18 May 2011

Following genealogy conferences from a distance

I've followed the two big genealogy conferences which ended last weekend from a distance.

In Hamilton the Ontario Genealogical Society 50th anniversary conference was held from Friday to Sunday with about 450-500 registered. Despite marking a milestone for the Society judging by Twitter and blog coverage it was low key.

Blog postings about conference presentations were lacking. Elizabeth Kipp posted about her experience running the GOONS display, and mentioned that "the conference was very well organized and moved along without a hitch."

Tweets from TOFamilyHistory mentioned events imminent at the conference, and one other who commented on "neet sessions on East European Genealogy."

Feedback afterwards was that there were some good sessions. It probably suffered from competition from NGS which drew away some regular participants.

In the USA the National Genealogical Society held its annual conference from Wednesday to Saturday in Charleston, South Carolina with 1900-2000 registered (Dick Eastman's estimate.) There was much more coverage on Twitter and by blog.

The tweets were about sessions people were going to. There was little tweeting of nuggets of information from the sessions compared to the Rootstech event earlier in the year. NGS did not have WiFi or good cellphone coverage which seems like a sad state of affairs reflecting badly on the venue. Even tweeters at the conference commented on the lack of tweets.

Blogging could have been curtailed for the same reason, and also by a nearly one day outage at the Blogger host site from noon on Thursday. Randy Seaver has compiled a list of conference blog posts at http://goo.gl/ylJEI

One person, at http://bit.ly/iBh4hQ, wrote ",,, the speakers were knowledgeable and accessible first of all, and they talked about topics of interest to me and they highlighted topics that I had not encountered before or often wondered about. Their case studies also offered more practical “hands on” experience for me to hone my skills with and to see how I matched up with the folks around me. The exhibit hall booth vendors were likewise friendly and helpful ...:

While the US genealogy stars were out for NGS, John Colletta, Tom Jones, Helen Leary, and Elizabeth Shown Mills (in alphabetical order) were all on the program, their light is less illuminating for Canadian and British genealogy.

1 comment:

DWP said...

Another item about the NGS conference is in the May 18th issue of "The Weekly Genealogist", the newsletter of the NEGHS. Under the title "Research Recommendations: Taking Advantage of Conference Opportunities": Michael J. Leclerc writes favourably about the conference, and describes a partial solution to the problem of sessions that one could not attend because of scheduling conflicts, or because one could not attend the conference at all. This is the CD recordings of some of the sessions made by JAMB:
A list of the session recordings available will soon be on the JAMB website.