Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Day 1 at the FGS Conference - Post 1

I'm taking a break from the sessions at the conference to read my email, write this post, and hopefully get a quick nap before the evening events.

Last night, I went over to the Peabody Hotel at 8:30 p.m. to try to be part of the ProGen Study Group picture, but they took it earlier when the APG Roundtable ended early and the 30th birthday party for APG began. So I made it for the party and talked to some old and new friends. Maybe they can Photoshop my picture into the picture taken.

This morning, I went down to the Peabody and enjoyed the Tom Champoux (of NEHGS) presentation on "Loud and Clear: Effective Society Marketing for Everyone." He talked a bit about marketing strategy and tactics, using NEHGS ad campaigns as examples of how to appeal in both the cerebral and emotional ways to potential customers and product users. Tom discussed how to get press coverage, how to get your society into the news, and creating a press kit. This was a very useful presentation and I will pass my notes to the boards of CVGS, SDGS and CGSSD.

The second session I attended was "Clustering and More: Successful Internet Searching" by D. Joshua Taylor. I did not review the syllabus before attending, and thought that it would be about cluster genealogy. It wasn't - it was about using search engines like Google and Clusty effectively. Josh had some great suggestions, and it was my first look at the Clusty search engine which puts search matches into categories based on web site content. This session was packed wall to wall, over 200 in attendance, and Josh is a very effective presenter - lots of examples and some humor.

At lunch time, I wandered west to the River Market area and had a burger and shake at the Hop Inn with Patti Hobbs. Then it was back to the Peabody to get ready for the next session. I met Jeffrey Vaillant, who is in my ProGen study group, on the way in and we talked for awhile.

I chose J. Mark Lowe's presentation on "Legislative Petitions: an Important Genealogical Resource." This is a resource that IK've only recently had a taste of - finding the legislative act for Devier J. Lamphear's name change to Devier J. Smith in Wisconsin in 1866. Mark described the types of local, state and federal legislative records that may be available in various states, and where to find indexes for some of them online. In general, the actual records, and the supporting "loose papers" are not available online and the researcher needs to search for them in the appropriate jurisdiction. Mark's advice was a start local, then look in state records, and then in federal records.

That's my day so far, but there is more to come. At 5 p.m., the "Blogging, Social Nwtworking, and Podcasting Open Forum" is being hosted by George G. Morgan and Drew Smith. Then at 7 p.m., Linda and I are attending the dessert reception at the Peabody Hotel. I need to grab a bite to eat sometime during this time - it may just be the chocolate chip cookies in our room!

More later - perhaps after the reception.

Tomorrow is an early morning with Tim Sullivan's Keynote Address on "The Future of Our Past: Preserving Yesterday's Records for Tomorrow's Researchers" at 8 a.m.

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