Sunday, December 11, 2011

RootsTech's Ban On Book Vendors

I have been posting to Facebook like a crazy woman ever since the news was made public.
To see where it all began go to  Leland Meitzler's post HERE

RootsTech now scares me for a whole new reason. 

Old School Genealogists already fear that the New School Genealogist relies too heavily on internet and digital creations for sourcing or just plain old "doing" their genealogy. In other words some fear that genealogy done by "New School" "Techie" genealogists might be limited to online research. That would be incredibly stupid. The vast amount of genealogy information can not be found in the digital world. 

So why would RootsTech, want to ban books in their vendor hall? Is this not a genealogy conference? Yes, it is a genealogy conference with a focus on techie stuff for use in the genealogy world but it is still a genealogy conference. Right?

Some genealogist, especially the beginners, might only pick one genealogy conference to go to in the whole year. Hopefully RootsTech would be that conference. How sad if that new genealogist could not find the one book that sends them down the road to discovery because RT doesn't have book vendors. 

When I first started doing genealogy I used "The Idiots Guide To Genealogy," I still recommend it to beginners. I would like to know what beginners guide RootsTech would recommend? And why can't I find it at RootsTech?

When technology catches up to (and contains) all the genealogical information that I use that is in print...then they can quit selling books. And don't tell me...well you can order that book, or buy it at one of the other national conferences. What if I want to look through the book first and decide if it pertains to my needs? What if I can only attend one national conference a year? I guess, if I can't buy books at RootsTech, and I know that good genealogy is based on using other sources in addition to digital ones, and I can get digital ones online...well money is better spent going to NGS or FGS.

Not to mention that I can see all those techie things you're trying to sell me at FRYS or BEST BUY. Or I am sure my blogging buddies will tell me of the newest gizzmo I've just got to have...(can you say Flip-Pal). 

Personally I don't go to the vendor hall to look at all the new gizzmos. There is usually too big a crowd, or it's a demo of how a BOOK is digitized, or some such thing. While I am glad some books are being preserved by digitization...I don't need to know the How of it. I like to drive my car but I don't need to know how the car's electrical system works to take a drive.

And I don't spend hundreds of dollars to play pool or chess or Wii or pong or whatever else is in the "game room."

I go to RootsTech for the lectures when I do venture into the vendor hall (and don't get me wrong, I spend hundreds in there too) I mainly go for books. That's one of the reasons I drive to most of the I can haul back books. If I fly I have to ship them. 

And RootsTech...don't you remember last year after Lisa Louise Cooke spoke there was a run on the Book Sellers to buy her book. Now tell you really think speakers such as Lisa Louise Cooke come to speak at your conference for what you pay? What do you pay...I've heard it is the price of admission to the conference...if that's it then I would venture to guess that the speakers are counting on selling some of their books. So why would they want to speak at your conference if they can't get their books sold there?  Wake up! You're speakers sell books. They are your vendors. See this blog

It was my understanding that this was a genealogy conference that embraces technology not a technology conference that embraced genealogy. Or are we just a new market for the sales team?

Sharon Sergeant, in a Facebook post, said it so well, this conference is supposed to be "the marriage of genealogy to technology, not a divorce."

Come On's not hard....who is your audience? Genealogists who use Technology or Techies who do genealogy?