Thursday, February 6, 2014

FamilySearch Blogger and Media Dinner at RootsTech

Dennis Brimhall, FamilySearch CEO

Wednesday night was the Blogger and Media dinner. This is an annual event where FamilySearch feeds us and shares their latest developments throughout

Dennis Brimhall, FamilySearch CEO, gave the opening remarks. Three years ago, he was new to FamilySearch and family history. On this night, he was right in his element.

Shipley Munson spoke next and gave a quick overview of the RootsTech 2014 by the numbers. 8,000 adults will be attending, along with 4,000 youth and another 1,000 kiddos on a waiting list. Also, many sessions are being live-streamed to tens of thousands more around the globe. It's kind of mind blowing to think about it.

The Developer Challenge finalists were announced by Thom Reed, FamilySearch Partner Marketing Manager. We got to see the three tools in the challenge. The winner of the Developer Challenge will be announced during Friday morning's keynote.

Don Anderson, VP of Patron and Partner Services, discussed FamilySearch's ever-evolving partner relationships. They currently have partnerships with several big names like and MyHeritage. These partnerships are mutually beneficial. The partners help index records and in turn get access to these records. Look for several more companies of all sizes to partner with FamilySearch in the future.

A couple more announcements were made by Mike Judson, Indexing Workforce and Development Manager. There is (or will be, I can't remember) a new indexing site. It is online based.

FamilySearch is stating that this is the "Year of the Obituary." They will be putting tons of obituaries online at FamilySearch. THEY NEED INDEXERS! You can start indexing obituaries right now so get on it!

If you're a member of the LDS Church, I have good news for you. You will have free access to major FamilySearch partner sites from home. This includes and others. I'm not in the LDS loop so I don't have specifics. However, it was reiterated that this is happening in the coming year. It is not immediate.

My overall takeaway from this event is that FamilySearch is continuing to foster partnership relationships this year. They want to grow the volunteer indexing sector, and reach out more globally with FamilySearch services.

All in all, it was an entertaining informative event and I'm thankful FamilySearch invited me to be a part of it.

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