Thursday, February 6, 2014

RootsTech Day 1 and The Blue Lady!!!

Today was the first day of #RootsTech!    I got up early - and arrived just after 7am with a venti latte from Starbucks in tow!     Already people were lining up to get into the general session.

Once the doors FINALLY opened - we were greeted with a very dark and very large room.   It created quite a dramatic setting, as well as blinding everybody in the middle section.    Finally they turned the big spot lights pointed to the audience off.  Thank heavens!!

The room filled up - I took this picture while it was still early!         Then - the key notes - 3 of them.   First the CEO of Family Search International - Dennis Brimhall with a recap of the goings on at Family Search, and a top 10 list and a pirate!      Next - Annelies van den Belt of DC Thompson Family History.   She has a very interesting resume and has recently joined DC Thompson Family History - her background is in digital media, not genealogy and she has a different view because of it.     She was introduced by Josh Taylor - who hosts Genealogy Roadshow - I love that show!!

Next - The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond.   She is hilarious!  She kept saying she was a nervous public speaker, but you could not tell!     Best part of her presentation - she is a crazy dog lover - it's nice to know I'm not the ONLY one who takes an excessive amount of pictures of their dogs!

Random picture of Peanut and Moose honor of Ree Drummond!!!

Next - off to an interview with in the Marriott Hotel across the street.    I found it a little weird that the interview was in a hotel room - but when I got there, it was in a hospitality suite, reducing the weirdness factor to almost non-existent.  I enjoyed having an opportunity to give feedback from a user experience side of the computer.   Since I work for a software company, I'm not usually on that side of the experience.

Time for a quick lunch - another venti latte (Starbucks is right there across the street from the Salt Palace - there will be more visits to that establishment in the next 2 days!) and a bagel.     Mental note to self - get a real lunch tomorrow!!!!

My original plan was to go to the What is Next for presentation, but I changed my mind.   I have recently started experimenting with Evernote, and there was a presentation about Mobile Genealogy using Evernote.    Well, at least that is what it was called...........    It ACTUALLY ended up being a very basic (and I mean VERY basic) introduction to Evernote, using only the PC Based version with a very small amount of the web based application and absolutely nothing at all about their mobile applications.   The presenter was overly quiet, making it hard to hear, and not a confident presenter at all.     This is by far my least favorite presentation so far - I should have skipped it!  I learned more watching a couple of videos on   The versions of the tools demonstrated were not even the most recent available!

Next - Are On Line Trees the Root of All Evil?    Turns out the answer is no.   This session was a panel discussion with the host presenting interesting and timely questions to a panel of experts.   I LOVED this presentation.     It didn't hurt that Josh Taylor was one of the panelists!       There was a lot of really good information, audience participation and a healthy dose of humor.   Topics ranged from on-line security, baby genealogists, should training be forced on consumers, should trees be public and more.  I could have had another couple hours of this discussion - time passed too quickly!

The last break out of the day - Mergers and Acquisitions, the Business of Expanding Your Family Tree.    This session confused me at first - no obvious point.  But after I followed the presenter through the stories - which were hysterical - I realized that the point was - when it comes to doing research, think outside the box.  Don't just search for names and dates and locations, but things like hobbies, avocations, and anything else you can think of.  Take the time to wander through some records vs. giving up when you don't have an exact match - you never know what you may find.    Oh, and "conv" next to a name in a census means the person is a convict!!!!

Now....  The Blue Lady.    That would be me.  I wore a new shirt.   The dye got on anything that touched it.   I also am one of those people that touch their face alot.   So dye from the shirt got on my hands, then on my face.   I didn't realize this because the room where the keynote was - was dark.   When I got out of there and saw blue hands.  I was afraid that I had a blue face.  And sure enough - after some strange looks on the way to the restroom - I discovered that I had turned into a smurf.    I managed to get my face and hands cleaned off before I talked to the people from   And I managed to keep my hands off my face for the rest of the day.   But my neck (thank you collar) arms and hands were quite blue by the end of the day.    I'll spare you being forced to look at overly embarrassing pictures - and just show you my hand......

More tomorrow!!!!!

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