I am a big fan of genealogy conference apps. I usually “wax on” about the app for the conference every year I attend. Guess what? This year is no different!
Reader alert: I have an iPhone 6, if you don’t then YMWV.
If you are planning on attending NGS 2016, please download and more importantly–use–the app. It can save you time and save your back –you won’t be carrying around that big syllabus. Here is your link: http://conference.ngsgenealogy.org/mobile-app/. I used my Scanlife app to scan the QR code and I thought I was set–but I couldn’t find NGS 2016. After reading the instructions, I found it!
The mainstay of the app is the conference schedule. NGS will run around 10 lectures per hour long session. You can pick and choose which lectures you wish to attend and they will show up on your personal schedule. At this stage of preparation I have already gone through all the lectures once and made a “first draft” of my personal schedule with the lectures I wish attend. There are sometimes 3-5 sessions in an hour that I wish to attend as you can see from the photo at the left. Since I cannot defy laws of physics and be in two places at one time, this list will get pared down to 1 or 2 sessions as I get closer to the day. Some, like the times I speak, I have only one session checked–mine! 🙂
In this blog, I thought I would review a couple of my favorite other features of the app and how I will use them at the conference.
- “Social Media”: Here is where you have access to Facebook and Twitter. In the past, I have tweeted more at the NGS conference than I post on FB. Currently, I am using FB more. We’ll see what happens this year. Twitter is a short (140 characters) message out to those who are reading them, usually other conference attendees. It is great, if you are late for a popular session, to know if the session has closed entry to more attendees–twitter will tell you. It also lets you know if your friends are in the room. Even now people are tweeting about the conference, but it will “light up” during the actual event. If your are not on Twitter and coming to the conference, I recommend that you join the group.
- “Downloads”: This is where all the syllabi are digitally stored. I will get a thumbdrive with the syllabus but I can also download them (once I have the password) if I want. (Hint to attendees: Authors approach syllabi writing very differently. If there is a session I think I want to see, I check the syllabus. If it appears that the author has given me their presentation in the syllabus, I might not attend. Hint to presenters: make your syllabus content-rich, but different than your talk to increase attendance.)
- “Speakers”: At this stage of my genealogy career and this far in advance of the conference, I am more interested in hearing the best speakers speak. I can always learn from them. So, I go to the list of speakers and pick out the ones that consistently deliver good content. I select their talks to place on my personal schedule. Some of these will be selected to be Live Streamed by NGS. When those are announced, I will (maybe) sign up for Live-Streaming and delete their sessions from my personal schedule. I can then attend another session, listen to the Live-Streamed session at home and avoid the crush at NGS.
Things I don’t like about the app:
- I didn’t like that the app appeared to over-write my last year’s app–only to find out I was wrong. I actually looked at that the 2015 app when I am devoid of ideas for presentations and need a psychological boost! (clicking through the buttons of the app, I just found the 2015 conference! Woo hoo!)
- To download the app with the other app still on the phone, I had to read the instructions!! Can you believe it? There was a little thing-y you had to change in the settings of the old app to get it overwritten. I am a great believer in “intuitive equals easy; reading instruction manuals equals hard.”
- On the home page we lose a lot of “real estate” to the bands at the top (see photo on left). Almost 50% of the face is the tabs (important), the “Dashboard” (this could be a slider from the bottom, like putting your phone in airplane mode), the advertisements (important to NGS, but not to me), the welcome and alert band (could be handled differently and still tell me I needed to update) and the events that are upcoming (not important now but will be).
I’ll live. 🙂
Hope to see you at the conference!
What I have done since the last posting: I have been working furiously on a client report. It has been more difficult to write than I thought, which tells me that my other client reports that I thought would be good to submit for my BCG portfolio–aren’t. I will work on two of them (I will work on the second report after the NGS conference) and then pick one for submission for my portfolio. I extended my portfolio submission date to 2017. Since I am taking a research (and attending 3 genealogy conferences) trip to Iowa in August, I want to incorporate what I find into the KDP.