The first annual RootsTech conference is scheduled to take place February 10-12, 2011 in Salt Lake City. The conference is sponsored by multiple partners, including Brigham Young University, Ancestry.com, FamilySearch, Federation of Genealogical Societies and more. As described on the website, the conference
will be a gathering of both family history enthusiasts and technologists from around the world. Genealogy hobbyists and professionals alike will discover new and emerging technologies that will improve and simplify their activities. At the same time, technology providers will enjoy a rare, face‐to‐face opportunity to interact with family history enthusiasts to better understand their needs.
I am quite excited by this conference. I took a look at the planned sessions for the three days and practically drooled. However, there is just one problem — I can’t go!
I’ve blogged before about my desire to see more online conference attendance opportunities for genealogy gatherings and in my mind, this particular conference would be a perfect testbed. For those of us that can’t attend, why not offer videos of some of the presentations (or all of them!). The conference registration fee is $99 – which is great, but I’d gladly pay almost this much to be able to view the content online – even if a few days after the fact.
This model has been successfully in other domains. For example, WordPress regularly films their presentations from WordCamp gatherings and posts them online at WordPress.tv — sometimes, presentations are really short – 5 minutes or so… sometimes they are longer.
This is a gathering of technology minded individuals. I’m sure they can pull off an experiment of this concept! If television shows like House can be filmed with a $2500 Digital SLR camera, then I’m sure this group of sponsors can afford a few of them for video recordings. If 100 people signed up for $100 each to *virtually attend* the conference, then the money for the equipment would be easily recouped. Furthermore, special subscriptions could be sold to genealogy societies for group showings.