Monday 14 February 2011

Rootstech - very social, very network

One of the great things about conferences is the people you meet. In recent years they usually include people you know from Facebook, Twitter or some other social network. Rootstech took this to a new level. People were meeting, communicating and interacting in all kinds of ways. As usual I met old friends from previous conferences, some new people, and finally met in person quite a few that were Facebook friends, fellow bloggers, or that I knew from Twitter or email.

This wasn't an event where you just sat in a room to be talked at. The 'tech' part of Rootstech was very much in evidence, and absolutely integral to the proceedings. The Rootstech Official Bloggers were right at the heart of things, quite literally; they were based right in the middle of the Expo Hall, complete with two 'fish-tank'  rooms where sound and video interviews were being recorded  for much of the time. You can see a chat between two of the leading bloggers, Dear Myrtle and Thomas McEntee on You Tube recorded during the show. If you search for 'Rootstech' om You tube you'll find more interviews and video clips.

Some of the Rootstech sessions, including the keynote addresses on all three days, were streamed live online, so that people all over the world could follow the proceedings. And we know this was working, because a number of these remote attendees were tweeting their comments using the hashtag #Rootstech. One of my favourites was when Chris Van Der Kuyl, CEO of Brightsolid, was introducing Brewster Kahle, founder of the Internet Archive. Most of the audience probably hadn't heard a Dundee accent before, and one of them  tweeted "Okay, I'm just going to say it: That accent is hot. don't tell HR.", which was re-tweeted with an added "Was thinking that too.", followed by a third, obviously following on Twitter, but not in audio "Why are people tweeting about an accent? What did I miss?" Joking aside, the main event, Brewster Kahle's keynote speech, was compelling, so much so that when he said 'In conclusion...' I was genuinely surprised that it was already time for him to wind up. If you are not already familiar with the Internet Archive, you really need to go exploring; it has far more in it than you could have imagined. I thought I had a pretty good idea, but I was amazed.

I was tweeting news from Brian Donovan's session on the digitisation of Irish records, which was then being re-tweeted by Chris Paton back in Scotland, and then repeated on his Scottish GENES blog, with the assurance that there would be a full write-up from me in due course! Thanks, Chris, I suppose I'll really have to do it now - I'll save it for the next post.

And in case you were wondering, the badge at the top was given to geneabloggers by the lovely Thomas McEntee, along with with some very fetching red heart beads. I shall treasure them always.



  1. This old girl from the colonies had great fun meeting up with Audrey from The Mother Country in Yankee Territory at Rootstech

  2. Haha Audrey - more of a sincere hope than an assurance - but much appreciated! :)