On reflection, I think Saturday would have been my choice of day to attend. I would have hit all the stands in the first couple of hours, and then spent most of my afternoon in workshops. There are some fascinating things going on, and in a couple of places I was really torn in my workshop choices. Fortunately, as I’m not actually going I can work on them all! Here’s my not-at-all realistic Saturday workshop plan:
Organising your research with technology (12 p.m.) – Although I prefer to keep my own records on paper and electronic files (Word, Excel, etc.), I’d be interested to see if there’s anything I’m missing out on, in particular new software I might not be aware of.
The plan: A bit of internet research should get me up-to-speed, but it’s not something I’m likely to dedicate much time to at the moment, which is exactly why a summary in workshop form would have been so helpful!
Keynote workshop: Breaking the Barriers with Social Networking – Strategies and Tips (1 p.m.) – For one thing, this is the keynote, so I’d expect it to be pretty special. Also, despite being relatively young and a Facebook user (and now blogger), I’m not really using Facebook for genealogical purposes, nor am I currently on Twitter, which I suspect would be central to some of this workshop. This would be my absolute must-see of the weekend I think!
The plan: I suppose I need to get tweeting, get Probably Arboreal onto Facebook and see what happens. I usually find it easier to learn this sort of thing by doing, as I have recently with blogging, so I suppose I just need to set aside some time and dive in! Anyone got any tips?
Irish research online (3 p.m.) – As I do have a couple of Irish ancestors and haven’t managed to get any further back on either of their lines after they arrived in the UK, this would probably be the most useful workshop I could attend all weekend. I did attend an Irish genealogy workshop last year, but didn’t come away with anything that particularly helped, but this seems much more focused on doing research online and from a distance, so hopefully it would be able to provide me with some useful leads.
The plan: Basically, I need to do some thorough research to come up with ideas about where to start. Plus there must be loads of Irish genealogists out there, and there’s no language barrier, so I probably need to get chatting!
Exploring Google+ as a Tool for Family Research (4 p.m.) – don’t know a lot about Google+, so this would be very interesting. As I already use Facebook for social purposes and LinkedIn for work purposes, perhaps Google+ could become my genealogical equivalent. I want to know more...
The plan: Check out Google+. There’s plenty of buzz in the blogging world at the moment if the articles LinkedIn are suggesting to me are anything to go by, so I just need to do a bit of digging and then make an assessment of how useful it might be and how to use it.
Google Search Strategies for the Family Historian (4 p.m.) – I have no idea why this and the Google+ workshop were scheduled at the same time, as they seem to me like they might be of relevance to a similar demographic. Forced to choose, I probably would have gone for this one on balance, just because I know how useful Google can be (I’d say I’m an ‘intermediate’ user), and I want to know how to make it even more efficient at telling me what I want. I really hope this wouldn’t have disappointed...
The plan: I already have some useful tips on using Google search. What I need to do is keep collecting them, and start putting them into practice until they become second nature. And of course, they’re exactly the kind of thing I should be blogging about, once they’re tried and tested.
Moving from amateur to professional genealogist: Are you ready? (5 p.m.) – My attendance here would be more out of curiosity than anything else. I suspect that the answer is currently no, I’m not ready. But I hope to be one day, and I’d like to be prepared to recognise when, and know what I need to do to achieve it! Fortunately I should have about fifty years ahead of me to get there!
The plan: I think this is something I can look into and work towards quite slowly, but I should definitely be drawing up a list of things that I need to know more about and getting to work on them.
See you tomorrow for my final day of fantasy WDYTYA Live!