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

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Welcome to RootsTech Technology for Genealogists

The opening starts early for Bloggers. We had a breakfast with FamilySearch and then an orientation from Jim Erickson of FamilySearch on the impact of technology on genealogy. The convergence of technology where a multitude of devices from cameras to scanners have been imploded into cell phones. These will be rough notes as we go along.

Comments made on the evolution of the Internet from a text based system, through E-mail, file transfer, voice, images, interactivity, animation, video and finally as a platform with applications directly online. Another example is the convergence of TV and the Internet. On a personal note, these developments bring up issues like whether to keep a telephone land line or even whether to have a TV at all since both voice and video are now available on the Internet. This also gives us new tools for genealogy:

File sharing
Records access
Queries and assistance
Storing conclusions
and may more

All of this convergence still has risks, such as obsolescence, lost investments in time and file format, lack of focus and clarity in goals and solutions.

FamilySearch convergence began in 2010 with the updated website as a single search experience including the Wiki, and Historical Records. Closer relationship with companies, societies, archives. There are over 2 billion names now online. 203 million names indexed and almost 50,000 wiki articles. More things will be added to the website in 2011. Expanding access to, online microfilm ordering, RootsTech, FamilyTech new set of articles for helps with individual technology issues.

Jim Erickson ends with a list of FamilySearch Challenges. We will hear more about this during the conference.

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