April 17, 2014

The Cool New Technology that Just Got Better with Genealogy

Flipboard CoverFlipboard
Originally designed specifically for the iPad in 2010, the free Flipboard app has moved onto all the major mobile platforms. And this cool new technology has just gotten better with a big dose of genealogy!

I invite you to explore the newly released free Flipboard magazine RootsTech 2014: Where Genealogy and Technology Converge. (Image right: cover)

Genealogy Gems has  published the magazine in conjunction with the RootsTech program team in a continuing effort to help family historians embrace new technologies and present RootsTech attendees with the possibilities.

Consider what’s been happening in the mobile space this last year:

  • Smartphone usage in the U.S. increased by 50 percent (Kleiner Perkins)
  • The number of emails being opened on mobile increased by 330 percent (Litmus)
  • Tablet usage doubled in the U.S. (Pew Research Center)

The bottom line: More than ever folks are accessing websites, videos, podcasts, blogs and other online information on their mobile devices. That’s where the free Flipboard app comes in.

RootsTech Flipboard magazine pageThe free Flipboard app is a social-network and online aggregator of web content and RSS channels for Android, Blackberry 10, iOS, Windows 8, and Windows Phone 8. Content is presented in a captivating magazine format allowing users to “flip” through it with a simple swipe of the finger.

As a genealogy new media content creator and publisher, we’re excited to introduce a creative use of this emerging technology to the genealogy industry. RootsTech 2014: Where Genealogy and Technology Converge is a free magazine available at http://tinyurl.com/RootsTech2014. The magazine pulls together great web content from RootsTech speakers, exhibitors, and official bloggers in one beautiful and convenient place.

This magazine has presented an opportunity to crowd-source the know-how and talent of all of those who work to make RootsTech a success. The magazine offers an exciting look at the RootsTech experience the innovative technologies emerging in the genealogy industry, and a new vehicle for everyone in the RootsTech community to converge! The pages go beyond text and images by also delivering video and audio!

How to Access the Magazine in Flipboard:

  1. Get the free Flipboard app at flipboard.com, in iTunes or Google Play.
  2. Set up for your free account
  3. In the search box at the top of the homepage, search for ROOTSTECH
  4. Tap “RootsTech 2014″ by Lisa Louise Cooke (you’ll see a magazine icon next to it.)
  5. When the magazine loads, tap the SUBSCRIBE icon at the top of the page
  6. Starting at the right hand side of the page, swipe your finger from right to left over each page to “flip!”

Looking for more great genealogy themed Flipboard magazines? Check out two more new issues from Lisa Louise Cooke:

Stay tuned to the Genealogy Gems Blog and Podcast for Lisa’s upcoming exclusive interview with the folks at Flipboard!

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RootsTech 2014 Keynote Speakers Announced

The all-star lineup of keynote speakers has been announced for  RootsTech 2014. They will inspire everyone to discover and share the stories that connect our families-past, present, and future.

ree_drummond

Ree Drummond, blogger and author, The Pioneer Woman

Ree is an award-winning blogger and New York Times bestselling author. Her popular website, The Pioneer Woman, was founded in 2006 and showcases her cooking, photography, and stories about country life.

 

Annelies van den Belt, CEO, DC Thompson Family History – Annelies is changing the way digital genealogical records are published and organized. Her company hosts 1.8 billion genealogical records across a family of online brands.

Judy Russell, blogger and professional genealogist, The Legal Genealogist – Judy is a certified genealogist with a law degree who enjoys helping others understand the interplay between genealogy and the law. She blogs and maintains The Legal Genealogist website.

Dr. Spencer Wells, project director, National Geographic Genographic Project – The indiana Jones of genetics, Dr. Wells has traveled the world and captured the DNA of more than a half-million people to tell the story of the human journey.

Todd Hansen, TV host, The Story Trek – Behind every door there is a story. This TV series consists of random door-to-door interviews to discover who lives behind those doors and their real stories.

Stephanie Nielsen, blogger and author, NieNie Dialogues – Stephanie’s story of survival and recovery after a plane crash captured the hearts of the nation. She has inspired others through interviews with Oprah Winfrey and on the Today Show.

RT-Blogger-badge-150sqThe fourth annual RootsTech conference, hosted by FamilySearch, will be held February 6-8, 2014 at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City, Utah. In addition to renowned keynote speakers, the conference features over 200 classes, hundreds of booths in a huge Expo Hall, and evening events.

Early bird pricing is available until January 6, 2014. Register today!
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Here’s Where You Can Get the RootsTech 2014 Conference Schedule

Registration is now open for RootsTech 2014, which will be held February 6­-8, 2014 at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. Here’s all the info hot off the press including links that reveal classes and computer labs plus a coupon code you can use for early bird pricing:

This annual family history conference, hosted by FamilySearch, is a unique global event where people of all ages learn to discover and share their family stories and connections through technology. Over the past three years, RootsTech has grown in popularity with attendees to become the largest family history event in the United States!

Rootstech Whether attendees are just beginning their family history, an avid hobbyist, or an experienced researcher, RootsTech has something for everyone:

  • Classes and Computer Labs —Over 200 classes and computer labs taught by knowledgeable experts and enthusiasts in family history.
  • Getting Started Track —A track of over 30 classes designed to help beginners start their family tree. Passes start at only $19.
  • Developer Day —A preconference event on Wednesday, February 5, for developers to innovate and collaborate with other engineers and family history industry experts.
  • Expo Hall —A huge expo with over 100 informative vendors and interactive booths where attendees can record a family story, scan a book or photo, or create a visual family tree.
  • Family Discovery Day —New! A day of free inspirational classes for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to learn more about strengthening family relationships across generations through family history.

Pass Pricing and Discounts

Various pass options are available, with pricing set to make RootsTech an affordable experience. Early Bird pricing discounts for a Full Access Pass ($159) and a Getting Started Pass ($39) are available until January 6, 2014.

An additional $20 discount is available for a limited time. Attendees can get a Full Access Pass for just $139 simply by using the promotional code RT14EXCLSV before September 9, 2013.

To get more information and register, visit rootstech.org.

I’ll be there conducting a brand new computer lab: Flipboard for Genealogy: Create an Incredible Mobile Magazine of Your Favorite Genealogy Web Content
NOTE: Computer labs fill up VERY fast so don’t delay!

Also look for my other classes:

  • Panel Discussion: Self-Professed Uber-Organized Freaks Talk Genealogy Tech Organization
  • Become an iPad Power User
  • How to Use YouTube for Family History: Setting Up Your Own YouTube Channel
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RootsTech and FGS: Joint Genealogy Conferences in 2015

stick_figure_podium_speech_group_anim_150_clr_9408Ever had to choose between attending two fantastic genealogy conferences? In 2015, your choice will be easier: RootsTech and the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) will host events in the same time and place: the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. Mark your calendars and make your hotel reservations early for February 12-14, 2015!

Never been to either of these events?

  • RootsTech is a mammoth event hosted by the folks at FamilySearch. There’s lots of genealogy education but the primary focus is one I love: harnessing advances in technology to better help us discover and share family history.
  • FGS helps genealogical societies strengthen and grow by providing events and online resources. Their annual  conference is a 4-day event with tons of excellent lectures, including a full day on society management topics.

According to a press release from FGS, “With the Salt Palace Convention Center as the common venue, both FamilySearch and FGS are committed to producing a one-of-a-kind genealogy event addressing the educational needs of the family history, technology and genealogical society communities. As the logistics of this sizeable event are still being worked out, both FGS and FamilySearch will work together to share resources and provide cost benefits for all parties, including attendees and exhibitors. Attendees can expect to see familiar elements of previous FGS and RootsTech events including keynote presentations, a Society Showcase and Expo Hall.”

More details will be announced later: watch for them here e at the RootsTech and FGS websites.

 

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10 Top Tips for Breaking Down Your Genealogy Brick Wall

“One of the most incredible and likely true stories I’ve ever seen!” announced Dave Obee as he met with Genealogy Gems Listener Sarah Stout, the winner of our #RootsTech 2013 conference registration contest.

Sarah_and_LisaThe question to contestant was “who’s class would you most like to attend at RootsTech?” Sarah’s answer was Dave Obee, and that was because she was running up against a Canadian brick wall in her family history research, and Dave is a Canadian Research Guru!

Read more about Sarah’s incredible genealogical brick wall:

WATCH THE VIDEO

In my new video at the Genealogy Gems YouTube channel I get the two together and Dave dishes up 10 terrific tips that will not only help Sarah, but are sure to prove their worth in your own family tree climbing.

Dave Obee’s Top 10 Tips:

1. Create a Timeline – “plot her life…it’s easier to see the holes.”
2. Understand Geography – “plot movements”
3. Find Every Possible Record
4. Understand How Records Were Created
5. Read Every Local Story in Newspapers at that Time
6. Tap into Local Knowledge – “Locals know more” (historical and genealogical societies)
7. Go There if You Can in Person
8. Look for Negative Proof
9. Collaborate with Other Researchers
10. Be Diligent About Proof

Resources Mentioned in the video:

Subscribe to the Genealogy Gems YouTube Channel for free to receive instant updates of all of my latest videos from RootsTech 2013 and beyond.

 

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RootsTech Report: It’s All About Stories

SM head shot miniSalt Lake City, Utah

Lisa is all over RootsTech this year, teaching and running demos and–her favorite part–meeting many of YOU! So she’s asked me, Gems editor Sunny Morton, to send out a RootsTech Report for those of you who aren’t here.

In case you’re not familiar with this one-of-a-kind (and still evolving) conference, RootsTech is part traditional conference, part trade show. Top speakers teach technology-infused topics in packed classrooms. Industry leaders wow on the big stage, amplified by enormous monitors and sound systems.

Host FamilySearch International has pulled out all the stops to make the event bigger and better than last year: there are more attendees, more exhibitor sRTOfficialBlog_Bpace, more entertainment. A reported 6700 attendees preregistered, with an additional 2000 youth expected on Saturday and an estimated 5000 additional viewers tuning in to selected sessions at 16 satellite locations in 7 countries. With hopes to extend remote viewership in-language to ten times that number of locations next year, RootsTech is positioning itself as the world’s biggest and furthest-reaching genealogical conference.

Behind all the glamor, industry buzz, excitement of new services and products and everyday genealogists is a message FamilySearch is broadcasting to all who will listen: they want to recruit legions of new family historians who will preserve the stories of millions of lives. Though FamilySearch will continue to provide us millions of sources for dates-names-places, its new online family tree service is designed to capture stories, too, because that’s what makes genealogy meaningful to most of us.

We’ll tell you more about that–and other fun RootsTech updates–in upcoming posts. Meanwhile, tune in here wherever you are to join the fray: catch live streaming sessions and see what’s happening for yourself.

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Where You Should Sit at a Genealogy Conference

Classroom at RootsTech 2012. Where will you sit? (Photo credit: LDS Church News)

Classroom at RootsTech 2012. Where will you sit? (Photo credit: LDS Newsroom)

This spring we’ve got some great conferences coming up in the U.S., like #RootsTech2013 in Salt Lake and the National Genealogical Society conference in Las Vegas, as well as events in Fairfax (VA), Wausau (WI), Manchester (NH), Cincinnati (OH), the Houston area, and Southern California. So here’s my question, just for fun: where do you sit when you go to conferences?

Studies of college classrooms show that students who sit toward the front of the room and catch the teacher’s eye are more likely to pay attention, which can translate into a better learning experience. Now, that caught my eye, because a better learning experience is what we all want out of conferences.

The report goes on to say that students who sit in front and make eye contact establish a better rapport with teachers and are more likely to be more engaged in the learning process. Of course, a conference isn’t the same as a college class. The instructor isn’t grading you. But presenters are human too, and they appreciate an engaged audience. In any sort of presentation, there is always an energy that flows back and forth between audience and presenter. Both you and the instructor will benefit from rapport and engagement.

Here are my tips for getting the most out of your experience:

  • Arrive at the lecture as early as possible so you can get a seat where you’ll be able to see and hear everything clearly.
  • Read the class syllabus ahead of time so you’ll be familiar with the material going into the presentation.
  • Print out the syllabus (or have it handy on your iPad or tablet) so you don’t waste time writing down ideas and links that have already been written for you.
  • Keep your attention on the speaker, but jot down any additional ideas the speaker shares that aren’t in the syllabus–as well as any ideas you hope to apply to your own research.

Here’s a final tip that comes from the study report on where you sit. One interviewee for this article says that, “In lecture, students’ attention tends to bottom out about 30 minutes into class, which is just when faculty are getting to the most important information.” She goes on to say that sitting closer to the instructor will help you stay focused during that critical time. The takeaway: 30 minutes into any lecture, if your attention starts to wander, challenge yourself to write down the key concept you learned up to that point, and one key question you hope will be answered. And then re-focus on listening intently for the answer.

Check out my upcoming live presentations.   See you in class!

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RootsTech 2013: There’s an App for That!

Are you going to RootsTech in March? Do you have an iPad, tablet or smRootsTech Appart phone? Then you need to download a free app!

RootsTech 2013 is your personal conference assistant. It delivers to your palm all the  information you need on exhibitors and speakers along with a map and customizable schedule. For example, I’m speaking at RootsTech in four different sessions. You can find each session listed by day or track under the Events icon, or you can go right to my name under the Speakers icon and see all four sessions at once, with a description and location of each one. Add one (or more) of my sessions to your own schedule. You’ll also find me under the Exhibitors icon. You can bookmark or schedule each exhibitor you want to visit, then mark them off as you do. I hope you’ll come see me at my booth!

You can even have a social life on this app. Publish a profile if you want others to see your name on a guest list. Then look for others who have done that under the Attendees icon. Create a network of Friends with whom you can chat and share notes (and meet for lunch!). Stay updated with the app’s News feed, and share in the conference buzz on Twitter and Facebook.

The link I gave you above takes you to the App Shopper for the iOS universal app; it’s also in Apple’s Apps Store.

#RootsTech2013

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RootsTech: Countdown, Update!

We’re five weeks from RootsTech and counting downRTOfficialBlog_B! The folks at RootsTech have sent out this registration update and contest invitation:

“Early bird registration has been extended for one more week.  The $149 price will expire on 2/22/2013.  We’ve seen some great momentum in registrations this week. So, we want to give every opportunity for folks to take advantage of the reduced price on a full conference pass.  After 2/22 the price will move to a “last chance” price of $179 for a full conference pass. The “last chance” price will expire on 3/16, at which point the price will go to $219.

As you know, Story@Home is a new addition to RootsTech this year.  Story@Home offers class sessions with award-winning storytellers, performers, and speakers to help attendees explore ways to use the power of story to connect with their family.  We’re excited about the new perspective and dimension Story@Home adds to the RootsTech experience.  You can learn more about Story@Home at www.rootstech.org/stories.

Our friends at Story@Home are running an Instagram Photo Contest.  Official RootsTech bloggers are invited to help spread the word.  Here are the contest details:

Prize: Story@Home + Getting Started pass ($79 value), Access to all Story@Home classes and Getting Started classes all three days of RootsTech. Contest Dates: February 20th-24th. To participate in the contest: Snap a picture you think tells a story. Examples include family, friends, places, events, mementos–anything that has meaning for you. Upload the photo to Instagram and share with us what story your photo tells. Include the hashtags #tellyourstory and #storyathome. The winner will be chosen by Random.org and announced on the Story@Home Facebook page Monday, February 25th. “Like” us on Facebook to find out if you’ve won: https://www.facebook.com/pages/StoryHome/175409965858537?ref=ts&fref=ts.”

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Internet and Mobile Trends, and Rumors of the Next Mobile Gadget


When I published my book Turn Your iPad into a Genealogy Powerhouse (and tablets too!) some folks in the genealogy
community asked me if I really thought there were many family historians out there who would use an iPad or tablet.

My emphatic answer was “yes,” and as I travel and speak to live audiences around the U.S. and internationally they prove me right. It’s amazing how many tablets are carefully pulled out of bags and fired up when my presentations begin.

To put the increase in mobile device usage in perspective, check out this cool infographic on the mobile trends of 2012.

2012 Internet & Mobile Trends

Infographic courtesy of BackgroundCheck.org

Of particular note is the dominance of the iPad over the iPhone and iPod.  And while “iPhone” is a household term, Android smartphones far outsell them.

Bottom Line: Mobile is here and throwing its weight around.

And if genealogists have proven anything, it is that they are often leading the pack in using technology to accomplish their goals. (Tap into the newest genealogical tech at the upcoming RootsTech 2013 conference. Get more info here.)

And what can we look for in the future? Here’s an article about some rumors being whispered about the next big mobile gadget.  Shhhhhhhh….

 

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