Rootstech 2021 was loaded with great presentations that I really enjoyed. I have added a few to my Playlist so I can go back and review throughout the year!
But… the site had some difficulties. I follow the blogger Roberta Estes and she kept talking about places I couldn’t find! First, there is no overall search function. And some things were buried under tiers or levels that were not obvious. There is no site map.
For example, Roberta mentioned a place called “DNA Learning Center”. I simply couldn’t find it in Rootstech. So, I signed in to Rootstech in one tab of my browser. Then I opened a new tab and did a Google search for “where is dna learning center in rootstech”! Google located it for me, I opened the url in a third tab and finally, I was there.
Through inspection of the url, I learned that the DNA Learning Center is located in a folder called “Expo Hall”. Geeze… How was I to know this?
Roberta kept saying there were over 1,000 presentations that one could view. She did say that you sometimes had to search by presenter name to find them. Humm…. When I counted the presentations by Keynotes and Sessions I couldn’t find nearly that many. And the darn menu in the right side has now changed since the “live” party is over. Keynotes and Calendar is gone.
Sure, you can now search for topic under the Sessions menu item. And you can search by speaker name under the Speakers menu item. But, I defy you to find easily the presentation by Beth Taylor called “Using DNA To Find Unknown Relatives” or “What Is A Centimorgan” by Robert Kehrer if you hadn’t been attending during the conference using the now defunct Calendar option.
Don’t get me wrong, I love that FamilySearch hosted the Rootstech conference. But a site map was needed along with a global search function. And downloadable lists can be very useful! Someone should send this note to the planners of Rootstech 2022.
Here is a link to one of Roberta’s posts showing her similar comments.
Now I am going to look around in the Innovators Portal in rootstech.org
Go here to discover a bit about your surname.
“Rootstech 2021 was great and is improving with age. Thank you, FamilySearch, for hosting such a wonderful virtual conference.” – James Robeson
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