Day Three RootsTech London

Bring on the Donny Osmond Fans for Day Three Rootstech London

Osmond ancestor without a smail.Day three drew in a large crowd with the Donny Osmond fans eager to see him on the large Rootstech stage for his keynote talk. It was a slick professional presentation that included talk about his own family history supported by audio and video about his ancestors, family and career. Plus, for the die-hard fans, there was singing.

When Donny finished many of the audience rushed from the room to line up to meet Donny in the media hub area. They had to wait until the ambassadors had a chance to interview him first. It was clear from the replies to the ambassadors’ questions that he supports the notion that researching and learning about your family history is important. He is proud to have taken over from his mother as his families collector of stories in his family. In particular, he stressed the need to document your own stories and history for future generations.

I’m not related to the Osmond Family

For my question, I asked if he used the Relatives Around Me on the FamilySearch mobile app as he had spoken about technology in his speech. In a flash, he pulled out his phone and fired up the app. It is good to know that our keynote speakers can walk the talk. I’m sure some of the USA visitors to London were related however I did not get a match myself. As a side point, I did get about 8 matches over the conference. Many more than I usually get when we run the app at RootsTech in Salt Lake City. I am assuming it supports my UK and European heritage.

We ended with the ambassador group photo that included Jill Ball, Sharn White, Jenny Joyce and myself representing Australia.

RootsTech ambassadors with Donny Osmond

For Donny fans, his keynote talk is available to watch online: General Keynote Featuring Donny Osmond.

Engaging the younger audience

Before the keynote, I attended a session by Pro. Simon Gibson CBE about Engaging the younger audience by technology. As the synopsis of the talk mentioned his talk was about, “The creation of life stories and memories can bridge intergenerational gaps. Engaging and motivating the younger generations through the use of new technologies will make the creation of personal histories more engaging and attractive.”

I was attracted to this talk because I think technology is one of the keys to recording our own history. Plus recording local history, history of groups and organisations, etc so this that history is not lost. The younger generation is already recording their lives via social media. Prof Gibson talked about encouraging them to capture their memories and life stores. We need to engage through awareness thus raising interest in recording life stories. Creating a desire can lead to an action to record their own stories.  Feature-rich mobile phone cameras are equipped to easily record their lives compared to past methods like film cameras.

It is time to start encouraging

He asked us to consider how much easier it will be to have a digital version of life stories that can be shared with children and grandchildren in the future than hunting out old, dusty memory book that can get damaged or lost.

Finishing with some points to ponder Prof Gibson said there still much to be done to introduce young people to recording memories beyond their current passion for social media.

ProfSimon Gibson RootsTech London

Prof Gibson shared, with permission from Dr Steve Franklin, 102 questions you can use to interview relatives and others. The questions are based on interviewing more than 500 centenarians across the USA. If you would like to check out these questions they are available on the RootsTech app in the talk handout.

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RootsTech London Day 3: Donny Osmond comes to RootsTech

4 thoughts on “Day Three RootsTech London”

  1. Donny Osmond sounds like the perfect keynote, Fran. I have to admit when I first heard he was speaking, I did wonder what his connection to family history was.
    I agree that technology is the key to engaging the younger generation. So far, I haven’t found one young person in my family who is even slightly interested, but will keep trying

    1. I enjoyed the lighter entertainment side of his keynote. Shows you that anyone can be interested in their family history. At least with blogging, you are spreading some of your research.

  2. I paid for the on-line version of Roots Tech in London. I have never received the videos of the 20 sessions which I paid for. How do I get that?

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