RootsTech 2014 officially opens tomorrow, February 6. However, a pre-conference session, called "Innovator's Summit," was held today. The "Innovator's Summit" is an opportunity for software developers, entrepreneurs and technology business leaders to explore and influence technology solutions in the family history industry.
I was not able to attend the "Innovator's Summit" as I am at home recuperating from recent surgery. However, newsletter reader John Ralls was in attendance and sent the following information and picture:
"The keynote speech was by Chris Dancy (picture to the right, click on the image to see a larger version) http://www.chrisdancy.com/ about the meaning of death and immortality in the virtual world. Our parents and their parents before them created a legacy of writing and artifacts that can be passed down; many of us have heirloom collections that may extend back many generations. We're not doing that as much. Most of our legacy is online, it includes things that we create about ourselves but also what other people collect about us.
"After describing the ancient Egyptian books of the dead, manuals of spells and rituals for the living to perform to ensure their comfort in the afterlife, he explored the current state of digital afterlife and projected a future where the details of one's online life might be used to create a virtual simulation: There's already a service that will analyze all of your tweets and continue tweeting in the same style after you're no longer able.
"The sessions today tended to be on the technical side: I attended ones on API design, a new lineage numbering system (http://www.ancestrallines.net/) and genealogical data modelling. The last was by Luther Tychonievich, who's also involved in FHISO. I took the opportunity to ask him what was going on with them, and the answer is that they're stalled out for want of someone to chair the committee reviewing all of the proposals they've received.
My thanks to John Ralls for the above report.