Saturday, March 23, 2013

RootsTech Day 3 Keynotes - David Pogue and MyHeritage

Time sure flies - it's the last day of the RootsTech 2013 Conference and we were treated to two stirring presentations today by the Keynote speakers.  If you didn't watch it live, on streaming video, you can catch it on the video a little later today.

1)  David Pogue is a technology columnist for the New York Times, creator of the Missing Manual book series, and a PBS NOVA host.  He treated the audience to 30 minutes of non-stop technology comedy...with some Tom Lehrer-type piano comedy bits about technology at the end.  There wasn't any genealogy content here, but some of the technology content was mind boggling, and the comedy was great.  Watch it if you can.

I figure that @Pogue will receive thousands of new followers on Twitter.  I followed him.

2)  The second Keynote was supposed to be Gilad Japhet of MyHeritage, but his father died and he flew back to Israel.  The MyHeritage Marketing director Oeri Soen introduced MyHeritage to the audience, then introduced geneablogger James Tanner (Genealogy's Star) who discussed the new technology that will be available at MyHeritage.  James noted that "sufficiently advanced technology s indistinguishable from magic" and thinks that the MyHeritage technology is approaching that level.  Here are the highlights from his talk:

* Users will be able to save record matches to their tree - hopefully, this will be retroactive so that the matches previously confirmed will be attached.

* Recommended records combines smart matches with record matches - if I attach a record match to a person in my tree, and another user has that same person (Smart Match), then the other person will be able to attach the same record.

* Geni (now owned by MyHeritage) will have record matching and searching for their users.

* MyHeritage (and their WorldVitalRecords site) will soon have all of the 1790-1940 US census records and images online and searchable.  The Record Match service will work with these records to provide users with census records.  This is a really BIG deal for MyHeritage - it adds millions of images and hundreds of millions of indexed names to their database collection.

*  MyHeritage gave away 500 free 6-month PremiumPlus and Data subscription passes with a unique user code.  The voucher expires on 7 April 2013.

Geneablogger James Tanner did a great job presenting the technical parts of the MyHeritage presentation with one day notice.  If you want to learn more about MyHeritage, please watch the video presentation at or visit their website at

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Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

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