I am excited and exhausted after my first day at RootsTech. I arrived in SLC after midnight and finally was in my hotel room by 1:30 a.m. (after first going to the wrong hotel). I woke up at 6:15 to eat and get ready for today’s sessions.
The opening session consisted of really big-picture stuff, featuring talks by HP exec Shane Robison and Jay Virkler of FamilySearch. I tend to get more out of the breakout sessions myself, but it was impressive to see all of the nearly 3,000 conference attendees assembled in one room.
Afterwards, I caught up with Thomas MacEntee and Amy Coffin in the Bloggers area of the exhibit hall. I got to meet Joan Miller and several other bloggers, one of my fave parts of these events.
The first breakout session I attended was 50 Most Popular Genealogy Websites. I have attended similar presentations at the Special Libraries Association conference, but this one was presented a bit differently. It was a very scientific look at the truly most popular sites by page rank. I did learn of a few sites new to me. The full list is available at ProGenealogists.com.
I really enjoyed Tami Glatz‘s session on Cool Tools to Enhance Your Online Research. She spent a lot of time drilling down into services like Evernote (which I need to use more), Dropbox, and the like. Of course, she demo’ed her genealogy toolbar, which I plan to download from relativelycurious.blogspot.com.
AC Ivory did a really excellent session on Mobile Apps for Genealogy, including live demos from his iPad. I’m considering his recommendation of Research Logger.
My favorite session was led by Thomas MacEntee and featured a panel discussion about self-publishing. Lisa Alzo (Three SlovakWomen), Dan Lynch (Google Your FamilyTree) and Lorine McGinnis Schulze (Olive Tree Genealogy) all shared their experiences. I learned a lot and am now brainstorming ideas for how-to booklets (10 pages or less) for the Kindle platform, which Thomas said is a moneymaker sought by Kindle. The session include lots of discussion about formats, pricing, marketing and more.
Highlights of the day included lunch with Amy Coffin at Blue Lemon, meeting Kerry Scott of Clue Wagon, and following and contributing to the RootsTech Twitter stream. It’s been fun chatting with bloggers who are participating remotely thanks to several sessions being streamed live.
I’ll be retiring early. Tomorrow is another jam-packed day including a late-night event at the Family History Library – my first trek there.