Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Future Genealogy Conferences

Last week, I had the chance to watch the activities unfold at Roots Tech, even from afar, I can only hope that a precedent has been set for future conferences. Live video streams, online blasts, and blogging centers seem to immediately attract the attention of everyone, and I was delighted to see new blog posts about them.  From  sessions on technology, to the future of incorporating genealogy and technology, I was excited to see the energy coming forth from bloggers. Several have posted a number updates on their own personal blogs about what they saw and what they experienced.

In addition to the activities in Utah, the genealogy community responded quite well. There was a lot of activity unfolding on Twitter, and Facebook and individual blogs also reflected the enthusiasm of what went on. And those of us unable to travel, we were responding as well.  We watched the live feeds with eagerness.

On Friday evening many of us were involved in our own viewing parties across the country, as we watched the latest episode of Who Do You Think You Are, NBC genealogy based program where celebrities learn about their personal history. But we also joined the larger community online to talk about the program as well.

I am pleased that a portion of the African American community responded, to online communication as well,  for many of us gathered in the WDYTYA chat room in the AfriGeneas Chat center, and shared our reaction to the first two episodes.  This is the second year in which we have created a special chat center and watched as a group.  (And how exciting that DearMYRTLE one of the genealogy online stars joined us as well!)

AfriGeneas WDYTYA Chat Room during Program

And---for those of us who just could not get enough----when the AfriGeneas chat ended as the program ended, quite a few of us bumped into each other again, when we joined Thomas Macentee on Blog Talk Radio for a live chat and while he aired his online radio program.  And he came to us live from RootsTech!  

BlogTalkRadio Page for GeneaBloggers Program

The point is----there is a lot going on, technology is making interaction much easier, and in the future, conferences can truly learn from the responses that fellow genealogists have made to the events of the past week.  Social media was used a lot during RootsTech, Twitter, and Facebook, became wonderful tools to hear new ideas from colleagues.

Opportunities to interact were enhanced when Myrt was sharing remarks she was reading on Twitter while she sat on a panel. Effortlessly, she responded to questions, tweeted back to us, and the audience probably never noticed that she was speaking to her Twitter followers as much as she was speaking to them.

The point is-----as we grow technologically, thankfully the genealogy community is expressing itself in many layers and taking advantage of much of the technology. My hope is however, that others will hear the call. Fellow blogger and Twitter user Marian Pierre Louis addressed this so eloquently in her recent blog post on Roots and Rambles. 

I too must ask, will there be a blogging corner at the next AAHGS conference in Little Rock?  How about Black Genealogy Summit in Ft. Wayne? And I can only hope to see more African Ancestored researchers join the blogging community, there is lots of room. The technology is there, and like others who are coming down from the Roots Tech high, I am hoping that others can see the possibilities.

We are limited only by our imagination.


Jack Robinson said...

Great article. I hope other genealogist catch on to the importance, and ease, of using social media as a vital tool.

Keep up the great work. You are playing a vital role in the future process of genealogy.

Best wishes,


Amy Coffin, MLIS said...

Angela, you are so right about there being plenty of room in the blogging community. There is no such thing as too many family history blogs. Each blog, each voice is unique and a real treasure. I hope your blog readers will consider joining us and we share a common goal and a love of family history.

Angela Y. Walton-Raji said...

I do hope that more will join this dynamic community of people sharing their family stories! How right you are, each one is unique and indeed such a treasure!

Angela Y. Walton-Raji said...

Thanks Jack! I also appreciate the hard work that you have put into historic preservation. My hope is that others will also join you in that effort, for you are opening doors to the past by your tenacious work!