|Welcome to Innovator Summit Day!|
Even though I live close enough to commute to RootsTech - I like to stay downtown anyway! So - last night - I got out my suitcase to pack - and was presented with 2 very sad faces!!!
|Bella and Peanut|
This morning - I went downtown and intended to leave my suitcase at the hotel - and then come back later to check in. To my surprise - there was a room ready for me. Go Marriott!!! At 8am!!! So I was able to get checked in, drop everything off in my room, grab a coffee at Starbucks and head over to the Salt Palace for the 9am
|Sunny Hotel Room at 8am!|
There were 2 speakers in the general session. Scott Sorensen, the Chief Technology Officer at Ancestry.com spoke first. He talked about the history of Ancestry.com, and the ways they innovate, despite being a fairly large company.
Next, Nathan Furr spoke about innovation, what it means, how to do it, etc.. He was an amazing speaker - I have a few ideas I will be taking back to work with me - since innovation is a key focus this year where I work.
Next I headed over to the first breakout: Inside Look at Ancestry.com's Innovation and Product Development. This was a presentation of several key people at Ancestry.com and provided more information and details about the process used to innovate. I have even more items from this presentation to talk about at work. This was phenomenal!
Following the breakout - lunch was served and the top 8 finalists of the Innovator Challenge presented their projects to a panel of judges. The top 4 will be determined and present later this week. Some interesting ideas here - and one "miss". The miss was a project to keep medical history for your family and be able to deliver it to various members of the family quickly when needed - say during a medical emergency. Perhaps they did not get the overview of the audience that attends RootsTech...........
Next - I left the Innovator Summit - and headed on over to the FGS track to listen to a presentation by Judy Russell, about ethics and genealogy. I heard Judy Russell speak last year at RootsTech and thoroughly enjoyed it and have followed her blog - http://legalgenealogist.com/. This was a fascinating presentation. I am never quite sure what the rules are about using pictures from something like Ancestry or FamilySearch. This presentation was more an overview, I will be attending 2 more related breakouts later on as well.
|Judy Russell - The Legal Genealogist|
After this - I headed back over to the Innovator Summit side of the Salt Palace with the intent on attending a break out about automation. This was supposed to last 2 hours - and it was not what I thought it was........ I was expecting something along the lines of automating processes, tasks - in a techy software type discussion. What it actually was - several genealogists with a wish list for the developers in the audience asking for help with research, etc. I was starving and left after an hour to head back to the hotel to do a little work and get some dinner!
|View from My Hotel Room - Salt Palace is on the Right-Middle|
At 7 - I headed back to the Salt Palace to attend the FGS evening social, which I have been looking forward to ever since I heard about it! Behind the Scenes: Family History & Television. I watch every genealogy related TV show on - Finding your Roots, Genealogy Roadshow and Who Do You Think You Are. I LOVE those shows. And this evening social was with some of the "stars" and researchers for those shows.
|Salt Palace at Night|
The first part of the evening was watching excerpts from the various shows - including a clip of an upcoming episode of Genealogy Roadshow. Next - the panel answered audience questions. It was fascinating! One of my favorite questions was about whether the shows were scripted. The answer was yes and no - there are outlines, and writers, but the people presenting have a lot of latitude. And it was a resounding no scripting at all for the people who are highlighted - across the board, all the reactions are real. The panelists from Who Do You Think You Are told us that the celebrities they highlight don't know what to expect - including where they will be going, or what they will be hearing. They are told what kind of clothing to pack and whether they need a passport or not - that is it.
|Behind the Scenes Panel|