Friday, February 3, 2012

Following RootsTech Conference

Coming to you live from RootsTech Conference in Salt Lake City -- Marilyn Ulbricht, hubby Ron and I (Sandi Benward) left from Citrus Heights at 6am headed for Salt Lake City .......  at 0 dark hundred we were driving up I-80, everyone sleepy & grumpy but also excited about the conference. As we got up to the top of the mountain I think after Donner Lake signs flashed saying 'chains were required except for four wheel drive vehicles & some trucks'. It wasn't snowing but I guess it had been over night. Temperatures dropped from the mid 40's to mid 30's and then high 20's. Oh my it is cold. Luckily (and planned) we were in a four wheel drive car with all weather tires - so no chains for us. Dozens & dozens of trucks were stopped putting on chains....and there we were following the trucks that were putting sand on the road. Slow going for quite a few miles and then the roads were clear again. Beautiful but deadly.
 Then we were once again up to speed and rolling along........  ooops, as we entered Reno we were at a dead stop, lanes merging into one lane. We thought there was road work and morning traffic but we were wrong, it was an accedent. Finally out of Reno and on our way through Nevada, into Utah and to the Salt Palace Convention Center. We arrived at 5:15pm MT (10 hours + 1hour moving clocks ahead) . We were really impressed that we arrived so quickly with all the delays at the beginning of the trip.
Marilyn and I picked up our precious Conference Packets and off we went to our hotels. Anxious to read up on everything before all the activities started in the morning. Study, Read, Relax and Sleep.

Thursday we were up and going...... Opening day keynote speaker was Jay Verkler. "Inventing the Future, as a Community" Mr Verkler recently served as President and CEO of FamilySearch. His message was very uplifting, and positive ........  working with other business's to build better technology for the industry and for the end user-  sharing technology. The future for technology for records and documents and genealogists looks very good.

First session was "Do I Trust the Cloud?" from D. Joshua Taylor. It was very good. Enlightning! I am using a little cloud but I think I will take another step forward with a larger piece of the cloud. Storage, safety and trusting the technology.

Second session was "Effective Database Search Tactics" from Kory Meyerink. Most of the techniques were ones I have been using (always good to go back to basics) but then he went off in an area I didn't understand. He talked to the developers (if any were in the audience) encouraging them to incorporate more advanced search techniques.

Third Session was "Twitter - It's Not Just 'What I Had For Breakfast' Anymore" with Thomas MacEntee. Does that name sound familiar? This is our 2013 Spring Seminar Speaker. He went through the whole process of signing up, adding picture and profile, how to write a tweet and about  new language that comes along with it. Hashtags, @ signs, acronyms, and codes - limitation of 140 characters. His use is strickly for genealogoy, for research and instant communication. Kim von Aspern Parker met with me several months ago, signed me up on Twitter etc but it just didn't stick, things seemed uncomfortable. I cannot explain it but I just left it alone. BUT today I returned to Twitter and sent out two tweets. My first tweets. AND I got a comment back from Megan Smolenyak-Smolenyak. Well, I was impressed.
Remember his face, you will be meeting him on March 9 2013 at our Spring Seminar. This is Thomas MacEntee.......

Fourth session was "Eleven Layers of Online Searches" with Barbara Renick. Very good. A couple of the layers I would not even thought about, but maybe some of you would. I'd like to share what I learned here at this session at a workshop sometime. Looks very effective.

The last event was a Reception and "Exercise Your Funny Bone" with comedian Ryan Hamilton.  This event was sponsored by brightsolid. Dinner and comedy, what a great way to top of a very good day.

Tomorrow is another day starting at 8:30am AND the Family History Library has extended their hours on Friday - closing at midnight. You heard right.........  lots of research time.  Night!

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