RootsTech 2013: Day 1

Thursday is the day when time everything is fresh. Many attendees meander in as they arrive in the area and get through registration. After the Keynotes, the RootsTech folks have kindly given us a break just to explore the Expo Hall.  Then classes begin.

Friday is the developer day, so I might choose a little chunk of time to head to the library on Thursday just to work on a problem. But you’d be hard pressed to find a good time in the schedule for any such research. This probably means that if a class bores me early on, I may just book to get through a roll or two of microfilm.  But, instructors, no pressure!

Here are the most tempting classes for me:

Legal and Legislative Issues Facing Genealogists
with David Rencher and David Lifferth, 11am-Noon.

I can hope that it will be optimistic, but we have a lot of challenges. This is an area I’m particularly interested in, so I’ll be making this my first stop after the keynotes.

Beginning HTML/CSS for Weebly and WordPress
With Robert Lee, 1:45-2:45pm.

If you’re considering Weebly or for a free website, a basic understanding of HTML and CSS will help you a lot. I don’t know the instructor, and this can be a dry subject. But from the syllabus, it looks like you could consider this the website creation equivalent of learning which words you’ll find in an church record will have more meaning for your research.

Where I feel like the early sessions are light on good options for me (I’m sure others will find them chock-full of goodness), the last two sessions of the day are going to pull me apart — there are just so many amazing people to check out. For instance…

Transform Your Note-taking and Remember Everything With Evernote
with Tonia Kendrick, 3-4pm
Tonia is amazing — I’ve seen her in action at Jamboree. Evernote is very useful, so I’m sure I’d learn a few tricks. If you don’t know how Evernote can help you, this is a must-go class.

Recording and Preserving Family Stories Using Your Hand-held IPad, IPhone, IPod, or Android Devices
with Susan Kitchens, 3-4pm.

This is not the only class on the schedule that aims to help us record our family stories. But it’s a big job.  Susan has tried to focus, and her handout is filled with practical info for getting what you need and getting it set up for best results, while leaving the interviewing and storytelling techniques to others. She did an impromptu primer on this in the hotel lobby after Jamboree last year — she is passionate and a true geeks’ geek. So no surprise she’s covering Android and iOS so no one with a smart phone should be left wanting.
*Bonus: this class will be taught again on Saturday.

The Cool Parts of Genealogy: Engaging My Teenagers Case Study 
with Janet Hovorka, 3-4pm.
If you hear yourself saying “oh, if only kids these days had any interest in our genealogy” run do not walk to see Janet. Her style is a breath of fresh air. She’s passionate and uses her own tips to engage her own kids. Thing is, as I read her handout, I had to say that the people who complain about young people not being interested in genealogy are the same people breaking all of the guidelines Janet lays out. Listen then follow her advice.

Content Planning for Genealogy Bloggers: How to Stay Organized and Never Be Without Post Ideas Again
with Tonia Hendrick, 4:15-5pm.

Once again, Tonia is ready to help us keep ourselves together, but this time it’s geared specifically for bloggers. I’ll consider the fact that I publish this to be an accomplishment, so obviously I’m the target market for this talk.

There are lots of other wonderful things planned today. If you didn’t make the trek to the now snowing Salt Lake City, you can watch some sessions online, streaming on the RootsTech home page