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

Thursday, October 21, 2010

FamilySearch Bloggers Day has arrived

This post will be one of series during the day in Salt Lake City, Utah, stay tuned.

Early morning observations:
We started the day before sunrise while Salt Lake City was cold and dark. Arizona is one of the few U.S. places that does not have Daylight Savings Time, so we never get used to having the time difference when we travel. The hotel where I stayed is right next door to the Family History Center, so there are a lot of genealogy looking folks going up and down in the elevators. Salt Lake is a town that you can actually walk around in and see something, unlike Phoenix. The Joseph Smith Memorial Building, where the FamilySearch presentations are taking place, is only one long block from the hotel. The morning starts off with breakfast and an orientation.

I am usually loaded with electronic devices and today is no exception. I made sure all of them were well charged. I have found free (or as they say, complementary) WiFi networks all over town, including the Family History Library, so I have had no trouble connecting to the Internet. However, I do have a Verizon WiFi card with me, just in case.

Salt Lake has a fair amount of history for a town only 150 or so years old. But despite that history, the whole downtown area is under construction. There is a whole row of new buildings on South Temple just south of Temple Square and we noticed about five large walking cranes where new buildings are going up. Compared to Phoenix, Salt Lake is a cultural gathering place. There are always conventions, concerts and cultural events, with something going on all the time.

Starting the presentation:
It is very interesting to meet the Bloggers, some for the first time. Shipley Munson gave a broad explanation of the staff and functions of the FamilySearch organization. We heard from Jay Verkler, President of FamilySearch. A little bit of history and a lot of explanation about the role of FamilySearch in the greater genealogical community. One of his main themes is an enduring legacy that builds upon previous efforts.

There will be a number of short presentations by marketing, product engineering, information services, genealogical coordination and patron services.

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