Monday, September 12, 2011

Genealogy Collaboration - Social Genealogy Conferences

Today I was pleasantly surprised to see that the Slogan for the 2012 Rootstech event will be–
Innovation through Collaboration
Bringing developers and users of technology together in one unique event.

Having just returned from a very successful FGS conference in Springfield Illinois where the slogan could have been Participation through Collaboration. Thomas MacEntee and his team at FGS worked tirelessly and their work certainly resulted in more participation than even they expected. On Thursday afternoon I went back to the hotel room to pick up some food and papers and turned on the news where I was immediately watching the top story on the local news Thomas being interviewed. The use of social and traditional media certainly played out well and as a result FGS had a terrific event. FGS was the top story on TV as well as the cover story on the local paper front page. Not only were they in the news but they were also tweeting, checking in, posting on G+ and Facebook and indeed had the collaboration of their official bloggers as well as many more of us who were doing our best to spread the word of the conference.

Another way I saw collaboration was in the exhibit hall where I met more new people than at many previous events. To me it seemed that the exhibitors went out of their way to introduce themselves, demo products, ask and answer questions etc. The setup of the hall was very nice and seemed to lend itself to more interactions as well as it seemed to me longer interactions where I learned more about each company/society and their offerings.

Although I rarely got a cell signal while in the basement attending classes; social media was still discussed in every session I attended. I was surprised that when polled most attendees still did not have Google Plus account – yet most of the exhibitors upstairs did have accounts. It seems the world of genealogy blogging, social, and the business side in general are more technical and up to speed with modern society than are the genealogy students, participants or hobbyists. I have a circle of over 300 genealogists on Google Plus and to think of so few hands being raised in response to – Who has a Google Plus account – really makes me think there are yet some really big things to come as we continue to connect with the genealogy hobbyists around the world.

Google Plus Invite here if you need one.

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