Top Reactions to My “Top Ten Things” Talk

My niece listens to my talk

My newborn niece demonstrates that you can start kids on genealogy too early.

There were lots of exciting moments at this year’s RootsTech, which I’ll blog about throughout the week, but perhaps the most exciting one was giving my live-streamed talk, “Top Ten Things I Learned About My Family from My Couch:  Beginning Internet Genealogy.”  If you missed it, you can watch it online.

The idea for the talk came to me in the summer of 2011, believe it or not, though I’m glad I waited a few more years to give it, because I’ve made some much better discoveries since then.  For an idea so long in gestation, it meant that much more to me that the talk was so well received.  Throughout the conference people stopped by my booth or tweeted to say how much they enjoyed it, and last night popular genealogy blogger Randy Seaver posted a review of it.

What a treat – it is informative, funny, and instructive…  What an excellent presentation!  I loved it.  I think every genealogist will love it – please don’t miss this one!

Of course, nothing’s an unqualified hit in this world, and alas, the negative reactions I’ve received so far have come from my nearest and dearest.  First, there was my newborn niece (pictured above), who slept through the whole thing!  Devastating!   Then there were her big sisters, who did manage to sit through part of the talk, but their reactions unfortunately did not suggest that they were especially engaged:

  • “Can she see us?”
  • “Is that her house?”
  • “She said ‘what the heck!!'”*
  • “Can we watch Caillou instead?”
Older nieces watch my talk

My older nieces are slightly more engaged… at least while the camera is on them…

(Incidentally, the two five year-olds who watched my talk had a very interesting reaction to the technology.  Raised on video-chatting (FaceTime, Skype, &c.), they expected to be able to interact directly with me.  My oldest niece moved the cursor on top of my face and wondered why I wasn’t bothered, my friend’s son kept trying to click on me to see what would happen, and neither understood why I wouldn’t answer them.)

Thanks to all of you who watched the talk and shared with me your reactions.  It’s been an extremely gratifying experience, but until my nieces’ excitement matches yours, I have more work to do!

* I’m a New Yorker. They’re lucky something much saltier didn’t slip out!

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