Thursday, February 2, 2012

Interesting Parallels from Rootstech This Morning

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.


  1. You are spot on with that thought, "We make our own history every day." I don't know where I'd be in my research if it weren't for a grandmother who decided to save every letter and document related to her family. She was thinking of the future in that one token decision. After all, when we save things, who are we saving them for?

    Everyone who writes, who documents, who saves is thinking of the future. That's why I hope those skilled in current technology address the ephemeral aspect of internet files. Remember GeoCities? I sure don't want my online genealogy records to become part of some future great big trash heap out in the "ether."

  2. The idea of community was very prevalent in several of the virtual presentations I watch. I hope companies can work together for the good of the whole. Ron Tanner of nFS also talked about "my-tree-itis" and encouraged the genealogists to work together too. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  3. One of the reasons I started this blog was from being inspired by reading other genealogy blogs. There are some great ideas out there in this community - and I didn't think of it in that way until recently.

    I also wanted to get my research out there (and "there" as in beyond just on my Ancestry tree) to spur more collaboration and sharing with others who may be researching similar lines. I've made some wonderful connections with distant cousins over the last few years.


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