Earlier today I was able to catch the live streaming of Jay Verkler's talk from Rootstech on "Inventing the Future, As a Community", and I was struck by the parallels between some the issues he touched on, and the Internet policy and governance world in which I spend most of my time. Verkler spoke about the need to work collaboratively, as a community, about old technologies needing to be updated and the improvements being developed along open source lines. He also spoke about issues of internationalization and scripts, cloud computing, security and the ability to share data. It was a fascinating talk, and I hope the full video is available to be watched again later.
It would be great if some of those working on the issues Verkler raised in the genealogy community were interested in participating in the ICANN community. We have international public meetings coming up in Costa Rica, Prague & Toronto in 2012 (see Meetings for schedule). If you can't be there in person, there are plenty of sessions presented with remote participation. I'm hoping to attend Rootstech in person next year (dates mentioned today 21-23 March 2013), so perhaps between now and then I can reach out and encourage technologists following Rootstech to take a look at the some of the Internet ecosystem issues being discussed in the ICANN space as well.
What also struck me was the need to think about genealogy not just as singular family history, but as a larger community of historians, preserving stories and data for future generations, and uncovering lost bits of history for the benefit of the greater community. I've had this line in my head for a while as I research and work, that "We make our own history every day." Family history is a lens to view history as a whole, and our place in the bigger picture. And that's one of the reasons I love it.