Sunday, October 24, 2010

FamilySearch Bloggers' Day, Part 4

See part 1 here, see part 2 here, see part 3 here.

FamilySearch Software Community: Collaborating technology to increase the frequency of patron success
Gordon Clarke introduced himself at the beginning of this session saying that it was his job to motivate developers to create open source projects or products on FamilySearch's platform. He listed about 20 familiar products that already to this (for example, RootsMagic).

Gordon told us to refer developers to this FS site: This is a site for the tech geeks, not us ordinary folks. Currently there are 776 members of the DevNet site.

It was interesting to see all the certified products and what it takes to be part of such a group. I never will be, so it was cool to see over the fence like that. Good luck with building all those things, I'll just stay over here on this side of the fence and use them.

Digitally preserving personal family histories
Gray Wright wrote a paper on this topic and he presented a short version of it here. He stated that digital preservation doesn't replace physical preservation, it just enhances it. There was much discussion on obsolete storage methods (floppy disk, anyone?) and the life expectancy of different preservation options. 

Key references in this session: Millenniata, Inc., and a paper titled "Copyright Fundamentals for Genealogy," by Mike Goad.

Much of his talk fell under the records management class I took in library school. It was impressive how much he covered in such short time. If you have an interest in preservation, I recommend you look at professional literature and associations in records management. They exist and they're everywhere. is the big one.

Familysearch Family Tree: On the horizon
Ron Tanner led the discussion on the FamilySearch tool about which I know the least:

At this point, I had to pick my son up from school. In the short time I was not on the phone, I missed some active discussion, apparently. By the time I was reconnected, the conversation was almost over. I never did figure out what the issue was that brought on all the talk. I'm sure one of the other bloggers in attendance will cover this session.

Upcoming Collections: Millions weekly and climbing
This was a great session. I always enjoy hearing about new stuff, but I also got a glimpse into what it takes to get images of records published online. No easy task, folks. The strategy of this department is to get more more people... faster. 

We got to see what determines publication priority for location and collection type. Permissions, budget constraint and public demand for online access are factors and challenges to publication.

On to part 5 here.

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