Thursday, February 2, 2012

Day 3 in SLC - RootsTech Starts

I woke up early and still couldn't blog on the Plaza wireless...frustration!  Went down at 6:30 a.m. and had breakfast, and met Emily, a Genea-Musings reader.  They're all over, it seems.  Wandered over to the Salt Palace at 7 dodging the hail piles, went to the registration desk and got my ticket for tonight.  Sat with Lisa Alzo and Becky Jamison, and then a number of others came, for the Blogger tour of the Exhibit Hall at 7:30.  Was able to dump the laptop case in the Media Hub, so took only my small notebook and the iPhone to the Keynote talk by Jay Verkler.

The Official bloggers got front row seats, along with many notable genealogy people.  I was talking with Dan Lynch and Steve Morse, and a FamilySearch employee came over and started to talk to us about the 1940 Census (I had the shirt on).  He went on about how great it will be to use their website to find an Enumeration District number before the index is available, and it will only take an hour or two.  Steve started asking questions about the website and the process using Wikipedia and ten pages of tables, and we were chuckling at the discussion.  Finally, we asked the FamilySearch guy if he knew who Steve was and what he has already available for the 1940 Census.  Steve gave him the URL for his One-Step 1940 Census Tool.

Jay's talk on "Inventing the Future, As a Community" was inspirational and visionary - if you have a chance to watch it on video later in February I encourage you to watch it.  I had a front row seat but had to watch a small screen nearby and not one of the four large screens.  I didn't take notes on the talk but was amazed at the scope of the vision of connecting the historical data with the family tree information with the family members using social media.  Jay is stepping down from the FamilySearch helm after ten years of development and tremendous progress in building a 21st century organization and website with broad capabilities and scope.

I did get a picture of DearMYRTLE with her new-fangled iPhone accessory - it's available at amazon, she said:

The Exhibit Hall doors opened and about 4,000 people spilled into the hall.  The Media Hub filled up quickly - I'm typing this at a table with a cable connection, along with 14 other Official bloggers.  My table has Amy Coffin, Thomas MacEntee, DearMyrtle, Lynn Palermo, Nancy Shively and Jill Ball.  Thomas was handing out blogger beads for over an hour as many bloggers came by to say hello.  I've lost count, I hope Amy is keeping track!  The interview booths were booked pretty solid - Lisa Louise Cooke had the first interview with Dennis Brimhall, the new FamilySearch CEO.  A camera crew came by and interviewed Thomas MacEntee about being a genealogy rock star, er,  blogger.

I got to talk to Dennis about his previous work and the challenge he has to succeed Jay.  I'm sure he's up to the task!  The Exhibit Hall crowd died down a bit as 11 a.m. approached and may people wandered off to the first class sessions.  I decided to stay in the Exhibit Hall and made my first tour of the place, and talked to several exhibitors.  Then I had lunch, and met geneablogger Michael McCormick, who just graduated from BYU-Idaho and is looking for a family history position.

Back to the Media Hub to read, then write this post.  I'm off to the Genealogy Idol competition in about 15 minutes and hope to have some pictures in tonight's post. 


Deborah said...

Readers of Genea-Musings -- "They're Everywhere, They're Everywhere!"
Deborah from Kentucky

Emily Garber said...

Hey, Randy! Nice to see you this morning. What I didn't get to tell you (while shoveling those eggs onto my plate) is that I have a blog, as well.