RootsTech 2011 started today at Salt Lake City’s Salt Palace Convention Center. This is the first year of the conference which ”brings together family history enthusiasts and technologists to discover new solutions for genealogy.”
After spending a day at the conference, primarily in the exhibit hall talking to vendors, by most accounts the first day came off without a hitch (though there were a few technical difficulties at the keynote this morning). Some of today’s sessions included presentations about using mobile devices, overview of the top fifty genealogy sites, using search in family history, mobile apps, social networking, and cloud computing. Live streaming of some presentations is also available.
Here is what Ronnie Tyler had to say about the conference:
So you are probably thinking like me: “Ronnie, why would they invite you and Lamar from Black and Married with Kids to that conference…yall are not genealogists….right? Right..we are not. We were invited because our site focuses on family, family values, and quality relationships with family including our kids, spouses and extended family. And so of course family history would be important to us and our BMWK family. Lamar and I agreed and we are now in beautiful Salt Lake City where the snow capped mountains are breath taking (check out photos in our upcoming posts).
They told us that we would have the opportunity to do personal research in the Family History Library – the world’s largest one. So in preparation, I decided to call my parents to find out about my family history. And yes, I had to call my parents because I did not know very much. I remembered my great grandparents..but we called them names like Paw-Paw and Mam-maw. And I certainly did not know of any great great grandparents.
I talked to my father first and he told me the names of his parents and grandparents and maybe the name of one of his great grandmothers. He told me to check with one of my aunts who worked on the family tree.
I talked to my mother and she told me a great story about how her family ended up in Virginia, but she did not have a lot of details about her family. She told me to call my aunt who pulled together our family history to share during a family reunion. So I called her and she promised to send me all of the information that she has before my appointment at the library. I am really looking forward to conducting a search on my family and I hoping that I will be able to find new information to share with my family during our next family reunion.1
Tomorrow looks to be more of the same. Sessions will include presentations APIs, collaboration, record digitzation, the semantic web, geocoding, and others. (For an overview of all the sessions see RootsTech – Sessions and Speakers.)
If you’re in town and in the exhibit hall, drop by and say hello at the FamilySearch booth or in the Media Hub. If not, check out the live streams and follow on Twitter using #rootstech.