Sure, I knew there would be plenty of classes and plenty of traditional learning. However, I didn’t anticipate the connections I would make with a cross-section of the 4000 attendees. Little did I know what I would learn from them.
|Nancy Shively from Gathering Stories|
|Thomas and Dear Myrtle|
I learned that bloggers are some of the hardest working people I know. Some of them rarely left the media hub, and some rarely left the interview cubicles. No matter how exhausted Thomas must have been he always had a welcoming hello for everyone. I was very proud to be part of this community.
|David Burggraff, forever known as Sven!|
|Crowds in the Exhibitors Halls|
I want to tell you about the attendees that I met. They were the real story for the week. Who were they? Why were they at Rootstech? Was Rootstech meeting their expectations? What was their story?
Kathy from Colorado was enjoying her Rootstech experience, she is a couple of courses away from becoming a professional genealogist. She has already taken on her first client and was excited about the possibilities ahead. We talked about blogging and social media and the importance it would play in establishing her business.
Elaine attends many conferences and wondered how much more technology she actually needs, particularly since she hasn’t opened up the software program she bought at the last conference she attended in 2011.
|Getting ready to start a hands on workshop!|
I sat beside blogger Michelle Roos Goodrum, The Turning of Generations in a hands on workshop. Michelle and I have now been convinced we need to go buy Word 2010 for all its tricks and toys.
Dolores is very new to technology, she just bought her first cell-phone and her friend from Provo, Utah had just come from a class on blogging. She was now convinced to start a family history blog of her own. Both these young ladies were 80 years old.
|Tech Tips with Family Search|
Margaret told me she was here more for the genealogy and less for the technology and Janice was very well versed in genealogy but her technology skills needed some improvement. She was a volunteer at a Family History Centre and was looking to improve her skills to help her patrons. She was curious about my smartphone and its note-taking capabilities. I showed her the Rootstech App, she was totally unaware of it and its uses.
Margaret told me she didn’t even know what ‘the cloud’ was before this conference. Many people I talked to did say that Josh Coates’ keynote address – Exabyte Social Clouds and other Monstrosities went right over their head. Regardless, they found him extremely entertaining, even if they didn’t get his point.
From my discussions with attendee, bloggers and the powers that be, I learned a very important lesson. Just like our varying levels of genealogy experience we also must consider our varying levels of technology experience.
|The Ancestry.com Guys!|