Friday was such an amazing day at the RootsTech Conference!
To start off the day, I attended the Keynote presentation given by Curt Witcher. This presentation was unbelievable! He was so energetic and fun. Or course since this conference is about technology with genealogy, he was talking about many of the advantages and resources that have become available over the years.
He also focused a large portion of his presentation on talking about how younger genealogists are the future. They are going to be the ones who are going to develop new technology, apps, websites etc. for us to use. It's the young people who know how to use the current technology and instinctively pick up on the new things that emerge almost daily.
One of the points that he made that really stuck out to me was "we need to look at change and think - opportunity!". I completely agree with that! I love learning about new technology and think that others should too. I understand that many are not as excited as I am to learn and use new technology, but one thing I always tell people is that if you never try, you will never learn. One reason why I know so much about using computers and other gadgets is because I am not afraid to just play with them. For the most part, technology created specifically for others to use and play with is made to be user-friendly. Many people sometimes think they would break it if they push a button or click something wrong, but I think that is the best way to learn how to use something. Reading manuals just frustrates me so I pull it out of the box and just start playing. I think many people would be surprised at how fast they learn is they would just play with it and experiment.
I also attended Lisa Louise Cooke's class on How to Create a Podcast. For those of you who don't know, Lisa has a number of different podcasts she produces including the Genealogy Gems Podcast. I have been interested in learning how to create a podcast for quite some time now, but I have not yet ventured out there and done it.
After the exhibit hall and classes ended for the day, many people made their way over to the Family History Library for an evening of food, a showing of Who Do You Think You Are and of course research! Normally the library closes at 9pm but last night they wanted to give researches a little extra time to break down those brick walls and digitize as much microfilm as they could, so therefore the library was open until midnight! I'm not even sure the last time the library stayed open that late!
The showing of Who Do You Think You Are was great. With so many genealogists there it was fun to laugh at many of the documents that were shown. Tim McGraw was shown document after document taking him back one generation at a time in his ancestry. I personally think it is funny because it makes it look so easy, but we always have to remember that research for these episodes took many many hours and difficult research. Below is a little video clip of some of the party at the Family History Library.
As I am sure you have read from many bloggers yesterday that the RootsTech Conference going on in Salt Lake City right now is amazing!! Yesterday was such a fun, interesting and educational day.
This conference is unlike any other genealogy conference I have ever attended. The first thing that caught my attention because it seemed so out of place was the "Microsoft Playground". This playground houses a few pool tables, ping pong tables, chess tables, couches and a few big TV's with XBoxes. Now you may be thinking to yourself exactly what I was when I first say it... at a genealogy conference?? I laughed and thought to myself that they probably won't be used much, but I was proven wrong. In between classes and all throughout the day there were alway a huge group of people gathered and relaxing a bit. The more I thought about it, I think it is a good idea to have an area like that for people to relax. Sometimes these conferences can really tire you out and having a place to sit back and play some games for a bit is a great way to take a break in between classes and wandering the exhibit hall.
My class I taught yesterday, Mobile Apps for Genealogy, was really great! I will have to blog more specifically on my class later on.
Yesterday night Bright Solid sponsored a great party at the Clark Planetarium where we were able to enjoy food, music, visiting and awesome 3D movies and a laser light show. The planetarium obviously had nothing to do with genealogy, but like the Microsoft Playground it was a great time to be able to relax and visit with other genealogists.
As far a classes other than mine go, I was not able to attend classes every hour yesterday due to the fact that I was helping out at the Utah Genealogical Association booth for a good deal of the day. I will be able to post more about the classes and exhibit hall for Friday and Saturday in the next few days.
You may have noticed a number of bloggers lately posting interviews they did with fellow bloggers and presenters at the upcoming RootsTech conference. Recently Lorine Shulze from Olive Tree Genealogy and Thomas MacEntee from Geneabloggers interviewed me about my presentation Mobile Apps for Genealogy.
To read what I had to say about my presentation and RootsTech, visit their blogs.
You can also learn more about some of the kinds of apps that I will be talking about at the conference by following the Mobile Monday Series on this blog.
Sometime yesterday evening the RootsTech website was updated to a new and better site.
Just yesterday afternoon I was on the website trying to find more information about specific events and times. Then, right before I went to bed last night I saw on Twitter that one of the Official Bloggers, Sue Maxwell, had posted a tweet about the RootsTech website being updated. Though I was very tired and about to head to bed, I took a few minutes to check it out.
What was meant to be a few minutes turned into about a half hour because there was so much more on the website then there had been before. The new site is much more easy to navigate and find the information you are looking for.