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Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Reporting from BYU Genealogy Conference -- Part Three Wednesday

Back to the BYU Conference Center on Wednesday. This is a four day conference, most are two or at most, three days. I am always reminded that I blend right in to the attendees at genealogy conferences, which an under 40 year old would not do. Except for a few Missionaries and the presenters, the dress is decidedly casual. The Key-note speaker for the day is D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS. He is Vice President of Adminsitration for the Federation of Genealogical Societies and Director of Education and Programs at the New England History and Genealogical Society (NEHGS). He had some trouble getting to the Conference due to airplane cancellations, but seems ready to go today. He spoke about the Generations of Genealogy, a summary of the history and off into the future. With his enthusiasm and knowledge it is no wonder that he is a popular speaker and teacher at genealogy conferences.

Some of the topics covered by Mr. Taylor, included the impact of the Internet and social networking. I was pleased to see his mention of WeRelate.org.  I believe it was the first time the site had been mentioned, to my knowledge. He recognized that Bloggers were adding a new dimension to genealogy. Interestingly, he commented about the immediate reporting by Bloggers. Yes, I am sitting here listing to his speech and taking notes in this post. Next he mentioned my favorite website, Wiki.familysearch.org. I enjoyed hearing about the production of the Ashley Judd episode of Who Do You Think You Are and its impact on the NEHGS. He also spoke about the need to expose more of the population to genealogy. WDYTYA is more popular outside of the US than inside, which is not surprising since the program concept originated in England.

He raises a significant issue, attaching identifying source info to each image so that when he attaches the images the source information already is available for the genealogy program. (I need to write more about this). His example showed a file in the Apple Macintosh program Reunion. Very good! I like to see Apple coming into the main stream of genealogy. "Genealogy will change because the tools of genealogy will change with it." A good quote from D. Joshua Taylor and a very amazing presentation.

I think the most provocative issues presented by Taylor was the discussion of the new generation of young people and their interest in genealogy. It is apparent that the concept of research, source citations, and many other issues will be entirely lost on these new adherents to genealogy. I don't think most of us are prepared for the new genealogy. We haven't even gotten accustomed the the current version of genealogy.

Taylor's outline of the changing definition of genealogy: Interactive Results, Individuals and Families, Digitally Represented, Global Resources, Require Methodology, Undefined by Age, Gender, or Nationality. A very good presentation!

I managed to get involved talking to people and totally missed the next hour of classes, but that is what Conferences are all about. I did get to Fran Jensen's presentation on success stories using the Wiki. If you read this blog, you know I am a Wiki fanatic, so I had to go to all of the classes on the Wiki and/or note every reference to the Wiki. Jensen's presentation was entitled, "FamilySearch Wiki Case Studies." This is a very effective way to present the advantages of using the Wiki.FamilySearch.org website to initiate research. 

More later.

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