Category Archives: Conferences

RootsTech and FGS 2015


The annual RootsTech conference has been one of the most consistent prompts for me to write a post on this sorely neglected blog. The reasons why are not rocket science:

  1. I ♥ conferences
  2. I ♥ technology
  3. I ♥ family history

A + B + C = I am going to RootsTech.

This year, the Federation of Genealogical Societies is getting in on the action, holding their own annual conference in conjunction with RootsTech and I couldn’t be happier. The 2014 FGS conference in San Antonio was my first, and though I was under the weather for the bulk of the trip, it didn’t dampen my genealogical spirits. This week, they bring serious genealogical “street cred” to the RootsTech proceedings which have been a bit lacking in the non-tech fundamentals during previous years*

Continue reading RootsTech and FGS 2015

RootsTech 2014 is here

Innovator’s Day was kinda crazy. I managed to hit a couple classes and learned some interesting tidbits about FamilySearch’s plans for the coming year. I connected with some incredible geneabloggers, and others who don’t blog but should ’cause, wow they’ve got some interesting information to add to the discussion.

Chris Dancy’s keynote was fascinating. I crave data, and hate to make decisions on a whim, without any real basis, so more data always seems good. My fitbit has been my constant companion for over a year and I like it that way. But 11 different sensors on his body? Seriously?

We walk a fine line between getting data for ourselves and the inherent privacy risk that comes when that same data can be intercepted by others. I wanted to ask Chris Dancy about how he responds to privacy concerns. Yet I suspect the joke he made said it all — (and I’m paraphrasing) it would all be fine if the NSA would just release an API so we could all have access to the info they were compiling. What would EFF think?

Dancy also brought up some important points about how people interact with our digital footprint after we shed this earthly shell. (“Organic death is a breeze…Digital death is hard.”) I suggest you read Amy Coffin’s blog for more info about that part of his keynote.

Today is the first full day of Rootstech and it’s looking to be exciting. The class on CRMs (customer/constituent relationship managers) including (did you know that they have a version for nonprofits that’s a $15k value they give away for free?) will speak to my geeky society-volunteer self. And I am personally offended that Judy Russell’s class on prison records was scheduled opposite Jen Baldwin’s panel on Online Trees.

The extra special event is the meetup with the Next Generation Genealogy Network at the Marriott lounge immediately following classes, at 5:30pm.  As far as I’m concerned, if you are not there, you are square 😉

That plenty of good for one day and I’m trying to keep my schedule loose otherwise. The expo hall is huge (in a different area than previous years) and I’ve learned that pacing myself will keep my energy up rather than petering out by day 2. Wish me luck!

RootsTech 2014

Conference season has begun!

Rootstech 2014 is my first stop for the year and I’m super excited. I will be squeezing in a bit of research (mostly for clients) and otherwise am focusing on genea-friends and finding the most interesting tech subjects possible for joy and learning.

You can read about previous trips here and here. To recap, my rule of thumb for this conference is to stick to developer level classes where I’m more likely to test my tech-loving brain. Don’t get me wrong — I won’t understand all of what’s being taught, but I’d rather stretch than be bored.

Otherwise, as with other conferences, My focus will be good speakers and colleagues, where learning is more organic and I can soak up the excitement of others to sustain me through the year.

One different thing for me will be the society hat I’ll be wearing (figuratively speaking of course — I’ll actually be sporting an awesome burgundy felt hat on most days). My new role of Vice-President of the California Genealogical Society means I’ll be thinking about how info from classes will help my society. I also heart The Next Generation Genealogy Network and am co-hosting a meetup with other like minded folks at the Marriott after classes end on Thursday. If you are attending the conference and like to be around other digital natives, come join us (we might even have a surprise or two).

If you aren’t trekking to snowy Salt Lake City, make sure to check out the live-stream of select classes. Here is the schedule.