The best 2 1/2 days that I spent, and felt so very fortunate to be able to watch, listen, & learn while the annual technology & genealogical conference was streaming for free on the internet. To be able to sit in the comfort of my own home and gain immense knowledge that will help keep you on the cutting edge, and help you to grow and open your eyes to possibilities that you otherwise would only had dreamt of. I first learned about this conference last year, but it was at the last minute and I did not have time to properly prepare. This year was different. I printed out the blogpost that Randy Seaver was so kind to share, providing the complete presentation schedule for all of the streaming events. I then pinned it to my corkboard message board that hangs right in front of my desk; blocked out all 3 days on my desk blotter calendar & even posted a status on my Facebook wall telling all my friends that I would be incognito during those 3 days. Mr. Seaver also included instructions & the link to download & print all of the class syllabuses. This made life so much simpler than last year. I followed the instructions step by step, then set up a special file to save the syllabuses in, & clicked and saved until I had them all.
Day 1 had 4 presentations beginning with "The Future of Genealogy" which was a panel discussion between 7 very highly respected members of the genealogy community. With technology sometimes changing faster than the speed of light, it's a wonder any of us can keep up. Those of us from the slightly older generation, who have spent years, and for some, decades diligently doing and carefully documenting our research in whatever manner is comfortable for us. Now, we have to consider our younger, next generation who will be taking the reins. Next was, "Tell It Again", and it taught us the importance of putting down our stories. It immediately made me realize that even though I have nearly 12 years of names, dates, places, & events, and even some pictures; I have not taken the time to write down stories, that will help bring our past to life. Next came "The Genealogist's Gadget Bag". This was an international panel discussion with 3 genealogists and 1 moderator. Watching this show and tell session prompted me to begin my new Gadget Acquisition list. And I thought I was pretty well organized; it humbled me to be in the presence of such seasoned pros. The final session of the day was, "Finding the Obscure and Elusive: Geographic Information on the Web". Throughout the several years of my research, my main focus was on people and time. I usually don't give much thought to location. Sure, I have made use of Google Earth, and was quite successful in travelling to France, and finally locating my paternal grandfather's hometown, south of Paris. And, that for me, was a "Woo Hoo!" moment. But, I slacked off, & never considered the importance of my ancestor's location.
By the end of the 1st day, I not only had a few pages of my notebook filled with notes, but 1/2 of my desktop was covered with little post-it notes, each one reminding me of websites to visit, or gadgets to add to my shopping list. The next 2 days were likewise filled with excellent presentations, a truckload of information, and an overall feeling of excitement which seemed to light a new fire within me to intensify my search, and my passion has been re-born anew. Look out ancestors, because here I come!