Sunday, 12 February 2017

Rootstech 2017 from across the pond

This year I am writing my review from the perspective of a UK family historian watching from afar and wishing she had made the journey across the pond.

When I first started to write this post I started to discuss what was happening in Salt Lake City. But I am not in Salt Lake City this year I am at home in Wales.
How can I write about a conference when I am not one of the attendees.
The Rootstech conference did not get underway until the Thursday but for me the excitement builds from the Monday.
In keeping with the tradition at 10am MST (SLC time) 5pm GMT the Rootstech week starts with Mondays with Myrt from the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. The usual panel (including me) has little to say as Pat Richley-Erickson aka DearMYRTLE interviews a variety of folks from across the globe who have made the journey to Utah arriving early enough to get some research time in the Family History Library. 
Later on Monday early attendees from the Commonwealth countries enjoyed another tradition the Commonwealth dinner. This year they went to the Blue Lemon and afterwards photographs appeared on the Geniaus blog. I must say that when I went in 2015 this was a great way to meet others prior to the conference.

Going to an event like a genealogy conference is a great way to network with other genealogists/family historians. I know that for many attending classes is low priority. We all love to find connections with others (especially someone who may have photographs) and with such a large group many do find a link. This year a cousin of someone I met in 2015 made a connection with Judy G Russell The Legal Genealogist after watching her talk on the live stream. I knew about this via facebook before she wrote her post but she illustrates my point so well (better than I could).

I managed to catch all the RootsTech General Sessions on the live streaming and some of the classes that were streamed. Now that the recordings are up, those I missed I can catch up with later, there are more than those that livestreamed. Some are US centric but may hold useful suggestions most are general and the keynotes, in particular, inspirational and passionate.

If watching or attending RootsTech does nothing more than provide inspiration to feed your passion for your family then it has done its job. But we need innovators to provide us with the means to record, communicate and preserve. 
Some of the technology advances have brought about the success of this conference in getting to folks across the world. In the early years you could lose the video if anyone else was online. This year those at home could vote using the RootsTech app on their phone. 

We need new ideas rather than more of the same. I wonder what the innovators in the industry will bring us next year.

Before I go here courtesy of Lilian Magill (in the lilac sweater) is a photograph of many of the Geneabloggers at RootsTech 2017, noticeably absent were Russ Worthington (aka Cousin Russ) and Thomas MacEntee (Geneabloggers).

The final event for many of those in the photograph was an evening to wind down with friends courtesy of DearMyrtle who has some of her friends visit her house for an after party.

I love seeing the photographs from the other get togethers which are not part of the main RootsTech event. These are as much about why we should attend as the conference and you cannot get what I call "the buzz" unless you are actually there. 
There will be lots of tired, enthusiastic people headed home today or in the coming week (some stay on to do research) but for many it is so good you want to come back again.
Maybe next year I can write a first hand report. (fingers crossed)

Monday, 6 February 2017

Why Should You Participate in a Blog Carnival?

You've seen them. People writing a blog post dealing with a specific subject and asking for input in the form of a post or comment. These can either stay on one blog or move from blog to blog.

In the case of one blog hosting the carnival or party, the comments and posts are aggregated and put in a follow-up post. Some don't have a follow-up but request links in the comments section so that others can view posts.
With the moving carnival, a reader goes from blog to blog reading the posts on the given subject.

Some examples are Randy Seaver's Saturday Night Fun on GenaMusings, Elizabeth O'Neils's monthly Blog Party on her Little Bytes of Life Blog, the yearly Blog Caroling event from FootnoteMaven, and my monthly GeneaChat posts for the In-Depth Genealogist Blog.  Please post the links to others that you know of in the comments section below!

So, why should you participate?
 First, it's fun! Joining with other genealogists to blog or comment about a topic can be a fun way to associate with others.

 Second, it gives you a topic to write about. I don't know about you, but sometimes, it's hard to get that idea formed so that you can get a new post out. The topics provided by these events will help.

Third, it's a win/win situation! If you are the host of the party, it brings people to your blog as they read about your topic.
As a participant, it brings attention to your post and using the link you provide brings traffic to your blog.
When the Blog Carnival provides a follow up with all the comments and links contributed for the theme, your post will be highlighted and linked back.  Again, bringing readers to your blog.

So what are you waiting for? Join the fun and network with other bloggers by hosting or participating in a Blog Carnival. Party on Genealogy Bloggers!