Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Inventing the Future, as a Community, Keynote RootsTech 2012 Jay Verkler

The first event of RootsTech 2012 was the keynote presentation “Inventing the Future, as a Community” by Jay Verkler, outgoing CEO of FamilySearch. Jay Verkler has led FamilySearch for ten years and has recently been replaced by Dennis Brimhall. During the time he led FamilySearch many innovations in technology have been implemented at FamilySearch. He has reached out to other companies to encourage new developments and collaboration.
 I first heard Jay Verkler speak at the NGS Conference in 2010 and was further impressed with him at RootTech 2011, the first RootsTech Conference. He has been a pioneer in getting technology connected with genealogical research.
Jay Verkler’s keynote presentation was multi-media and he gave credit to many others who helped him create it.  It can be viewed at RootsTech.org and there was a great article about it in The Church News. The The Ancestry Insider had a blog post giving more information about RootsTech reviews in The Church News.
Jay Verkler introduced the subject by giving background information about the population of the world and telling how we must collaborate to preserve family history information. He introduced Robert Gardner and David Barney from Google who briefly told us about new metadata that has been developed to optimize historical and genealogical searches. He introduced the CEO of BrightSolid, Chris van der Kuyl,  and the CEO of Archives.com, Matthew Monahan. Both of these men expressed the importance of collaboration. There was a dramatization of collaboration between a FamilySearch researcher, a BrightSolid customer in Sweden, a Facebook user in America. The presentation finished with a vignette of a student in 2060 who was researching her family history. This was an inspiring presentation and made me grateful to have access to all the wonderful tools and possibilities for genealogical research.  In conclusion Jay Verkler was presented a “To Turn the Hearts Award” by FamilySearch. He richly deserves this award.

Monday, February 20, 2012

RootsTech 2012 and FamilySearch Family Tree

I had the privilege of attending RootsTech again this year. It was a wonderful experience and I want to write about it in my blog. This will be good for my reference even if no one else ever reads this blog. There have been plenty of bloggers who have written about RootsTech. There were official bloggers who reported about it and I have read some of what they wrote. I especially like the Ancestry Insider blogs. He has written many interesting and informative things about RootsTech.
There are also Thomas McEntee at Geneabloggers , Randy Seaver at Geneamusings, Lisa Louise Cooke at Genealogy Gems Blog, Amy Coffin at We Tree, Pat Erickson at Dear Myrtle and others.
The best resource is the RootsTech Web site itself. Videos of many of the conferences are on this site. You can watch the actual seminars. Saturday I watched the RootsTech seminar by Ron Tanner about Family Search’s Family Tree. I did not see this live because it was the same time as the Devotional for Family History Consultants where Paul Koelliker was the speaker.
Actually I heard Ron Tanner speak on the new Family Tree on Saturday morning at the Riverton Saturday Seminar and then came home and watched his presentation at RootsTech online. They were not the same, just the same subject. I am really excited and happy that Family Tree is going to be available. I was very impressed with what I saw. I think it will be easier to use than New Family Search and that it will be more professional. People will be more hesitant to change things. I really like the addition of source citations. Hurrah for Family Search Family Tree!