweets. You did a great job reporting. Thanks. I got a lot done while at the computer, while listening in.

  2. Thank you for your valuable information.