Genealogical Society Webmasters - Rootstech 2012 Unconference

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Genealogical Society WebMasters

This page has been created to support the discussion about a proposed RootsTech 2012 Un-Conference session.

The focus of this session will be on facilitating an on-going environment that can be utilized by those responsible for creating and maintaining the on-line presence (web sites, Blogs, Wiki's, Twitter accounts, Facebook accounts, etc) for local genealogical societies. The desired outcome is to define a path forward and to begin a virtual discussion.


Societies that want to establish an on-line presence are faced with a dilema... where to find someone with the necessary skill set to create their web site. If such a person can be found, societies are completely dependant on architecture and design decisions made for them by their webmaster with little or no ability to judge the soundness of the choices.Only later does it become obvious that maintaining a web site is more of a challenge than creating one.

There should be a way that societies can work together to share information and resources:

  • While there are many ways to go about creating web sites, there is a  good chance that many of us have made the same choice and could benefit from sharing and comparing.
  • Those who are considering creating (or upgrading) a web site would surely appreciate hearing the strengths and weaknesses of the various options from others who are actually using it.
  • We all could benefit from sharing information about integraing other tools such as Blogs, Wiki's, Facebook and Twitter.... What works? What doesn't?

An additional goal should be to encourage RootsTech, FGS and NGS to consider this topic when scheduling future conferences.

  • To RootsTech credit, their solicitation for presentations is relateively close to the actual conference (which makes it easier to propose topics on current topics), and they allow ad-hoc gatherings through their un-conferences.
  • NGS and FGS make it much harder to propose and conduct timely sessions by requiring proposals so far in advance. While this approach may make sense for traditional Genealogical topics it does not work well for the fast pace of technilogical change.