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January 17, 2011

Interview with RootsTech Presenter AC Ivory

Today's interview is with A. C. Ivory who is one of the RootsTech presenters. A.C.'s Session is Mobile Apps for Genealogy and it's being given on Thursday Feb. 11

I asked A.C. to introduce himself but he modestly did not tell us about his wonderful blog Find My Ancestor
My name is A.C. Ivory. I am 23 years old and live in Taylorsville, Utah. I have been doing genealogy for a little over four years. I gained my interest in genealogy right before I left on an LDS mission to Calgary, Canada. While serving my mission I helped many people who were just starting their genealogy research. The past two years I have strengthened my education in genealogical research through blogs, podcasts, social networking, college classes, email lists and personal experience. I specialize in using technology, social networking and Mac Genealogy to help others learn more about tracing their roots.

I have always been intrigued with technology and have enjoyed learning how to use it for various tasks at home and school. When I was 14 I bought my first Palm Pilot because I thought the concept of having a mobile computer that I could install applications on was so impressive. Back in the day, those simple Palm Pilots were extremely advanced even though their functionality was quite limited. Over the years I have enjoyed seeing the rapid advance in mobile devices.

When I first got an iPod Touch I was amazed at the amount of web apps you could used to play games, surf the Internet, check your banking account and more. Then, Apple introduced the App Store and an explosion of apps emerged. Within months there were thousands of apps you could download and do almost anything imaginable on your little device. Soon, I found there genealogy apps creeping into the App Store as well as other apps that weren't specifically meant for genealogy but I found ways to incorporate them into my genealogical research.
I asked A.C. to tell us a bit more about his Session (without giving away the entire Session of course!) It's one of the Sessions I was able to sign up for, so I am naturally curious about what is going to be covered.
My session, Mobile Apps for Genealogy, will include a number of different apps available on the iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad and Android devices. Some of these apps are genealogy specific, allowing you to create family trees, access online databases, learn how to do genealogy and share with with your friends and family. Other apps that I will be demonstrating aren't used by most people for genealogy purposes, but I will show how they can be used to help you stay organized, network with other genealogists and find new and innovative ways to become a technological genealogist.
This sounds great and I wondered what prior knowledge someone planning to attend would need
Anyone can attend Mobile Apps for Genealogy without feeling overwhelmed or the need to have a ton of technology skills. For anyone who has ever used an iPhone or like device, you know how easy and user friendly they are. All of the apps I will be demonstrating are just as easy to use as the Apple or Android operating systems. I hope that those who are thinking about getting one of these devices will attend to learn how easy and fun going your genealogy on a mobile device can be.

I also wondered what A.C. hope an attendee would take with them after leaving his session.

I hope that those who attend my session will leave with more understanding and insight on how they can use their mobile device for more than just making a phone call or texting. I want people, even the older generations, to feel like they can use these mobile devices and not be afraid to use them. With the development of the thousands of apps we will continue to see more being developed specifically for genealogy as well as those that we can incorporate into our research.

Of course I couldn't end the interview without asking my favourite question. I'm always excited to see the answers - What exciting developments do you foresee in the future for mobile apps?

I honestly believe that the invention of the iPhone, iPad and Android devices will help genealogy go where no one could have ever imagined - not even 15 years go. My grandpa has even told me that he could never have even dreamed of using something like my iPad back in the early 1980's when he was heavily involved with genealogy.

I think that as smart phones and mobile tablets grow in popularity there will be more software developers who are wanting their genealogy database programs available to their users on their mobile devices.

Genealogists who travel to archives and libraries are starting to take their mobile devices with them rather than their laptops because of the size and weight. It is much easier for someone to slip their iPad into their bag and take it with them then trying to gather all the cords, mice, batteries, etc. that you do with your computer. The more database apps available on their mobile device the more people you will see using them while doing their research.

One of my favorite features about using my iPad is the ability to have genealogy books, software, pictures, movies and many other files all on one device. I don't need to worry about carrying heavy books along with my laptop everywhere I go. I can easily switch from reading Evidence Explained to adding a source citation with a few swipes of my finger.

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