OGS Conference – Register Now and Save

OGS 2011 conference logoThe Ohio Genealogical Society’s 2011 annual conference is fast approaching: 31 March – 2 April in Columbus. Also fast approaching is the deadline to get the early discount — Monday, 14 March.

Registration costs if you send in your registration now (postmarked on or before 14 March):

Full registration (OGS members): $115

Full registration (non-members): $153

Single day registration (OGS members): $58

Single day registration (non-members: $79

Each of those registration costs go up $20 after 14 March.

On Friday, 1 April I will be speaking on “After Mustering Out: Researching Civil War Veterans.” (No fooling!) It’s one of my favorite topics; I’m really looking forward to it.

(Disclaimer: I am being compensated as a speaker at the OGS conference.)

RootsTech Videos Available Online

For three days in early February, I was glued to my computer watching videos of sessions streaming from the RootsTech conference. Everyone in the blogosphere and on Twitter who were following along with me were asking the same question: Would these videos be made available later? The answer is Yes!

Some of the sessions that were streamed live can now be found on the RootsTech website:

  • Jay Verkler, “RootsTech: Turning Roots, Branches, Trees Into Nodes, Links, Graphs”
  • Barry Ewell, “Digitally Preserving Your Family History”
  • Curt Witcher, “The Changing Face of Genealogy”
  • Brian Pugh, “Cloud Computing: What It Is and How Its Being Used”
  • Thomas MacEntee, moderator, “Virtual Presentations Roundtable”
  • Brewster Kahle, “Personal Archiving and Primary Documents”

I thoroughly enjoyed watching these sessions “live.” Can’t wait to watch them again!

Societies and Technology at FGS 2011

Federation of Genealogical Societies logoSince the recent RootsTech conference, a lot has been said about genealogical societies and their use (or non-use) of technology. Joan Miller has recapped Curt Witcher’s presentation at the Federation of Genealogical Societies luncheon on her blog. (Basically, societies must embrace technology or they’ve sealed their fate.)

The upcoming FGS conference in Springfield, Illinois (7-10 September) features a entire day devoted to society management topics. Several of this year’s society offerings address technology:

  • “21st Century Marketing Techniques for Genealogists/Genealogical Societies” ~ Thomas MacEntee
  • “Building an Effective Society Web Site” ~ Amy Johnson Crow
  • “Internet Collaborative Tools for Genealogical Societies” ~ Jane G. Halderman
  • “How to Manage a Large Genealogy Database Project” ~ Laura G. Prescott
  • “Engaging a New Generation of Genealogists” ~ D. Joshua Taylor
  • “Finally, a Society Website Anyone Can Manage” ~ Robert Raymond
  • “Printed vs. Online Publishing for Societies” ~ Donna M. Moughty
  • “Energize Your Society with an Indexing Project” ~ Jake Gehring

Join us in Springfield, Illinois for a great conference!

(Disclaimer: I am the FGS Webmaster and am a speaker at the 2011 FGS conference.)

What I Learned at RootsTech from Home

I planned to attend RootsTech. I even had my hotel reservation. But things got in the way and I didn’t go. I’m black and blue from kicking myself for not going. :-(

Even though I didn’t attend in person, I did watch some of the presentations that were streamed over the Internet and followed Twitter posts using the #rootstech hashtag. In the process, I learned some things even though I wasn’t there in person.

1. The Internet weighs approximately 26,000 pounds and fits nicely in a standard storage unit. ( source: Brewster Kahle’s Saturday keynote) In fact, here is a picture of the storage unit that houses Internet Archives’ Wayback Machine.

The storage unit that houses the Wayback Machine. (Photo taken from Brewster Kahle’s keynote at RootsTech, 12 February 2012.

2. The average lifespan of a webpage before it is changed or deleted is 100 days. (source: Brewster Kahle’s keynote) No wonder the Wayback Machine weighs 26,000 pounds!

3. Go with your first instinct. I had planned on going to RootsTech, but I changed my mind. Live and learn. (I do have the 2012 dates already on my calendar :-) )

4. I enjoy Twitter. Although I’ve had an account for a couple years, I’d never really used it. Following the #rootstech hashtag was a lot of fun!

5. This isn’t so much something I learned, but rather something that was validated. “Genealogy. It’s all about the experience.” (source: Curt Witcher’s keynote on Friday) I had written and published my post I Don’t Care Where You Put the Comma before his keynote. (For those who haven’t read it: don’t fuss about the format of your citations; just get the elements you need.)

Overall, I came away from my (virtual) RootsTech experience energized. There are so many things I want to do. First up: A renewed effort to finish adding metadata to my photos. Despite what Brewster Kahle said, I actually enjoy adding metadata. I’m just kinda weird that way :-)

RootsTech 2012 will be 2-4 February. Hey, that’s less than a year from now!

Presenting Civil War topics at Allen County

I am thrilled to be the featured speaker at the ACPL Genealogy Center’s Military Symposium this year. With the upcoming sesquicentennial of the Civil War, this year’s symposium will revolve around Civil War topics. I will present one of the lectures on Friday and all four on Saturday.

The symposium is sponsored by the Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana, Inc.

On Friday, October 8:

  • 2:30-3:30: “Using Military Records for Genealogical Research” by Curt Witcher
  • 4:00-5:00: “The Last Full Measure: Military Burials” (I have some cool examples that I’m very excited about!)

On Saturday, October 9:

  • 9:30-10:30: “Researching Your Civil War Ancestor Online”
  • 11:00-12:00: “State and Local Records for Civil War Research”
  • 1:30-2:30: “After Mustering Out: Researching Civil War Veterans”
  • 3:00-4:00: “For Benefit of the Soldier: Civil War Fraternal Organizations”

All of the sessions will be in meeting room A-B at the Allen County Public Library, 900 Library Plaza, Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Cost is $25. Make checks payable to ACGSI and send to:

Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana
PO Box 12003
Fort Wayne, IN 46862

For more information, visit the Genealogy Center’s programs page or call (260) 421-1225. I look forward to seeing you there!