Other genealogists, librarians, and archivists fill the blog waves with a steady stream of conscious thought provoking opinions, alerts, and ideas. Why not the FamilySearch Chief Genealogical Officer? In that spirit I’m excited to launch the inaugural issue of the monthly CGO Blog on FamilySearch.
Our community already has a great cast of bloggers who update you on FamilySearch products and services. Will the CGO blog steal their thunder? No! What you’ll find here is a view of the shifting sands of the genealogical landscape as seen by the CGO; I’ll share my observations of what I think is good and not-so-good for the world of genealogy.
So here we go—this month I’d like to discuss events! Two recent conferences are worth mentioning: RootsTech and Who Do You Think You Are?
First, my views on RootsTech 2012. The second year of this spectacular event built on the success of its kickoff. With a full cast of genealogy and technology experts, how could you go wrong? Between year one and year two, I heard many people say that they may have missed the first one, but certainly weren’t going to miss the second. They obviously made good on this promise; numbers were significantly higher this year.
Why RootsTech? It fills a significant need in the genealogy community to bring together the genealogists most interested in having technology solve tough genealogical problems, with the technologists most passionate about creating the solutions. If the experiment works, we should see an acceleration of applications.
Has RootsTech found the perfect balance to get the two communities to cross pollinate? Not yet—but we are making progress. We need more sessions that post difficult problems and invite the two communities to interact. Mechanisms are needed to moderate, share, and capture the ideas that flow; then to post the ideas in an environment that will add the next level, crowd sourcing; and finally to grow the ideas and suggested solutions into viable products. Maybe next year…
February also found me in London attending the Who Do You Think You Are? Live conference. This one has a very different model than its U.S. counterparts. I think it does a great job of emulating the car and gun show formats in the U.S. Attendees get a great dose of genealogical curiosity satisfied in a few hours’ time. Will it survive with this being the last season in the U.K. for the show to air? I hope so, but it will have to fill the advertising void.
I’m off to Boston this week for the New England Historic Genealogical Society Dinner and then onto Washington, D.C. for the Advisory Council on Electronic Records Archives. So, let me know what’s on your mind about the industry…because after all, genealogy matters.
David Rencher, Chief Genealogical Officer