Thursday, February 10, 2011

I Was in the Front Row at RootsTech

So, it's all about the cloud. I kinda figured that was the way forward but after viewing this morning's online RootsTech live video I'm convinced. You saw it, didn't you? What? You mean you didn't know? Well, here's the scoop. There are select presentations from this week's RootTech conference being shown live via the RootsTech web site. All you have to do is show up at and click on the "click for more" button in the "FREE Live presentations Online" section and, voilĂ ! You too can have a front row seat for selected conference sessions. See the web site for the times of all of the online sessions available.

The first presentation this morning was given by Shane Robison, the Executive Vice President, Chief Strategy Officer, Chief Technology Officer at Hewlett Packard. That whole title can easily be reduced to "visionary". He talked about how there's been a shift in IT (information technology) from an emphasis on technology to an emphasis on information and just what that entails. It was fascinating stuff. Truly.

Following Shane, was a presentation by Jay Verkler, CEO of FamilySearch International. Jay talked about the interface between that shift to an emphasis on information and the field of genealogy. His presentation was a bit more abstract but no less interesting. He ended with information for those physically in attendance, including "unconferencing", where people can sign up to meet and discuss any great ideas they might have regarding the conference or technology in general.

If I was there, I'd sign up to discuss having ALL the conference sessions live online! There are lots of us who are interested in what RootsTech has to offer but can't make the trip to SLC. Here's my suggestion: Next year offer all the conference's sessions online (at a reduced price of course ;-) and allow everyone everywhere to FB, Tweet, and blog about the conference sessions in real time. It's just what I've been waiting for, an entire genealogy conference online in real time! Now is that a good idea or what? Yes, I know. I'm a visionary too ;-)

Best little nugget of info I took away from this morning's presentations... the huge online database that is building is not being hosted on their own servers but via That's cloud computing for ya! I know, is that kewl or what?

Disclaimer: I was not compensated by RootsTech for writing this article. Not by Hewlett Packard either. It was not written at their request or suggestion either. It was all my own idea. :-)