Is RootsTech More Roots Than Tech?


  1. Ellen Thompson-Jennings
    Ellen Thompson-Jennings March 21, 2013 at 8:58 am .

    My husband and I have been coming to Roots Tech since the beginning. What we found interesting this year is that for the Techies (my husband is a programmer) there really are only sessions for the first day. Hmmmm

    1. caelm
      caelm March 21, 2013 at 9:53 pm .

      There are a number of developer type sessions on Friday including Building Apps and Developer Platforms. Saturday is light on Tech stuff.


  2. Mariann Regan
    Mariann Regan March 21, 2013 at 8:19 pm .

    I also find tech exciting, whether old or new. I’d like to do all my genealogy on the Cloud, while sitting at home and drinking hot chocolate. You’re far advanced in tech, and I respect that. I have nothing against tech, though I’m no tech head (sometimes I feel tech has something against me — I’m still on my learning curve). And I’d love a World Tree and more DNA results analysis.

    But. I’m also with the folks who think stories are the real “pull” of genealogy — not instead of data, but in addition to data. Stories show that people are eccentric, inventive, strange, and that life can always surprise you. And you can surprise life. Choices abound. As when you wrote about genealogical discoveries being a possible “minefield.” Step carefully. Now that’s a story…

    1. caelm
      caelm March 21, 2013 at 10:02 pm .

      I agree, stories add a richness to genealogy and I encourage everyone to blog about their family history. I have an expectation that technology will provide the records that I need to tell those stories. To a degree technology needs to be invisible. The Tech that I’m looking for is the ‘new’ and the ‘wow’. I’m having trouble finding it.


  3. Ben
    Ben March 27, 2013 at 2:52 pm .

    I agree that RootsTech was much less technical than the past couple of years. I believe this was on purpose because the current focus of FamilySearch is very much into photos and stories and the conference reflected that. It was hard for me to see most of technical presentations packed into Friday. I should also point out a not-well-adverstised piece of RootsTech is the Family History Technology Workshop. This is where various researchers present ideas that are not yet productized. The papers have not been uploaded yet for this year, but they should be soon and you can see past year’s at Hopefully this year’s research will be uploaded soon.

    This year there were presentations on handwriting recognition, visualization and much more. I gave a presentation at the poster session around some ideas to improve prioritization of where to work and improving context through a unified relationship distance calculation. If you’re interested you can check this out at:

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