Monday, July 19, 2010

NZ Family History Fair 2010

From what I saw attending on the one day only, the organisation and execution of the first NZ Family History Fair was excellent. One of the seminars I attended was by the newly-elected-President of the NZ Society of Genealogists Fiona Brooker, who seemed particularly lovely and has awesome digital scrapbooking skills! I'm part-way through a project to name my grandad's photos by loading them into Photoshop Elements pages, looks like I must try harder...

My impression of the seminar list before going, that these weren't targeted at or that useful for the more experienced genealogist, was probably correct based on the sessions I attended (which were mostly from the Sharing My Past For the Future stream rather than the more-obviously-beginner streams). It would be interesting to see what the experience levels of attendees were - most people seemed to be NZSG members attending for the whole weekend so you would think that there would be a reasonable level of experience there. While the seminars were okay, I don't know that I would go out of my way in future. I also didn't purchase anything from exhibitors/retailers as there wasn't much that was relevant to my area of interest - one of the problems of living in one country and researching solely in another.

Meeting some online people in real life was worth the trip to Hamilton though - I met up with Brett, the Photo-Sleuth at lunch, after a false start where we thought we were in the same seminar in the morning. I was therefore smiling optimistically at every lone male entering my seminar, but then it turned out Brett was in an entirely different room....

I was also able to meet Seonaid Lewis, the family history librarian from the Auckland City Library - I'll be sure to pop into the library again sometime soon.

I do think that I can learn more about my ancestors and their lives (and how to research my ancestors and their lives) by doing what I've been doing on my own, rather than being a member of NZSG or attending any generic genealogical education events, and I definitely get more energy, enthusiasm and ideas from the geneablogging and tweeting community. So I'll keep on doing what I'm doing, starting today when I have the day off work!

9 comments:

Brett Payne said...

It was very nice to meet you Alex, and I'm sorry about the seminar room mix-up. I didn't get off to a good start, after having been sent to the wrong room for the first talk by one of the "ushers."

I think I share your thoughts about the fair and the seminars. The ones that I attended were of rather mixed quality, both in content and delivery. I even contemplated not bothering with the last talk, which was about recording oral history, but I'm very glad I decided to stick it out. It was delivered by a man who had worked in broadcasting for many years, and his experience and thorough knowledge of the subject showed. His presentation was relaxed, funny, captivating and informative, and I learnt a lot. He didn't use the slide show/projector at all, relying on more traditional skills, i.e. his voice and a tape recorder (well it may have been a CD-player, actually, but you know what I mean)!

The chap who gave the talk about using Blurb to publish a family history, which we attended together, was rather disjointed, I think. That said, I got something out of it in the way of inspiration, and fortuitously T.K. at Before My Time has just written about her experiences with Blurb.

Anyway, it wasn't a complete waste for me, but the relevance for a person whose research is almost entirely offshore needs to be addressed, I think, if they want to progress, or to attract fM and Sheri to the next one.

Regards, Brett

Brett Payne said...

... and, by the way, I'd be happy to talk a little more about your two CDV portraits over on Photo-Sleuth, if you'd care to share them ;-)

Cheers, Brett

Sheri said...

So Alex, tell me - is Mr. Payne every bit as charming and handsome as I think he is? LOL You and Brett must try and come to Jamboree next summer. Maybe you both can be like foreign exchange students and apply for a grant from Megan Smolenyak over at her "Honoring Your Ancestors" website. We'll start a facebook page - call it the "Bring Alex and Brett to Jamboree 2011" page!

Brett Payne said...

I'd better get in a word first here. Sadly, not nearly as interesting as the carefully cultivated image I may present online - underwhelming might perhaps be an apt description.

Alex, on the other hand, was indeed charming and pleasing to the eye, although I was a little disappointed at the lack of a martini glass (albeit forewarned). She would have cut an even finer figure, but I think perhaps the "findmypast" goody bag (sans anything "good," I might add, just brochures and a 10c notebook/pen combo) might have had to be ditched to avoid colour clashing problems.

The Jamboree - what an exciting trip that would be! It's nice to dream, but I think there's as much chance of that happening as Gill and the girls have of getting me to join them on a clothes shopping excursion next Saturday. ;-) Oh and Megan's grants are, I believe, reserved for the truly needy and deserving, not for those continually on the forage (referring to myself, not Alex, of course).

Nice thought, though, thanks.

Alex said...

Mr Payne is charmingly rakish (lol), and just as knowledgeable and intelligent in person as he is online. I heartily recommend him as a suitable attendee at any genealogical conference :)

I may have to go have a lie-down at the mere thought of attending Jamboree though. Perhaps we could Skype in on a Geneabloggers get-together there?

Sheri said...

You mentioning skype just gave me an idea - I have a digital movie camera and I have a webcam on my netbook and I have a wireless headset with a microphone. Between all 3 of those, you and Brett will be able to follow me where ever I go during Jamboree!

I am severely tech-challenged though, so I better start practicing now.

Brett Payne said...

I like this lady, but/and she's showing a worrying trend towards that fM/Sheri mould ....

Alex said...

Oh Sheri, you've always wanted a cyberstalker of your very own, haven't you?

Sheri said...

OK I'll admit that when I heard Elizabeth O'Neal say that San Francisco Geneablogger Steve Danko had a very loyal group of stalkers I was jealous. It's always go to know you're wanted by some one LOL

 
template by suckmylolly.com : background by Tayler : dingbat font TackODing