Friday, February 11, 2011

Holy High Tech Batman

OH MY GOODNESS!  I am in information overload.  I have learned about new apps for my Droid, ways to improve my blog, how to create a podcast, Second Life and the roll it can play in genealogy (more about that later) and Tweeting. 

I told Tami (my roommate at RootsTech, and one of the presenters at said conference) that I needed to learn how to Tweet.  For about the tenth time this weekend she looked at me, totally incredulous, and asked, “You’re not on Twitter?”  and I in all innocence said, “No I don’t Twit.”  Tami replied, “Kim, you twit, everyone else Tweets.”

So now I Tweet.  You can follow me there too. (I’m Kimmyvon on Twitter)    It’s kind of weird.  I’m having a love/hate relationship with social media (see how I’m picking up the lingo?)  I never wanted to be this connected before.  I actually felt relieved whenever I forgot my phone at home.  Just a little time to myself… a few moments where no one could make any demands on my time.  Now I feel as if there is this long line of invisible shadows following me wherever I go.  It’s kind of creepy when you think about it. 

But on the other hand I love all the information that is being exchanged though social media.  My sisters had to drag me kicking and screaming into using Facebook, now I don’t know how I lived without it and am trying to get my husband to use it.  I love it…I actually have an idea what my son is up to and I know my sisters are alive and well.  I get notified when someone is having a baby or has lost a loved one.  My friends share stories about their family’s history or their dogs.  I know when someone gets a new job or loses the one they had.  What a great invention. 

I’m hoping that Twitter will work out as well. 

On Tuesday I am going to try out something else new (well, new to me).  I’m going to do an interview using Skype.  I’ve used Skype before but someone else set it up so this should be interesting, considering that Tami had to walk me through setting up Twitter step by step.  (I’m a bit of a nimrod when it comes to all this Techie stuff….did I mention that?)

Oh, that reminds me…Tonight a meeting was held in Second Life for the APG Second Life Chapter.  Craig Scott was the lecturer.  It was a great meeting and Craig (or Krag as his Second Life avatar is known) did a masterful job lecturing about his specialty, Military Records.  

I was introduced to Second Life by none other than the infamous Tami Glatz.  Techie Tutor extraordinaire.  (I know I mention Tami a lot but she is the one who is “turning me on” to all this great technology.)  Second Life is a virtual reality.  Somewhere I never would have gone…I don’t game.  So when Tami told me about the wonderful genealogy experiences one could have in Second Life I was skeptical, reluctant, and really not interested, but I gave it a try. 

I am so glad I did.  I think it is one of the best kept secrets in the genealogy world.  Great classes; as good as anything I have attended at the conferences.  And when APG (Association of Professional Genealogists) granted a charter for a chapter in Second Life I was ecstatic.  Now I can attend meetings wearing my bunny slippers and no one looks at me funny. 

But tonight’s APG chapter meeting was special in so many ways.  First of all it was “broadcast” from the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.  And secondly, yours truly was able to set up my computer and attach a USB cable between it and my Droid enabling me to have a WiFi spot.  All courtesy of my friend Jane. 

I met my new friend Jane (aka Gadget Girl) here at this conference.  She and I are already fast friends.  When I discovered that I would not be able to get a WiFi connection for my computer and therefore would be unable to attend the APG meeting I was disappointed.  Then I remembered my friend Jane.

Gadget Girl to the rescue.

Earlier in the day Jane had told me about an app for my Droid that allowed me to have an internet connection no matter where I was.  And it was a free download.  (It’s called PDAnet, by the way, you need to download it to your computer too).   I remembered that and called her (see all the cool stuff I’m learning).  I asked her if she had a USB cable that would work between my phone and my laptop.  Yes, she did.  She helped me get set up, and I was able to attend the meeting.  Not only that, but the feed for the main computer we were using for the meeting was not working properly and they ended up using mine as the main computer.  Me… a Non-Techie.  Wow. 

I may soon have to give up the title Non-Techie. 

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