Tuesday, May 08, 2012

NGS 2012 Thoughts thus far

After resolving some minor vendor hall set-up issues, Mr. Myrt and I attended two evening events:

FamilySearch Bloggers and Media Dinner in the Hyatt. Among the things discussed:
  • Recognition for 1940 Census Ambassadors -- nifty, high-quality zippered tote bag given to those of us in attendance.
  • Arbitration is only about 1 day behind the indexers.
  • There are plans to provide alternate arbitration methods.
  • There are plans to provide notes to arbitrators when an indexer submits a batch.
  • There are plans to permit annotation of indexed data, so if you "see" the handwriting differently, you can type an annotation that will be fully searchable in addition to the arbitrated index of that data. (This is something we've already seen over on Ancestry.com on a few collections.)
  • 24/7 there are 10,000 FamilySearch support staff on standby throughout the world, in over 10 languages, ready to answer tech support questions.
  • Participation in the 1940 indexing has far exceeded anticipated numbers and at this rate project could be done by July.
  • Sometimes a state is listed as 100% complete, but it can take up to two weeks to process before the index and images are available. Sometimes states drop back to 98% during this time, simply because each image marked "no date" or "unreadable" is reviewed. Sometimes there is data that can be indexed, so it is sent back into the queue.
  • Though the 1940 census images are recognized as a large collection, it is roughly 1% of the images that are scheduled to go live on the FamilySearch.org website in 2012.
  • A collaboration between BillionGraves.com and FamilySearch will focus on US Memorial Day activities. The index will be searchable at FamilySearch, and hosted on FamilySearch servers.
  • There is an agreement between the Italian government and FamilySearch.org to digitize the civil records (birth, marriage and death) from 180[?] through 1940. (Awesome, even though I don't have Italian ancestors!)
  • Talked with Merrill White of FamilySearch about larger Family History Centers giving webinars, with the Washington DC FHC in mind. He said they are looking into refitting some of the larger centers with equipment to promote and produce webinars that other centers can view, etc. He also said the larger FHCs can use the FamilySearch software (a customized version of Adobe Connect) for free. (So Carol P, this should be wonderful new for you!)
  • Everyone sang Happy Birthday to Mr. Myrt. Cherie Bush brought in his favorite -- cherry pie during the singing.
APG Association of Professional Genealogists Round Table. Though we arrived late, there was much to be gleaned from a lively discussion of "mentoring".
  • Mentoring is possible in the absence of fear -- where two parties are able to click and share ideas back and forth.
  • Mentoring might be formal, though webinars, meetings, roundtable discussions, etc., or informal over lunch, or even just a phone call once or twice a year.
  • APG members who may have opted out of receiving the APG email to members from the APG Admin, should contact Kathy Hinkley, CG, Executive Director,  Association of Professional Genealogists.  P.O. Box 350998, Westminster, CO 80035-0998, tel. 303-465-6980, fax 303-456-8825, admin@apgen.org
  • The notices Kathy sends out to APG members are also found in the "members only" part of the APG website.
Mr. Myrt and I took a carriage ride enjoying the night air (Michael LeClerc has the pics to prove it!) It was fun to relax and view the variety of architectural styles here and there throughout downtown Cincinnati. Later, we met with friends, and then called it a night. This is my report.

Wednesday I plan to be at the Official Bloggers' area in the exhibit hall, and to attend:

12:15pm FGS Luncheon 
David Rencher, AG, CG, FUGA, FIGRS
Indians, Squatters, Settlers, and Soldiers in the Old Southwest
Junior Ballroom C

2:30pm Medical Records in the National Archives for Soldiers and Civilians
Marie Varrelman Melchiori, CG, CGL 
Room 200

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt     :)
Your friend in genealogy.

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  1. You rock, dear friend! Thank you for the updates and the good news about webinars for FHC's. We're ready to get started!