Thursday, August 22, 2013

FGS 2013- The Kick Off

I arrived here in Ft. Wayne on Tuesday and I've been slightly remiss in not filling you in. I'm staying at a hotel that is about 5 miles from the conference center, but it feels more like 10. The shuttle times that the hotel is providing are slightly strange and somewhat constricting. Note to self: Don't stay this far away from the main conference action again, unless I have my car.

On Tuesday night I attended the blogger dinner hosted by FamilySearch. They announced that Diane L. Loosle is the new Director of the Family History Library. After dinner we were shown an example of a new feature to some of their libraries throughout the world, which are the Family History Discovery Centers. These are places that you can conduct oral interviews, say with granny, and it will be recorded on video. This video will be saved on a thumb drive which you get to walk away with. The cost is only $8.00 US. I think this is a pretty neat concept. For attending the dinner FamilySearch also gave us these cool solar chargers that have a flashlight feature.

Wednesday I was going to catch a little extra sleep in the morning, but then realized that I needed to catch the last morning shuttle at 7:30. So I was up bright and early. I sat in on Cyndi Howell's (from Cyndi's List) opening session. She discussed society websites and made some really good points. Your society should take a really good look at their website and determine if the information on it is; current, informative, linking to other useful sites for research in the area, and visually pleasing. She went on to discuss examples of sites she has seen that haven't been updated since 1998, or that are so visually busy that it is difficult to take in what the society is about.

After Cyndi's session I headed over to the Allen County Public Library. It is chock full of genealogists. I have a list of research items that is near absurd so I got busy. Overall it was a strange research day for me. The people I was searching out remained illusive, while other ancestors elbowed their way forward. How did this happen? I would turn to pages in any given book looking for a particular person, and out would pop another ancestor I hadn't planned on looking for on this trip. It is always strange when this happens, but I roll with it. Instead of standing in the ever growing line for the copiers I used the Genius Scan app on my iPhone. I can scan an image, save it as a PDF or JPEG, and then save into DropBox. It does a pretty good job and it saves me time.

Last night I also attended a social at the Botanical Gardens. It was very pretty but slightly warm. The line for food was surprisingly slow moving. They had music there and three raffles. I didn't win, but was happy for the people who did. They were excited and that's always fun to see. I was able to catch up with friends, meet new people, and talk genealogy. A perfect evening.

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