Wednesday, February 05, 2014

RootsTech 2014 Innovator Summit - Big News for LDS Members Too!

Today was the first day of the RootsTech 2014 conference. It started off with the Innovator Summit. Last year it was called Developer's Day. Let me just say if the Innovator Summit is any indication of what the next few days will bring then we better hold onto our seats. We are in store for a fantastic ride.

The first thing you notice is the new surroundings. This area of the Salt Palace is a HUGE improvement. There are escalators to get a lot of people moving fast.  I did find one elevator not far from the escalators for those needing them. It's one of the those things hiding in plain site. It has black walls around it. I wish I knew how to describe where it was so you could find it. Just look past the east side escalators for that black wall.

If you see me with my pinned covered RootsMagic bag please stop me and say hello.

There were a lot of volunteers helping to check us in. There are computers to help with that process. You will need to sign in and select your registration.  I had two, one as an Official Blogger and another as a vendor with RootsMagic. You will need a photo ID to get checked-in.

Everyone gets a RootsTech bag. The bag is like a small laptop case. I don't think any laptop could fit in it but an iPad would have plenty of room. I had mine own bag so I found the new bag a really convenient place to store my coat and carry it around. The bag also looks familiar to me, I think I have another like it from a previous RootsTech. INSIDE the bag are several fliers that tell you how to enter contests to win a iPad Mini or Air. You really need to check those fliers out.

The vendor hall was taking shape. When I first arrived there was only a table, black cloth and some chairs for our vendor spot. By the end of the day you could feel the place coming alive. The Expo Hall is HUGE so plan on free time in your schedule to walk the isles.

Ben Bennet from FamilySearch was the host for the Innovator Summit. He did a good job.

The keynote was given by Chris Dancy. He is the first person I have ever seen wearing Google Glasses. I even had him take a picture of my cool pedigree chart name tag bag that I bought from ISGS with them. How fun is that. He is the most digitally connected person out there. He has like 14 systems monitoring his body all the time.

I chuckled when he said he feed all his data into a computer to analyse himself. Then he could ask the computer questions about himself. He found out that he was happy. I loved when he he told about setting his lighting conditions in his home to help prepare himself for meetings. His dog also wears a monitor. Sometimes he will have the system make the lights go on and off to get his dog to bark and run around so it will get exercise.  Below is a picture of some of the devices he has monitoring his life.

Chris gave a very interesting talk about our digital afterlife and that we need to think about preserving it. He showcased how people are still interacting with deceased individual's social network sites. At one point he mentioned people taking funeral selfies. When I talked to him later he wasn't aware of the trend when photography was new of people propping dead people up and taking pictures of them. 

I am very lacking in photography skills. I took tons but only a few came out. This one picture is Cyndi Tetro. I worked at FamilyLink while she was a consultant there. She is now a consultant for Disney. I will write another blog article after RootsTech on a really cool website and app she helped develop to preserve your social media data. Someday they hope it will work with the Family Tree.
I attended the FamilySearch Industry Leaders Town Hall. Great questions and feedback. It deserves it own blog post. Can I just say FamilySearch has an amazing way of solving difficult problems.  Their answer is partnerships and collaborations. The Town Hall format was our opportunity to ask very direct questions of FamilySearch and they passed with flying colors.
My day ended by attending the RootsTech Official Blogger and Media Dinner. Yup this needs a whole blog post too. They did announce big news for the LDS Community. LDS members will be given free access, from home to, MyHeritage, and FindMyPast. This is because LDS members are financially supporting FamilySearch's mission. There will be more commercial websites access announced later.  FamilySearch wanted us to stress that access will not happen over night. It will take several months to get everything in place. Those that are not LDS will have access to the commercial websites at their local family history centers. I was aware of this announcement coming in advance, but couldn't say anything. I knew it would be made official at RootsTech, but honestly I was surprised to be told this at the dinner tonight. I suspect we will hear more in the keynote in the following days.

I apologized that this is rushed. I really need time to digest all that I learned and experienced today. Attending the Innovator Summit was a fantastic opportunity to see things from a different point of view. That is the partnerships, collaborations, and how FamilySearch is creating win-win situations with so many companies, industries and small developers.  We are living in a great period of change and I like what I see ahead.

If you happen to see "Captain Jack" while wondering the RootsTech halls make sure you stop and get your picture taken with him. He knows about some buried treasure getting ready to see the light of day.

See ya tomorrow, for tomorrow is a RootsTech day!

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

Great Conference!!! Love all the information :)