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RootsTech 2016: Exhaustion & Rejuvenation

RootsTech 2016: Exhaustion & Rejuvenation Inevitably—or at least nearly so—bloggers post summaries of their RootsTech experiences. Speaking and serving as a RootsTech 2016 Ambassador has been a whirlwind. I learned a lot and met a ton of wonderful people. It’d be nice to tie it up with a nice bow as I leave Salt Lake City. On the other hand, it seems inappropriate. Summaries feel like something has ended. And, although the conference is over—and I have the weariness to prove it—in many ways it hasn’t ended. RootsTech more...

Family stories: Fire on a Stick

Family stories: Fire on a Stick "Family stories are fire on a stick." That s a quote from Michael Leavitt. Michael O. Leavitt, three-time governor of Utah and former US cabinet member under President George Bush, was a keynote speaker at RootsTech 2016. He.entertained the RootsTech audience with stories. Not stories of his ancestors, as you might expect, but rather shared his own memories. For instance, he told of calling home--in this case the governor's mansion--and speaking to his young son.  His son whispered to his dad that more...

Stories of the Heart: The Future of Family History

Stories of the Heart: The Future of Family HistoryWe all knew that I think that stories of the heart are the future of family history, but I have some good company. Steve Rockwood, CEO of FamilySearch International emphasized that in his opening keynote for Rootstech. Serious genealogists made up the majority of the 12,000 in-person audience. (Estimates including online audience range up to 125,000.) “To get and keep non-genealogists' attention,” Rockwell explained, “you have to focus on the person, not records.” He also emphasized that stories need to be more...

#Rootstech Innovator Showdown Semifinals

#Rootstech Innovator Showdown Semifinals     Update: Innovator Showdown Winners: 1st place of $20K in cash and $25K worth of in-kind prizes went to Heather Holmes of Tap Genes. One of the hard questions Heather fielded from the sharks was how she planned to deal with HIPPA requirements. She answered that TapGenes was developed by a team of health care professionals and is fully HIPPA compliant. The 2nd place prize of $14K in cash and $15K of in-kind prizes went to Michael Chang of  Studio (by Legacy Republic).  more...

Writing Your Family Story in Your Memoir

I was excited and honored to join Linda Joy Myers of the National Association of Memoir Writers to discuss how to writing your family story in your memoir on January 22, 2016. The initial airing was membership only, but Linda Joy has offered me an audio transcript for my readers. Family stories are an important aspect of memoirs. Our story isn’t simply the things that stand out in the vivid technicolor of our memory or the signposts that mark turning more...

Innovator Showdown Semifinalists: 12 New Apps for Family History & Storytelling

This time next week I’ll be in Salt Lake City, walking around with a giddy feeling in my stomach. Having looked forward to and prepared for RootsTech for it for months, I’ll be trying to absorb all the family history, storytelling, and technical insight I can. A highlight of the RootsTech conference will be the Innovator Showdown. Family history innovators from all over the globe compete for $100,000 in cash and prizes. For attendees, it’s like watching a Shark Tank for more...

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