I gave a presentation at RootsTech on using YouTube for family history. I got tons of excited feedback from people who didn’t realize a) how much internet users rely on YouTube as a source of information and b) how creatively we can share our family history there.
Katelyn Guderian, a reporter with the Deseret News (Utah), sent me an email afterward: “I genuinely enjoyed your presentation and the suggestions you offered. YouTube can seem overwhelming to users who aren’t familiar with how it works, and I think you did a nice job at making it seem manageable.” Even better, she shared a lot of my comments on using YouTube in this news article. Here are my 6 tips for using YouTube for family history as she shared them in her article:
1. Identify your target audience: Who are you trying to reach? What do they specifically want to know?
2. Create usable content: Create videos that answer questions and bring insight to families.
3. Be authentic: Don’t try to be someone you aren’t. Let your personality guide your posts, and people who like it will keep coming back.
4. Keep it short: Limit most videos to 3–5 minutes, with the longest posts being around 10. Leave your audience wanting more.
5. Keep it simple: Make your content direct and easy to understand. Leave your audience with a call to action.
6. Use proper lighting: If you are filming a new video, make sure to have light on your face to eliminate shadows. Audiences won’t watch something they can’t see. Try not to combine natural light with artificial light while on camera.
Thanks for the coverage and the positive comments, Katelyn!
Everyone can learn more about using YouTube for family history in a full chapter dedicated to the topic in my book, The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox, fully revised and updated for 2015. There’s an entire chapter on YouTube, not just on using it to share your family history, but on researching your family history. Yep, that’s right–it’s possible to find some real gems on your family on YouTube, like historical video footage that tells you their story and may even include your relative.
YouTube for Family History! More Genealogy Gems for Making and Sharing Your Own Videos Online
Bring Your Family History to the Big Screen: How to Use Chromecast
How to Make a Family History Video
InstaGrandma: How One Woman is Leaving Her Legacy Online
RootsTech 2014 is next week! If you can get to Salt Lake for it but haven’t registered yet, don’t forget to enter to win a FREE full-access pass from the Genealogy Gems podcast!
Here’s some countdown information from the planners to help you find your way around:
To get your RootsTech name badge and conference materials, stop by Registration Check-In located in the South foyer of the Salt Palace Convention Center. Be sure to bring photo ID. Avoid the lines and check in at your earliest convenience! Registration Check-In is open at the following times:
- Wednesday 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (Innovator Summit) and 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
- Thursday 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
- Friday 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
- Saturday 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Friday Night Fun at the Library
The Family History Library is the place for a Friday Night Pizza Party. The largest library of its kind in the world is staying open late for you. Come do some research, find a name, and grab a slice of pizza. There will be an “Open Mic Night” for five-minute story sharing and then catch an episode of The Story Trek, hosted by Todd Hansen, who will be a keynote speaker at RootsTech Saturday morning. Tickets for the pizza are nearly gone, but the library is open late that night for everyone!
Interactive and Hands-on
Be sure to check out the new Family Discovery Exhibit, sponsored by FamilySearch, in the RootsTech Expo Hall. It includes:
- Photo Scanning Area. Make digital copies of family photos that you can preserve, share, and even upload directly to your FamilySearch Family Tree. There are also plenty of high-capacity scanners that make great digital copies quickly. What to do: Bring the photos you want to scan and a flash drive.
- Recording Booth – Record Your Story. Video or audio record your favorite family story in one of our enclosed sound booths. Your private recording session includes ten minutes of recording time and you’ll get a copy of it on a flash drive. Enjoy sharing the memory for many years to come. What to do: Think of a family story or memory that you want to capture and preserve. Story helps will be provided on-site.
- Record a Call – With Someone Who Inspires You. Make a phone call that will last a lifetime. Simply call a parent, grandparent, or someone who inspires you and find out more about their life. Our app will record the conversation and you can take it and treasure the memory for years. What to do: Bring a phone number of a person you want to call and interview, as well as an email address you’d like to send the recorded file to.
- See Yourself in History. How would you look as a cowboy or as one of the pretty maids all in a row? Have your face (and the faces of your friends) added to one of several fun antique photos and e-mail yourself a digital copy you can share. What to do: Have an email address to send your new photo to.
- FamilySearch Book Scanning Booth. Get your family book scanned for free. We’ll make a digital copy, you keep the original and a searchable PDF copy for yourself. You can also donate personal works, books that are copyright protected, and books that are in the public domain. Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
One of the great things about presenting at genealogy conferences like RootsTech is the FREE swag they give you. Well, I’m going to pass this gotta-have-it swag along: a free all-access pass to RootsTech 2014.
RootsTech is shaping up to become the biggest annual family history event in the U.S. There’s nothing quite like it. RootsTech combines the cutting-edge excitement of a technology industry conference with learn-it-from-the-experts classes and hands-on workshops of leading genealogy educators. Whether you’re new-ish to genealogy or an expert researcher, there’s something for you at RootsTech. Check out the full agenda here, which includes a keynote by The Pioneer Woman and over 200 sessions.
RootsTech is next week in Salt Lake City. If you can be there, enter to win this way:
1. Go to the Genealogy Gems Facebook page. Like it (if you haven’t already).
2. Post a comment with the hashtag “giveaway” (#giveaway) and WHY you want to attend RootsTech. You’ll be automatically entered to win.
3. Enter by midnight on Sunday, February 2 and I’ll announce a winner on Monday, February 3, 2014.
No purchase is necessary, but please only enter if you can use the pass or know someone who can.
The official RootsTech 2014 app is available for downloading from the App Store or Google Play! There’s also a web version for those who don’t use an iPhone, iPad or Android device. Like last year’s app, the RootsTech 2014 lets you create your own class schedule, learn about speakers, connect with other attendees and more. For example, here’s my speaker page, below: it tells all about me and Genealogy Gems and lists all my speaking sessions. If you click on the titles of individual sessions you see below, you’ll see more details: the length of the session, a description of it, what track and level the content is and what room the class is in. You can click right from that screen to add my classes (or any others) to your should you buy medication online schedule in the app.
But wait, there’s more you can do with this app! Access maps of the venue, which is enormous. Chime into social media conversations and check for daily news posts. Look up more about specific exhibitors so you can plan which booths to visit. (My booth is filed under “Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems”–I hope you’ll come say hi!)
RootsTech 2014 will be held in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA from February 6-8, 2014 at the Salt Palace. It’s a huge event that focuses on harnessing today’s technologies to discover and share our family history. Whether you’re brand new to genealogy or a professional researcher, there will be something for you there! Early bird pricing is available until January 6, 2014.