Wednesday, February 16, 2011

2011 RootsTech Update 7

The third and final day of RootsTech came way too fast. Once again, I was up early. By the time the opening session came around, I was wide awake and ready to go.

(brightsolid was a big RootsTech sponsor,
so I'm showing them some love.)

Brewster Kahle of Internet Archive fame, gave a great and informative talk on his site, information access and the size of the Internet. There's no way I could do the measurements justice, so be sure to watch the video when it comes out. Based on the conversation happening on Twitter during the session, it was well-received by those watching at home as well.

Some commented that they thought Internet Archive and the Wayback Machine were neat tools. They've been around a long time. I keep saying that some of the best genealogy tools aren't really part of genealogy. That's how my 52 Weeks to Better Genealogy Series was born. It was part of my evil plan to get people playing in the sandbox. I give high praise to the RootsTech planners for bringing in Kahle as a speaker and showing just how relevant the bigger information landscape is to the smaller genealogy world.

In the late morning, I went to talk to more vendors including RootsMagic. I asked how the crowd of this conference was different from others and was told that the questions they asked were different. They were more technical. I think this conference drew people who weren't afraid of the word "tech" in the name. They may not be tech whizzes, but they wanted to learn.

Then I again had lunch with the ladies, Kerry and Missy. We talked some more about the genealogy field and our place in it. We talked about our respective backgrounds in HR (Kerry) and libraries (Missy and me). Genealogy is going where those fields have been in terms of incorporating technology, so we were joking about being from the future. We really did have a good time at lunch, though my description makes it sound lame. All you have to know is this: Blue Lemon = yum.

After our meal, we went to the virtual presentations panel moderated by Thomas MacEntee. I swear I wasn't stalking the guy. He just happened to present on topics in which I was interested. Plus, I love the panel format. This session had participants in-person and on the phone. Basically, I learned that virtual presentations aren't as difficult to produce as you may think. This session was live broadcast be FamilySearch, so hopefully it will be available on video. I think genealogy society officers should view it and consider virtual presentations for their own groups.

We stayed on for the closing session. This made me sad, though all good things must come to an end. Jay Verkler called all the behind-the-scenes RootsTech planners on stage. The audience gave them a sincere standing ovation, which chocked Verkler up a bit. It was a nice moment.

In the evening, I had the pleasure of attending an informal dinner at the home of A.C. Ivory and his family. I learned that A.C.'s parents call him "Ace" (aww....) and they have a cat that knocks on the door when it wants in. I learned that his parents make an amazing dinner and are wonderful people. I was able to talk with many of my friends that I don't get to see much because they're always so busy during conferences. Mostly on the evening, I learned that I'm really lucky to have such wonderful friends.


  1. Very nice group photo! Great post too, Amy! I sure want to come to RootsTech 2012---and we can finally meet!

  2. Great photo. I gotta go to Roots Tech next year!