22 March 2013

RootsTech: the 2nd half day

I'd hoped to report on the whole day but United Airlines had other ideas so instead of arriving in Salt Lake City near midnight on Wednesday I spent the night in Houston. It was noon on Thursday when I got to Salt Lake City, just in time to miss the morning sessions. If you didn't catch them on webcast no doubt they're will be be good reports from other bloggers.
I attended two afternoon sessions. Tammy A. Hepps spoke on Genealogy Industry Web 2.0 Report Card. It was a critical appraisal of the adoption on technology in the online genealogy world, especially AJAX which allows part of a web site to be updated rather than having to refresh the whole page, and APIs which allow developers to build value-added products on other's applications. It's worth remembering that just because an application is old doesn't mean it isn't useful, a point Tammy made with respect to Rootsweb.
As if to make that point the new RootsTech app for the iPad which had provision for taking notes for each presentation went blank about halfway through the talk deleting all my notes. I resorted to the regular notes app.
The second talk I attended was by Transform Your Note-taking and Remember Everything With Evernote by Tonia Kendrick, an exceptionally clear and well organized talk. She made the analogy to a giant notebook, stored in the cloud so you can access it anywhere, that finds everything you want. She mentioned that it's good if you're paranoid about losing your notes - a virtue that rang true for me after my experience in the previous talk.
With 6,800 people registered, not including exhibitors, at the start of the day many of the sessions were packed. I took the opportunity to wander the exhibition hall while it was less crowded and catch up with friends, Andrey Collins, Rick Cree, Ed Zapletal and Dick Eastman, and new friends Helen Smith and Alona Tester from Australia.
Among the tid bits of information I picked up is that the AncestryDNA test is unlikely to be available in Canada within the next few months, raw data has just become available for AncestryDNA tests, and Deceased Online will be working with TNA to place some of the cemetery databases in their collection online including a major London cemetery.

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