16 February 2015

#RootsTech 2015

Wow! An amazing conference with so much to see and do and be a part of!

I hadn't planned on attending or checking out any of the Innovator's Showdown sessions as I had already ear-marked some of that time for other sessions. But, after the opening keynote session with Laura Bush and Jenna Bush Hager - which was really awesome - my genealogy buddy and roommate said, let's hang out and see what the final four have done.

So, we did!

And I'm glad we did. All of the four finalists were really innovative and right on the edge of what is currently happening in the genealogy community. You can see their presentations here:  Innovator Showdown

Story Worth, the one that took home the big prize, has a great concept and one that is ready to go right now. I can see that one taking off in a big way, if it already hasn't. Great idea to help those of us who have not interviewed or recorded our older generation as of yet. And wonderful way to set up prompts to get the responses/stories that you want. I don't know if that will work with my family yet as I no longer have many older relatives... but I'll think about it!

However, the second place group, ArgusSearch? That's the one I want to see developed. I tend to approach my family history more from a research point of view that the story point of view. And this product/application is just the thing! I really hope they get this off the ground and others jump on board.  

Here's the scoop: their product can 'read' script... you know... handwriting... and search it! And then present it to you in results! Without a middle party doing the indexing! I mean, how awesome is that? Haven't we all been struggling with trying to find our ancestor's records in handwritten documents??? How many times have you enlarged or changed the color or turned it around to see if you can read it any better? How many mistakes have you found in indexed records of some of the very same documents? THIS is ground-breaking!

I really think the only reason they did not win first prize is because their presentation was not very polished. English is not their first language and it showed. BUT their product is brilliant!

Here is the URL for their website:  ArgusSearch

Overall, the conference was incredible.  I'm glad I got to be a part of it this year!

I missed meeting many of my online genealogy friends... so until next time, happy researching!

#RootsTech #InnovatorShowdown #genealogy #familyhistory