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February 10, 2011

RootTech Day One

Wow. It's a zoo! A good zoo. Approximately 3,000 people have registered for the RootsTech innovative technology-genealogy convention. The Exhibit Hall is packed and that's a good thing.

The Official RootsTech Bloggers began our day with a 7:15 am Media Breakfast, orientation and tour. Then we were escorted to our reserved seats for the keynote speaker. That was really helpful as I was in the second row and could hear and see, and boy it was worth it. The keynote speaker was Shane Robison, Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy and Technology Officer in Hewlett–Packard Company. He stressed that it's all about Information now in this emerging technology world. It was a very informative talk, and he gave several interesting statistics on the numbers of people in the world who are connected. I found it interesting that internet connected users almost equal cell phone users in the USA (due to the use of smartphones) but that is not the case in countries such as China were smartphones are not the norm.

Next we heard from Jay Verkler, CEO, FamilySearch International. I can describe his talk in a few words. Fascinating and real. By "real" I mean the points Mr. Verkler made had meaning to real life genealogists. Technology does combine with genealogy and both camps can benefit and learn from each other.  He demonstrated how quickly technology is evolving with a simple illustration using Google. A search for "NGS" brought up the website as the third choice. When he searched for the same term the next day, the website was in first place. Why? Because Google learned what he wanted from his first try!

I haven't had a chance to explore the Exhibit Hall or get to any Workshops yet. There was no opportunity to blog or tweet during the speakers as there is no WiFi connection except in specific locations in the Salt Palace Convention Center. Back in Bloggers World my personal woes continued as my MacBookAir did not have the right connection for the Ethernet Cables provided. However FamilySearch staff solved the problem very quickly by finding a participant who had a personal WiFi device. She was very kind and allowed me to use her password to connect to the Internet. I love the co-operation and sharing at this event!

I'm going to try to blog and tweet as much as possible (follow me on Twitter at @LorineMS) but I am not sure I can reconnect via WiFi once I end my current session. I may have to go sit in the CyberCafe, have a coffee and tweet from there. It's a tough life but someone's gotta do it.....


Kevin said...

Really looking forward to your updates throughout the conference. Too bad you don't have 3G. :)

The Grandmother Here said...

"Cooperation and sharing" are universal traits of genealogists. Have fun!!

Marian said...

Thanks for the live updates!