Friday, 19 December 2014

RootsTech and FGS 2015

After my unsuccessful attempt to get to RootsTech 2014 earlier this year, I am pleased to announce that I fully intend to be at RootsTech 2015 (Feb 12th -14th 2015) and I have been invited to be an Official Ambassador.  For those of you who don't know I had to cancel at the last minute in 2014 due to illness.  The new role of Official Ambassador reflects the wider variety of media used by such "Ambassadors", who don't just blog, but are active in promoting RootsTech across a range of media, including Blogging.

This year, RootsTech is combining with the FGS Conference so I shall expect an even wider selection of talks than in previous years.  For anyone who is interested - and maybe still considering attending in person - the current list of RotsTech speaker sessions can be found here, with exact dates and times still to come.  The FGS speaker schedule can be found here.

However, if you are unable to attend Salt Lake City in person, the main Keynote sessions - as well as some of the smaller ones - will be able for online viewing as in previous years.

There are five Keynote speakers already announced (more announcements can be expected soon):

  • Laura W Bush, previous US First Lady, and her daughter, author, Jenna Hager
  • A J Jacobs, author and journalist who is currently helping to build a family tree that connects the whole world
  • Donny Osmond, singer, actor and TV host
  • Nathan Furr, PhD, Assistant professor of innovation and entrepreneurship at Brigham Young University and a visiting scholar at INSEAD and ESSEC

So watch this space for more reports, both before and during the event itself!

Rosemary Morgan London Roots Research

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Not now going to RootsTech 2014

Well there I was, on Monday 3rd February, all packed up, taxi booked, checked in to my flight and ready to leave for Salt Lake City!  I had got over the bad cold I'd had earlier in January - or so I thought!  But during Monday, I developed a nasty hacking cough, and was starting to feel slightly unwell.  By 3 am on Tuesday 4th I was feeling so ill I knew I couldn't get on an aeroplane and would have to cancel.  I was gutted!

Luckily there are ways of enjoying the RootsTech experience remotely.  I did this in 2012, and it was this experience which encouraged me to attend in person in 2013.  This year, sadly, I have had to downgrade to the "remote blogger" status.  I won't be doing any live interviews (obviously), but if I'm well enough I shall endeavour to summarise each day's events, based on the live stream plus info from Twitter posts.

There are other remote "official RootsTech bloggers", including Thomas MacEntee (geneabloggers) and Jill Ball (geniaus), who are both on the Unlock the Past 4th Genealogy cruise in southern Australia, along with fellow UK genealogist Chris Paton (BritishGENES).  However, I suspect that these guys have their work cut out following what's going on "down under" and Tom is giving loads of talks!

So for the rest of us, what's in store?  The live stream sessions start at 8.30 am US MST (3.30 pm UK GMT) and continue until 6 pm US MST (1 am UK GMT).  If you can't watch all the sessions live, don't worry they will be uploaded for later viewing shortly after the end of each session.  You can see the full list of the live stream classes here.  But remember, the Keynote Sessions will also be live streamed (8.30 am MST / 3.30 pm GMT).

Where will the live stream posts be?  Go here where you will already see the video stream link:

Rosemary Morgan
London Roots Research

Monday, 3 February 2014

Preparing for RootsTech 2014

As I pack my bags for my flight to Salt Lake City tomorrow, I thought I'd write a short post about what's in store for my readers over the next week or so.  The weather currently looks bright, with blue skies, and I'm starting to get excited.

Image courtesy of webcam, Salt Lake City
As an Official Blogger I hope to be blogging regularly about some of the main events, especially the Keynote Speaker events.  But for those of you not coming to RootsTech (the large majority I imagine), you can watch many of the RootsTech sessions online, from the comfort of your own armchair.  You will find the list of classes being broadcast live on the Internet, on the Deseret News blog.  The Keynote sessions (from 8.30 am to 10 am) will also be broadcast "live".

For UK viewers, the time difference actually works slightly in our favour, as the Conference runs from 8.30 am to 6.00 pm (MST or US Mountain Standard Time) which is 7 hours back from the UK (Greenwich Mean Time).  So the sessions will be running "live" in the UK from 3.30 pm through to 1.00 am - not so good if you are a morning person I suppose! However, these broadcast sessions will also be available for viewing later, hopefully shortly after the end of each session.  So you won't need to stay up late into the night (unless you're a genealogy addict of course!).

For my readers who are attending the Unlock the Past 4th Genealogy Cruise in Southern Australia, the time difference will make it a bit more difficult.  Sydney, Melbourne and Hobart are all 11 hours ahead of the UK, and therefore 18 hours ahead of Salt Lake City (Adelaide is half an hour different to these cities - how weird is that?).  Anyway, for those in Southern Australia, the RootsTech "live" sessions will be running from approximately 2.30 am to 12 pm, on the following day (i.e. from Friday 7th to Sunday 9th). This time difference will definitely suit the "early birds" better!  But as I said before, these sessions will also be available to view later.

For anyone who is still confused (or located elsewhere in the world), there is a handy time difference calculator here. (I've put Salt Lake City time in London here as the example).

The link to "live" broadcast sessions (as well as the "catch up" recordings) should be available from a direct link from the RootsTech website, although the link isn't there yet, as I write this post (Monday).

As well as the main RootsTech conference on Thursday 5th, Friday 6th and Saturday 7th February, with the three Keynote Speaker sessions, I shall also be attending the Innovator Summit on Wednesday 4th February, as well as several social events, including both the FindMyPast and the Ancestry catered lunches and Friday Night at the Library, where the Family History Library stays open late until 10 pm, especially for Conference attendees.  So do watch this space for further blog posts.

The only thing that might prevent me from posting regular blog posts is my health.  I am currently suffering from a bit of a cough virus, and I'm really hoping that the long flight tomorrow doesn't aggravate this and knock me out completely!!  So, as well as all my "techie" items (laptop, iPhone, iPad, Kindle and regular camera), I am now also packing a First Aid kit of my favourite cough / cold medicines.  I know I'm not going trekking into the jungle but I do like to have my own familiar brands of cold / cough remedies with me.

There are nowhere near as many UK genealogists venturing over to RootsTech this year, compared to last year (partly, I suspect, due to the change of date, back from late March to early February).  But I do know of one or two.  I have already made plans to meet up with fellow London-based family historian Amelia Bennett, and I hope to be interviewing her during the Conference for my blog. 

I will of course be meeting up with the other Official Bloggers, or at least those attending in person (as some will be blogging remotely). I would also love to meet up with any other Genealogists, family historians or genealogy bloggers who would like to meet me in person, whether they know me through Twitter or elsewhere.  So if you're there at RootsTech and want to say "hi", do please come along to the Media Hub in the exhibition hall - you can't really miss it.  This year it will be located close to the middle of the exhibition hall (see map), next to the Demo Theatre and the BackBlaze stand.

RootsTech Exhibition Hall, 2013
Finally, I hope to be reporting on some of the exhibitors in the Exhibition Hall this year, which I didn't do much last year. So watch this space!

Do come back and visit here regularly over the next week - I will do my best to update you on what I'm up to and what is going on in the RootsTech world.

Rosemary Morgan
London Roots Research

Disclosure:  As an Official blogger for RootsTech 2014, I have received a complimentary registration for the conference.  This does not influence my views or opinions of the conference or the sponsors in any way.