Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Computerized Family History and Genealogy Conference

The Ancestry Insider
The unofficial, unauthorized view of the big genealogy websites. Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org aren't the best communicators, leaving a need for the Ancestry Insider. The Insider reports on, defends, and constructively criticizes these organizations.

[While I'm not a fan of train-of-thought writing, you may never hear about my attendance at this conference if I don't take a shallow dip into it.]

I’m here at the conference. I’ve got laptop power but no Internet. I’ve got syllabus, but no CD. Maybe that was an extra cost item. They’ve announced they have 700 attendees. I’m seeing lots of familiar faces, but as usual I can’t remember who they are. Well, Alan Mann I know. Alan is Manager of Information Services at the Family History Library.

They tell me I can exchange by printed syllabus for a CD! Paul Allen is the keynote speaker this morning and Tim Sullivan is this evening. I'll try and post on their presentations later.

Well, it’s lunch time. Renee Zamora was good enough to watch my laptop for me while I ran out and grabbed a bite to eat. (Thank you, Renee.) She, along with the other smart people, had brought a lunch. With the Morris Center gone (along with most of Deseret Towers—I used to live in V-422) the line at the creamery was humongous.

The New FamilySearch track was held in the basement auditorium of the Bean Museum, which probably seats less than 220. I suppose they put the NFS track there because they feared no one would bother to cross the parking lot for any track of lesser interest. But last fall they filled the 500 seat conference center auditorium for some NFS classes. Many were turned away from Jim Greene’s class this morning. The room had no wireless Internet for attendees nor wired access for presenters.

Gordon Clarke acknowledged my post on PAF's mostly dead status and asked that I quote him as saying, "I kind of see new life as being breathed into PAF. I don’t think PAF is dying, I think it is getting a second life." Clarke, consider yourself quoted. I'll explain more in a later article. I think the headline will be, "FamilySearch's Gordon Clarke announces the resurrection." (Teasing genes run deep in my family.)

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