Open Thread Thursday: What Did You Think Of RootsTech?

open thread

This week’s topic for Open Thread Thursday is:

Last week’s RootsTech was an outstanding success on many levels based on blog posts, social media chatter and other feedback circulating on the Internets.

Whether you attended in person, watched the live streaming from home, followed the blog posts and tweets, or just downloaded videos and syllabus material, what did you think of RootsTech?  If possible, let us know your thoughts about:

1. Did RootsTech live up to your expectations or the hype, especially if you were a first time attendee (in person or online)?

2. If you “played along at home” via the RootsTech website, how was the quality of the content? Were there any technical problems in watching the live stream?  Are video clips and handouts easy to find?

3. What about the mix of genealogy and technology?  Was it too “techie” or perhaps not enough tech?

4. If you attended in person, anything about the logistics or the facilities that you would change? Does RootsTech need a larger section of the Salt Palace Convention Center next year?

5. If you were King or Queen of RootsTech and planning for 2013, what would you do differently?

6. What would your elevator speech be for RootsTech if someone unfamiliar with the event were to ask you “What’s RootsTech?”

You can read all the latest RootsTech posts from members of GeneaBloggers here.

Post your responses in the comments or at a post on your own genealogy blog and place the link here in the comments.

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RootsTech: The Disneyland of Genealogy

Rather than go into detail here in the Open Thread Thursday post, please see RootsTech 2012 Review: My Perspective for my detailed review of this year’s RootsTech.

But here is one observation:

RootsTech is like the Disneyland of Genealogy for me: the happiest place on earth. Everyone has an E ticket. Everyone loves the rides.

Actually, and don’t laugh, RootsTech is my idea of what heaven will be for me and hopefully other genealogists: a place where I can be with my genealogy family – learning, sharing, and collaborating – forever.

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This is a great topic for this week’s Open Thread Thursday! And please, if you have a topic you’d like to see discussed among your genealogy blogging colleagues, please contact us and we’ll take it under consideration.

©2012, copyright Thomas MacEntee

Open Thread Thursday: What’s Your RootsTech Strategy?

open thread

This week’s topic for Open Thread Thursday is:

RootsTech, a family history and technology conference, starts on Thursday, February 2, 2012 and runs through Saturday, February 4, 2012.

If you are attending RootsTech, what are your plans to not only participate in sessions and experience the Expo Hall, but to also report on the happening via social media? Will you post to your blog each day or several times a day?  Will you give a recap at the end of RootsTech? Or will you use social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter? And what are your goals in attending RootsTech?

For those “playing at home,” will you be following the live streaming of sessions? Will you be gathering with members of your genealogy society to watch some of the live streams?  Will you be participating in the social media conversation? What do you hope to walk away with from the RootsTech experience?

Post your responses in the comments or at a post on your own genealogy blog and place the link here in the comments.

My RootsTech Strategy

This will be my second RootsTech and my umpteenth large genealogy conference to attend.  I’ve found that I just can’t sit and do much blogging during the event.  Between my own presentations to deliver, meeting other genealogy bloggers and vendors, it just isn’t possible.

I’ll be taking a new and perhaps radical approach towards reporting on RootsTech next week.  I may not even open up my laptop while at the Media Hub in the RootsTech Expo Hall.  So what will I be doing?

One Word: Micro Blogging

With the advent of smart phones and mobile devices, it only makes sense that bloggers use these devices to do what is called micro blogging: broadcasting small snippets of text, video and audio via status updates on Facebook, Twitter and Google+. I encourage all bloggers attending RootsTech to consider the same approach and here’s why . . . so you can take full advantage of the RootsTech experience.

Value the RootsTech Experience

During past conferences I’ve often become frustrated and beat myself up over not being able to report on the event.  I’ve realized that the reason is because of the medium I’ve selected: traditional blogging.  I think with micro blogging, I can not only report on RootsTech but I can avail myself of every opportunity to network with other bloggers and vendors and experience the event to the fullest.

This fits nicely with my abundance model for genealogy, a goal I’ve set for 2012.

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This is a great topic for this week’s Open Thread Thursday! And please, if you have a topic you’d like to see discussed among your genealogy blogging colleagues, please contact us and we’ll take it under consideration.

©2012, copyright Thomas MacEntee

Open Thread Thursday: What’s In A Name?

open thread

This week’s topic for Open Thread Thursday is:

Do you wonder if the terminology currently in use to describe someone who pursues genealogy passionately yet for personal reasons and not as a profession is inadequate?

Are you an amateur genealogist? A hobby genealogist? A family historian? A non-professional genealogist?

Post your responses in the comments or at a post on your own genealogy blog and place the link here in the comments.

What Am I?

This discussion is an offshoot of a great social media discussion started over at The Geneabrarian Reference Desk blog late last week.  See her post Eliminating the Hobby from Genealogy and take time to read the comments.  Two days later she did a discussion round up on her blog here. Other genealogy blogging colleagues entered the discussion with their own posts, most notable Elyse Doerflinger of Elyse’s Genealogy Blog with Why Bother With Genealogy?

I often struggle with what to call myself in the genealogy community as well as the field since I do consider myself a professional genealogist.  I’m sure many others have names for me, some of which I can’t reprint here and believe me I’ve heard them either right to my face or second and third hand.

Could this be a situation where, at least in the English language, there just isn’t an adequate word to describe the genealogist who is not quite an amateur, does not make a living from their research and efforts, yet has the passion and skills that can often exceed those of a professional genealogist?

For me beginner, newbie, amateur and hobbyist seem to convey a sense of “less than” when used in contrast to professional genealogist.  I tried to look at other professions to see if there was an amateur designation.  I though of plumbers – are there casual plumbers? Amateur plumbers?  Folks who wake up Saturday morning and say, “Hey, I want to work on improving those pipes under the sink!”  Of course there are . . . we call them DIYers or Do-It-Yourselfers.  But that doesn’t seem to work for genealogy in my mind.

Names and The Power of Naming

When I was pursuing my M.Div at seminary (yes, shocked arent’ you?), one of the things I remarked upon was how in the Creation story in Genesis, Adam was given the power of naming the animals that had been created.  There is great power in the ability to name something or someone and great responsibility.

Many of us were probably called names growing up, some of us more so because we stood out in the crowd for some reason or another.  Our parents told us that names don’t hurt, that they are only words.  But words and names do have power and they can hurt.  We all have probably experienced this.

And then there is the issue of reclaiming a name and the power inherent in that.  I won’t delve into details but I know this through various minority communities and there is still intense dialog about the use of derogatory names and using them within the community and calling each other by those names.

In some cultures and beliefs, there are different names for the same person: the name the Creator gives you, the name your parents give you, the name that stature and reputation and the community gives you, and, most importantly in my opinion, the name you give yourself.

There is great power in being able to name yourself and claim that name that best describes what you are and what you do and your role in any community.  I am still looking for that name.

And Does It Matter?

Does it really matter that we worry about names and what to call ourselves? Are we too worried how others within the field of genealogy and outside the field will see us? I’m not sure. I struggle with this on a weekly basis because one of my goals in embracing the concept of abundant genealogy is to make sure that those new to the field feel welcome yet understand fully what it takes to be a genealogist – a genealogist at any level of investment or skill level.

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This is a great topic for this week’s Open Thread Thursday! And please, if you have a topic you’d like to see discussed among your genealogy blogging colleagues, please contact us and we’ll take it under consideration.

©2012, copyright Thomas MacEntee