RootsTech – Day 2

It felt like a good five hours of sleep, but the lack of sleep caught up to me in the afternoon. I woke up two hours before my alarm, did my morning catching up online, and even wrote another blog post.

I almost made it downtown in time for the keynote speech. I missed the beginning, but Curt Witcher, of the Allen County Public Library,¬† had plenty more to say, going overtime, with The Changing Face of Genealogy. He was great to listen to, but one of the funniest lines for me was when he recalled a conversation where he claimed that his library “had just become the largest genealogical library in the Milky Way galaxy… [with] our pretty decent collection of stuff in Fort Wayne. And then we have our remote storage facility in Salt Lake.” Being in the room, I paid more attention to what he said than the previous day from home.

I stopped in to a session about API Development, but it turned out to be FamilySearch API specifically, which was a new title from the syllabus. I couldn’t get into it that early in the morning, so I chatted with someone at random in the hallway and headed back to Blogger’s World, where I got to speak to a couple people before I headed out for the next session.

Session 1 – One Step

All those years going to IAJGS conferences and I never heard Steve Morse speak. I finally changed that today when I went to his session on Creating One-Step Search Tools. He was finished in 20 minutes. “That’s all. We’re finished. That’s all you have do to… Really, I’ve told you everything you need to know about how to do this.” Then he continued explaining about more options and customization. I had never tried his one-step creation tool, knowing I could program such a thing myself and didn’t need it, but I may just use it someday. At the very least, I’ll take a look at his search algorithms and learn something from them, I’m sure.

Wandering back to Blogger’s World, I was hungry an hour earlier and eventually had lunch with Sue Maxwell (@geneasue) and Renee Zamora (@rzamor1). Then I headed off for my volunteer time.

Session 2 – Stories Online

Tami Glatz’s Finding Your Family’s Stories Online was next. She had been recently relocated to the big room where the keynote was given, and she had quite a crowd in there. I’m not even sure I read the description, and just before going, I predicted it would be about online newspapers. To my surprise and delight, it was about finding online books, journals, libraries, other things, and newspapers weren’t mentioned until at least about half way through.

Session 3 – Wikitext

Another FamilySearch themed session that wasn’t named as one, Don Stringham presented Building Programming Libraries Using Wikitext. About a year ago, I was beginning to put all my genealogy data into a wiki, and I eventually gave up because the old wiki and newer version (of TikiWiki) weren’t so compatible. The wikitext Don spoke of was specifically for MediaWiki, the same wiki used by Wikipedia, and specifically the FamilySearch wiki. I found it unexpectedly interesting, considering I was interested in their wiki when I first learned about it, though I haven’t been back to it in quite a while.

Evening Entertainment

Returning to the vendor room and Blogger’s World, I spoke with Pat Richley (@DearMyrtle), Joan Miller (@luxegen), Lorine McGinnis Schulze (@LorineMS), and Lisa Alzo (@lisaalzo). I know I’m probably leaving out at least one person here. I’m not good at remembering people in bulk.

Dinner with Schelly Dardashti and Christine Mueller, then to the FHL for the party.

Watching Who Do You Think You Are? with all those genealogists was a blast. There were a few great moments where Tim McGraw asked a specific question, and so conveniently, the genealogist/historian said¬† “I have this other record…” and everyone laughed.

A bit of research, then a much later dinner with Daniel Horowitz and Ran Peled, and back at home and I’m blogging again.

I was also happy to see three UJGS members so far. One walked by me quickly on day one, and I saw two in the expo hall on day two; one was just visiting the expo hall, which was free to the public.

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