RootsTech – Opening Keynote

The keynote speaker for the opening session of the Rootstech conference was Jay L. Verkler who was the former director of FamilySearch.org. His talk centered on the possibilities of the future of genealogy. He showed a girl in 2060 asking her phone to find her ancestors which it did in just minutes. He also showed a future website where people were automatically linked to their cousins.

Mr. Verkler also introduced a couple of guys from Google that demonstrated an add-on to their Chrome browser that will find additional genealogical data on people. That is already working on FamilySearch.org WeRelate.org and a couple other websites. They also talked about how webmasters can add what they called “microdata” to their website to add their web pages to the genealogical data indexed by Google. Both of those subjects will be discussed more tomorrow (Friday) in a free online session at 1 p.m. (eastern; 10 a.m. western). Just go to the Rootstech website for that or otherĀ  free sessions.

Mr. Verkler also mentioned that web pages disappear over time although I am not sure what his point was. He said that the average lifetime of a web page is 3 years. Must Mr. Verkler hasn’t heard of Archive.org which has one part of their website called the “Wayback Machine” that archivesĀ  web pages. In fact, my web pages from 1997 are on there. They don’t archive pictures but text and HTML (web page formatting) is preserved.