Tuesday, August 26, 2014

FamilySearch Media Dinner Recap for FGS2014

I had the pleasure of attending the FamilySearch media dinner on Tuesday evening. This is an event usually held at major genealogy conferences where they invite bloggers and other media types to learn about the latest news and developments with FamilySearch.

This evening was no exception. The event started with an update from Chief Genealogical Officer David Rencher. He spoke briefly about FamilySearch Family Tree and how they're trying to improve metrics. He gave an example of a person in Family Tree having multiple people linked as parents, and the steps being taken to omit that.

Next up Dan Call spoke about RootsTech 2014. He showed a video and gave the attendance numbers. I wasn't able to write them all down, but paid attendance was 5,250. That didn't include special events like kid's day, LDS training, etc.

Call then turned his attention to RootsTech 2015, being held February 12-14, 2015. He did apologize for it being Valentine's Day, but I can't think of a better present than genealogy. Innovator Summit will be February 11. They must have got some mixed feedback from the last one because the 2015 version will be retooled. Another thing Call mentioned was more intermediate and advanced classes. I don't know what that entails. We'll have to wait and see when the schedule comes out.

Registration for RootsTech opens August 29. The early-bird price is $139, and I believe that price will be held for two weeks.

Remember, RootsTech will be running concurrently with the Federation of Genealogical Societies conference. I've been told that you will be able to register for FGS2015 and add a pass to RootsTech for $39. I do not know if the same is the case if you register for RootsTech and want a pass to FGS. This is all so new and I think everyone is a little confused.

Bryce Roper is the product manager for Family Tree. He talked about available apps. They are FamilySearch Tree and FamilySearch Memories. More information can be found at the FamilySearch Mobile App Landing Page.

Did you know FamilySearch Family Tree has hints now? They're like that other site's shaky leaves, but it is a different symbol. In fact, Family Tree shows record hints, research suggestions and confirms data quality. (I think "data quality" means they point out when you have a mother whose death date is before a child was supposedly born.) My takeaway from this segment was that FamilySearch is trying to clean up trees and increase accuracy and growth.

Robert Kehrer was a brave soul who did a live presentation. He showed the different types of hints on FamilyTree and how to add sources, people. etc. Bloggers asked good questions about privacy regarding living people in the FamilyTree, ability for others to change information and copyright. FamilySearch is pretty confident that there isn't much fighting over family tree information. Seems like there is, but what do I know?

All in all it was a great event and I'm thrilled to be up to date with all that's going on with FamilySearch.

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