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!

Posted: February 13, 2011.

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