So. Thomas MacEntee over on Geneabloggers.com started a My Rooted Technology Meme
since the Rootstech 2012 conference is coming up in February
. And I decided to participate. So here are the rules:
- Technology you already use: bold face type
- Technology you would like to use or learn more about: italicize (color optional)
- Technology you don’t use, have no interest in using or no longer use: plain type
- Explain or give opinions in brackets [ ] at the end of each bullet point
- I have a tablet computer such as an iPad that I use for genealogy. [I plan to get one in the future, but right now I don't think the price is worth it. When I spend that kind of bank, I expect a lot of functionality. A lot.]
- I have downloaded one or more apps to a Smart Phone or similar device. [Yo. I have 130 apps on my iPhone in addition to the ones my iPhone came with. I have others I've downloaded and discarded. Don't judge. I know I have a problem, but they're addictive.]
- I belong to a genealogy society that uses social media. [I belong to 4 societies. None of which utilizes social media. But I'm there. And Rome wasn't built in a day, right? Right?].
- I use GEDCOM files and understand the various compatibility issues involved. [Yeah. But it makes my head hurt.]
- I have added metadata to some of my files and digital photos. [Just label it.]
- I have utilized an API from a genealogy-related application or website.
- I have taken a DNA test related to my genealogy research. [I've not done this for genealogy research, but for family medical reasons. We have a rare genetic disorder that runs in my family. We even have a family geneticist. Because of the whole experience, I'm well-versed in genetic-speak [much more than the lay person] and I completely understand how this can be extremely helpful in solving research problems. Enter the To-do List.]
- I have used the FamilySearch Research Wiki. [Everytime I use the FamilySearch database, I use the FamilySearch Wiki. To not do so, you're really missing out, and I recently wrote about this for the FamilySearch Research Help Community Newsletter.]
- I have a Facebook account and use it regularly for genealogy. [You can find me at http://www.facebook.com/caroline.pointer. I'd say the word 'regularly' would be a bit strong for me. I'm not a big Facebook fan because I don't like the site navigation among other things. But I'm there and I'm trying to meet people where they are.]
- I use tech tools to help me cite my sources in genealogy research. [I like Zotero, but I've been exploring some other sites like Mendeley.]
- I have developed a genealogy-related app for a Smart Phone or similar device. [I. Wish. I want one for me and my sites so badly I can taste it. Seriously. Remember? I'm addicted.]
- I use a genealogy database program. [Abra-cadabra. Rootsmagic. But I'm hoping they develop an app and web-based database that can sync with my desktop Rootsmagic database. Please.]
- I use cloud computer resources to store my genealogy data. [Totally love Dropbox but I have 2 Microsoft Live accounts that I use as well. And I use Photobucket and Flikr and their cloud-nesses. Not to mention the iCloud. My head's in the clouds. And so are parts of my research.]
- I have made one or more contributions to the FamilySearch Research Wiki. [This is on my to-do list. I need to give back.]
- I have attended a genealogy webinar. [Many. I love them because I can multi-task during them and no one is the wiser. Ssh. Don't tell anyone.]
- I have organized and administered a DNA testing group related to my genealogy. [Whoa. Slow down. I need to get tested first. Then I'll emerge myself in the total DNA experience. Then I'll take over the world. LOL. It's on my to-do list.]
- I use apps involving GPS and Geo-caching for my genealogy research. [Like Thomas, I'm a big fan of RestingSpot and even wrote up a review on the app, but I have others. I reviewed an app called Wikitude, which is an augmented reality app. It goes way beyond the GPS technology and throws you into a whole other dimension. Also, I use Google Places at times when I'm graving, but I can see the Wikitude app eclipsing this one 'cause it's a trip to use. *snort*]
- I have a Google+ account and use it regularly for genealogy. [I'm there. I'm beginning to enjoy having a bigger space to flesh out my thoughts and responses. I've had some productive discussions over there, but it's still too much like Facebook, minus the Farmville. So there's that.]
- I have created and published a family history e-book. [Surprisingly I haven't done this yet, but it's on the famous to-do list right behind some how-to e-books based on my genealogy how-to blogs.]
- I have created a wiki related to my genealogy research. [Nope. And I'm on the fence on this one. I have my tree on Rootsmagic, of course, which is a closed tree. I have an expanded research tree on Ancestry, and I'm beginning one on MyHeritage. [BTW, Have you seen the new MyHeritage app?] Should I do another tree? Especially since my family history blog, Family Stories, is completely searchable though Google? And I've found a lot of distant cousins through my Ancestry.com tree and my blog. So...*shrugs* Perhaps if I could find more than 24 hours in a day.]
- I have conducted a genealogy webinar as a presenter. [I'd like to do this. I do plan to start out with tutorials right here on my blog though. So, we'll see.]
- I read genealogy-related blogs to help improve my own research. [I do read just not as much as I used to do. To be perfectly honest, when you tweet it or Google Plus share it and slap it right in front of me, I'm more than likely going to read it if I have a couple of minutes. And the title is catchy. Or I've read your stuff before and love your writing style/voice. If I had more time though I'd read everyone's blogs all the time.]
- I have one or more genealogy-related blogs to help improve my own research. [More than most of you know. Seriously.]
- I have a Twitter account and use it regularly for genealogy. [Twitter? What's that? And if you think I'm serious, then you haven't been on Twitter much. LOL. ;) Look me up over there. I'm @FamilyStories ]
- I have one or more genealogy-related websites which I run and administer. [Nope. Well, other than my own? Nope. But I'm intrigued with the possibilities. I administer this site and I'll be administering my new site launching soon called BloggingGenealogy.com ]
- I have created a screencast or video related to genealogy and posted it at a video sharing site (Vimeo, YouTube, etc.). [Here's my YouTube Channel. I'm totally hooked on this medium of sharing information. Therefore, subscribe to my YouTube channel so you won't miss my theatrics. ;) Also, I've been playing with something new. I'll let you know more later. =) Also, through Klout I received an invite to Spreecast which is a "social video platform that let's people broadcast together". It's now in beta, and I'm trying to see how I can incorporate it into my blogs. That's right. Interviewing people live and archiving them online. Hello!?! ]
- I use one or more digital tools to capture and record my family history. [This is the catch-all. I use the following digital tools: Online: Diigo.com, Evernote, 1000memories.com, Jing, FoxTab, CoolIris, TinEye, PDF Download, Scrapbook, Shareaholic, Read It Later, FireShot, Wise Stamp, iMacros for FireFox, QuickTranslator, Pixlr Grabber, Dr. Web LinkChecker, Google Maps, Google Earth, Pinterest (Yes, I found a way to use Pinterest for genealogy.), Weebly, and Blogger. I think that's it, but I could be wrong. Offline: MSOffice, Family History Atlas, Photoshop Elements, Photoshop Premier, Digital camera. Just bought a laptop. I have a Flip-Pal and an Epson Precision V300 flat bed scanner. And I'd like a digital video camera for Christmas. And a WiFi printer.]
So what's your Your Rooted Technology?
[Note: Updates to this blog post are in bold, and please read the comments following the blog post for more information. Thank you.]
I’m very pleased to hear that Rootstech has reconsidered their decision of not allowing book vendors to exhibit at Rootstech 2012. While this is their conference and they certainly have every right to design it in the way that they want, I think this is an excellent decision. And here’s why:
- Not only are you missing out on direct revenue from booth rentals, all indirect revenue realized from the vendors is lost as well, and not just for the conference itself but for the local businesses.
- Genealogy-based books can be technologically based and printed books make a perfect bridge for the non-tech genealogists to cross over into the tech world. It’s a familiar medium.
- Some book publishers have electronic books. Those who do not electronically publish could possibly learn why they should be doing so. [And I fully believe they should.]
- As far as the arts and crafts vendors are concerned, I know I couldn’t do my heritage arts and crafts without technology, and I’m sure prospective arts and crafts vendors are the same way. Further, I use technology to share with my readers how to make the heritage crafts. [However, I don’t know if they’re being invited or not as some of the book vendors are.]
- Any successful conference in any industry knows its target demographics. After all, this is basic salesmanship. In order to get the target conference-goer to come to the conference, you must be offering something that they want, which in this case is education and exhibits. I think your target demographics have spoken up this past weekend to let you know what kind of exhibits they are not only wanting but expecting.
- In this tough economy, most conference-goers are having to make difficult choices as to how to spend their allotted genealogy money. Many can only afford one major conference. When making this decision, they will have to make tough choices between conferences that don’t welcome technology and a conference like Rootstech that is choosing to concentrate on technology as it pertains to genealogy. Both conference models are fine, but you must understand that there are consequences to every action, positive or negative. Further, I believe the main complaint at genealogy conferences is the lack of technology [education as well as the acceptance of the usage of technology]– not that there was too much genealogy. [Is there such a thing?] The need in our genealogy community is an acceptance of both genealogy and technology.
So, thank you Rootstech for listening and being flexible with your plans. Many are very grateful. Social Media
However, I have been surprised by the lack of usage of social media for the promotion of Rootstech 2012. As far as I can tell, there have been only 4 main
ways that have been used to advertise this conference:
I am not an Official Rootstech blogger, but I have blogged and promoted Rootstech on Twitter as well as placed the Rootstech media banners on my site.
However, blogs and a Facebook page are just two social media platforms out of many that can be used to promote a conference. Now, I know that several of the official bloggers have and use twitter accounts, but that is not a complete social media plan.
I cannot express enough how useful Twitter can be in this kind of promotion, and it has been ignored. The last time I checked the Rootstech Facebook page, there were 1040 Likes. That’s a low number for a conference that had over 3000 attendees last year and with less than 2 months left before the start of the next conference. I only ‘liked’ the page recently simply because I don’t spend much time on Facebook. I don’t prefer it. The majority of my social networking occurs on Twitter, and I’ve recently have been engaging on Google Plus.
I have, at the time of this writing, 3973 followers on Twitter and I follow 4361 Tweeters. Most are genealogy-related, but not all. I also network heavily with mom bloggers, authors, writers, self-published authors, and tech-related tweeters. Some have even expressed an interest in genealogy at times. All are heavily into technology to complete the work that they do. It makes a fantastic demographic to target for a conference such as Rootstech
And I’ve only shared with you my stats. There are others with very high stats on Twitter that could be leveraged to assist Rootstech in their marketing endeavors. All who have varied followers based upon different interests.
Below is what I had expected in terms of social media for a conference such as Rootstech:
[Update: Rootstech does have a Twitter account, @RootsTechConf. However, it only has 20 followers (I just started following them), has no tweets, does not follow any tweeters, and has no lists. In addition, I could not find a link on the Rootstech website to the Twitter account. So, please, follow them.]
- Having a dedicated social media person or a coordinated group of persons to manage all social media accounts at all times so that questions and concerns can be addressed immediately as is expected in social media. Because of social media, we live in a '24/7' type of world now.
- Growing the Facebook Page’s ‘Likes’ number. The whole point of having a Facebook page is so that people can like, and or follow, the page thus creating a community. Once this is done, the entity who runs the page would have access, and or influence, to this community for both direct marketing purposes as well as for creating excitement over the reason the page was created in the first place. In this case, of course, that’s Rootstech 2012. This is a great place to foster discussions on genealogy and technology. Getting people to think about it will get a certain percentage of them to register and go to the conference. Engagement is key, and of course, if your Facebook page fans share the page, then some of the work is being done for you.
- Creating a Twitter account and growing the follow/follower numbers and engaging other tweeters to create a sense of community so that they will willingly retweet your tweets. To be successful at Twitter, an organization has to not only broadcast its message [in this case the Rootstech conference] but engage other tweeters in short discussions. Because this conference is centered around both genealogy and technology, you’re in luck because both topics have a big following on Twitter. How can this be helpful in marketing Rootstech? After all, doesn’t everyone who has a Twitter account also have a Facebook account? No, not always, and even if the tweeter does have both accounts, they may prefer one over the other. Also, tweets can easily be categorized by topics, giving a unique ability to tweeters to target very specific interests and groups. All of these Twitter qualities can be used effectively for growing excitement, anticipation, and interest in a conference like Rootstech. How? Well, let’s say the social media person for Rootstech tweets something informational with a link to the Rootstech site to its 1689 followers [Update: This was and is a fictional number. Rootstech does have a Twitter account with only 20 followers.], and I happen to be on Twitter, and because I follow them, I see it, and decide to tweet it to my 3973 followers. Let’s say for this example that I had one follower who retweeted my Rootstech retweet, and this follower themselves had 2567 followers. Now, the single Rootstech informational tweet with a link back to the website that was tweeted by the dedicated Tweeter for Rootstech, has, with 2 more clicks, touched 8229 tweeters, and has moved 2 people to the action of retweeting. With these numbers, odds are, a certain percentage of these 8229 tweeters will retweet the informational tweet with a link to the Rootstech site, a certain percentage will be moved to the action of clicking on the link, and, of course, a certain amount will be moved to the desired action of registering for the Rootstech conference. This is why Twitter is a very effective social network. [Sorry for the math word problem. What was I thinking?]
- While creating a Google Plus page is a newer ability on a newer social network, a certain percentage of people prefer Google Plus over Facebook and Twitter. It provides a place to foster longer discussions. In my experience on Google Plus, many genealogy technology discussions are taking place over there that a conference like Rootstech should be, at the very least, monitoring [and it may very well already be]. Goals here should be to increase numbers of circles and numbers of followers in circles and engaging these followers in lively discussions of genealogy and technology. Moreover, with the Hangout video chat capability that is available on Google Plus, many of these discussions could be taking place using this technology and involving some of the scheduled speakers or Rootstech organizers all year long.
- Creating a dedicated YouTube channel for Rootstech would be extremely helpful. While there are 4 taped presentations on video from last year’s conference parked on Brightcove.com, this platform isn’t a social network like YouTube, and because YouTube is owned by Google, YouTube videos naturally find themselves at the top of search results. These 4 videos [and any other others that can be used for marketing purposes] should be on YouTube on a Rootstech YouTube channel. While there are many videos about Rootstech that were made by conference attendees last year on YouTube, when a person goes to YouTube and searches for Rootstech [or searches for it in Google],the Rootstech YouTube channel should come up first in the search results. This provides uniformity in the marketing of the brand that you have so diligently created. The social media aspects of YouTube cannot be ignored either and must be monitored. Engagement with followers and the goals of increasing followers, friending, and subscribing must be made, met, and exceeded for a technology-based conference such as Rootstech.
- A blog is definitely an effective social media tool, and I think it’s excellent that Rootstech has Official Bloggers for this conference. However, I think it’s essential that Rootstech have its own blog. Using Official Bloggers is an excellent way to get the word out to each of the Official Blogger’s readers, but what about those readers who don’t read their blogs? Rootstech should be creating and controlling their brand by using a blog format. I think a perfect example of a conference using a blog is FGS. These were simple posts all in one place in a technological format that many feel comfortable with reading where they could go to find updates on the conference. Blogs are like websites, and if a person doesn’t use Facebook or Google Plus, these conference-goers or potential conference-goers need and expect a conference on technology to have a blog. It’s also a great place for conference press releases and fostering community through the comments part of the blog.
- LinkedIn is a professional social networking site where many genealogists and technologists network, and this is why Rootstech should have a presence there as well. Again, Rootstech should be controlling its brand on major social media networks. Here discussions can be fostered as well. In fact, there are many discussions occurring on LinkedIn already about genealogy and technology. At the very least, Rootstech should be monitoring them, but the goal should be to be driving those discussions. While there are several in my LinkedIn network that have added Rootstech2012 as an event, I did not see an official Rootstech 2012 Group started over there, but perhaps I missed it.
- Foursquare is a social networking app that has been used in the past at conferences for facilitating networking. Here are some websites that discuss the ins and outs of using it at conferences: How To: Use Foursquare for a Conference (or an exhibit booth) and How Foursquare Rocks Conferences.
- Shhmooze is a social networking app designed for conferences and here’s a 3 part series written by Shhmooze on their blog about their app.
[Note: Of course, Foursquare and/or Shhmooze –they can be used together- would be promoted on the Rootstech blog and other social media outlets. Everyone would need to learn how they'd be used and how to use them.
Using social media effectively can really boost a conference’s attendance and brand, and it also allows a conference to show its potential conference-goers and the conference-goers that it does have a handle on the topic of the actual conference. By using social media technology, Rootstech can increase its attendance and popularity as well as send out the message that it knows how to combine genealogy and technology successfully. Social media would also allow Rootstech to efficiently monitor its brand and deal with any public relations matters that may come up before they get out of hand.What do y'all think? Did I miss any important social networks?
Did I miss Rootstech on a social network? Let me know in comments below. And if I've missed something, please let me know.I'm still going to Rootstech 2012. Hello?!? Technology and genealogy? That's what I do.
[Of course, I read books about technology and I use technology to make my heritage arts and crafts. And then I tell you all about it on that new fangled technology call social media.]~Caroline
Looking for a great and personal holiday gift for that family member who has everything? Well, I've found some delectable sites that can help you with your holiday conundrum.
Why not take those old family recipes that you've collected over the years and make a family cookbook? And the great thing about this idea is that you can make it once and give it to several or many family members for the holidays. Hello!?! Did I just help you out, or what? Now, there are quite a few online family cookbook websites that seem a little 'involved' in that they charge monthly membership fees and their printing process seems to take forever. However, I found 2 cookbook websites that would be helpful at this late date.
- Tastebook.com ~ Starting at $19.95 for 25 recipes, Tastebook.com offers customized cookbooks with photos and a binder. With this kind of flexibility, you can add more recipes later if you want to. You make the cookbook online on their website and then place your order. And right now for the holidays, they're offering FREE shipping on orders of $50 or more as long as you order by December 16, 2011. Also, this site has an iPhone app because they offer more than just printing cookbooks. They're a recipe site too. So go check them out, and also take a look at some of Tastebook.com's videos.
- CookbookPeople.com ~ The Cookbook People's site offers 3 different ways to show-off your family recipes: making a cookbook using their cookbook software [And they've named their software Matilda. I like that. ;) ]; using a binder from their beautiful collection to showcase your family recipes that you've already gathered; using recipe boxes to house your sacred family recipes. [Talk about meeting you where you are, huh?] Their software comes with 27 templates, contains family tree customization features, and they claim, "Matilda works great for grannies and gurus." It costs $29.99 and you can print out your recipes on your own computer as many times as you want or save as a PDF and take it to your local printer. They offer free shipping on orders of $65 or more. Take a look at their short video below, check out their website, and also check out the CookbookPeople's YouTube Channel.
Take a look at a short video from CookbookPeople.com:
Here's another heritage gift idea for the holidays. It's easy & inexpensive to make. And the results were fantastic, I think. Some of them kinda look like painted portraits. This one is gonna be hard for me to give away. Seriously.
That's right. I'll be on this Friday night's episode ~Genealogy Gift Guide~ on Geneablogger Blog Talk Radio
. I'm SO excited. Thomas will be highlighting the Heritage Crafts and videos that I've been doing. Also? Janet Hovorka
, from The Chart Chick
blog and founder of Family ChartMasters
, and Lynn Palermo
of The Armchair Genealogist
blog will be on Friday night. And this episode is all about heritage holiday gifts, folks. So don't forget. Come join us this Friday, December 9th, at 8pm Central Time.