Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Day 1 at the FGS Conference - Post 2

After a brief afternoon rest, I toddled down to the Peabody Hotel and found the Blogging, Social Networking and Podcasting Open Forum hosted by Drew Smith and George G. Morgan, with Jim Ericson of and Gena Philibert Ortega of WorldVitalRecords and GenealogyWise on the panel.

They each introduced themselves to the audience of about 60, some of whom were bloggers, some were blog readers or podcast listeners, and many use GenealogyWise. George made the point that each format used the Internet to connect with people. Drew asked who in the audience were bloggers, and we had Diane Haddad, John Hoda, Donna Moughty, Sue Tolbert, Tami Glatz, Pat Richley, Amy Coffin, Paula Stuart-Warren, Dick Eastman and myself in the audience, plus one or two others that I didn't catch the names of because they were not repeated.

Drew discussed blog readers, and highlighted Google Reader. He showed George's Google Reader list on the screen. He also talked briefly about how easy it was to set up a blog using Blogger. Drew asked how many blogs people read, and no one could top my 510.

The Social Networking action was briefly discussed - 75% of the attendees were on Facebook. Jim and Gena discussed GenealogyWise and it was shown on the screen - forums, blogs, groups, chats, etc. Then George and Drew discussed podcasts in some detail.

The audience questions concerned: podcast quality - the Mac software seems to be better than the PC software; Videocasts - they can be done with Camtasia and Profcasts; Blog readers - use RSS, and there are several providers; the We're Related application on Facebook - is challenged to upload GEDCOMs, partly because of the Facebook platform. will have an improved family tree feature in the future.

In closing remarks, Gena noted that social networking allows you to connect with others, and is a great way to find people with common interests.

After the Forum, I hustled across the street to a pizzeria and joined Linda for dinner. Before I could order, Robbie from Omaha and Diana from Dallas offered me their leftover pizza, which I eagerly accepted. Thank you, ladies. We had a great discussion, and you saved me 20 minutes I didn't have to spare.

Then it was back to the Peabody Hotel for the dessert reception, with almost 300 in attendance. We heard Tim Sullivan and Todd Jensen talk about Ancestry. Tim disclosed that and NEHGS have agreed to a partnership for NEHGS to participate in the World Archives Project to index records and share content. Tom Champoux of NEHGS came up to thank Tim and expressed hope for a long and rewarding partnership together. Later, they declined to name the indexing projects explicitly, so we'll have to see what they are in the future.

Tim then introduced Todd Jensen, who is a Director (?) of the Document Preservation Services (DPS). Todd briefly described the responsibilities of his division. The Content development process has five segments - licensing, imaging, indexing, assembly, and product. Todd's DPS operation is responsible for the middle three - imaging, indexing and assembly. He then told some stories about employees in his division, and how he is inspired by their knowledge, skill, effort, dedication and enthusiasm.

Finally, Tim came back and announced the 10 winners of an world Deluxe subscription. There was a brief question and answer period as we waited for the dessert setup to be ready. He immediately got a question about "what's coming next" and said he couldn't talk about it because of SEC restrictions on "forward looking statements" resulting from the company being taken public. Then it was time for dessert.

The dessert spread was very nice, with pastries on one table and fruit on the other table. We were seated at tables of 10 and there was sharing with our seatmates. This was a very nice reception hosted by and I appreciate being invited to attend.

Tomorrow is another full day, with Tim Sullivan's keynote address at 8 a.m. followed by the opening of the Exhibit Hall at 9:30 a.m., and then four sessions in the late morning and afternoon.

No comments: