Friday, March 29, 2013

RootsTech 2013–My Notes Part III

RootsTech 2013 (1)
The following are my notes from the RootsTech 2013 Conference held in Salt Lake City, Utah from 3/21/13 – 3/23/13.
For more information and other perspectives, I suggest the reader check out the following websites and blogs.
· Official RootsTech 2013 website: –There are many resources on this website including video streaming of many of the keynote speeches and presentations.
· Thomas MacEntee at
· Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings:
Session Syllabi available at:
I will publish three (3) postings covering my experiences at RootsTech 2013.
This is my third and final posting.  I will do a couple more postings with some pictures and links to a few of the handouts from the presentations I attended.
Day Three - Saturday, 3/23/13
Keynote Speakers
1st Speaker: David Pogue – He is the weekly personal-technology columnist for the New York Times and a monthly columnist for Scientific America. Main points:
David gave a very interesting display of current and future smartphone technology. He was very informative and entertaining. You should check out the streaming video of David available on
2nd Speaker: The original speaker had to cancel his appearance. Two other people whose names I forgot to record in my notes (sorry) gave presentations on MyHeritage. You should check out the streaming video of David available on
Presentation: Taking Your Family History Electronic – Creating Your Own Amazing Ebook – Luana Darby – Main Points:
Why publish an Ebook?
· Reader can adjust font size for readers
· Reader can add notes and bookmarks
· Reader can highlight words, sentences and paragraphs
· The text of the book is searchable
· Saves storage space for both the author and the reader
Creating an Ebook – Software tools
· Sigil (free from Google)
· Feedbooks (on line and is shared with others – not a good option if you want to keep the book private (family history for example) or if you plan to sell it.
· Word (have to convert from Word format to another Ebook format but many epub software will do this for you).
· Apple Pages (have to convert from Pages format to another Ebook format but many epub software will do this for you).
· Adobe Design (very difficult learning curve but does have many advantages for experienced author)
More about Sigil
· It is free and is open ware and is downloadable from Google
· All imported documents (from Word or Pages) are “cleaned up” for epub formatting.
· It supports metadata entry (tags)
· It has a Table of Contents Editor feature
o Pages are automatically renumbered if you add/remove a page/chapter, etc.
· It can make html modifications if you want to do this yourself
· It can create an index
· It is very good functionally – easy to use
· Has tabs for TOC displayed for chapters
More about MS Word
· You can save your document/file as HTML web page in 2010 and 2013.
· You can import your document/files directly into Sigil and Calibre
· It may have problems/difficulties with images
o Suggest removing images from Word. Use a place card holder and name the image so you know where to place the image later in epub.
o Then import/paste the images later using Sigil or Calibre
More about InDesign
· Problems importing older Indesign files
· Create directly in application – no need for secondary conversion
· Refer to her syllabus for details on formatting and how to get around formatting and publication restrictions.
General Information
· Use chapters and subheadings to make it easier for reader to navigate and to locate something in book.
o Sigil will do up to six (6) subheading types
o Sigil can add video and audio clips but they must be very small (file size)
o You must create your book cover (front, back and side spline) as single files.
§ Use photo editing software such as Photoshop, Paint Shop, GIMP or Photoscape (free) to create your book cover file/s.
· Don’t use iBook format UNLESS you want to copy the book for people with iPhone, iPad ONLY
o You can send the file via e-mail or share on a cloud storage service
Calibre – free eBook Library Management Software
o Management software
§ Convert pdf files to ePub or ePub to Kindle
§ Use output format to select which conversion you want to use
· Tip – For mobile devices, keep file size to 300k or less.
o Tablets, iPad have no problems with larger files
· She says it look like pdf and Kindle format are best for most genealogical societies and associations who want to publish their publications in eBook format.
o Calibre can covert pdf file/s to other format and then save the new file in its new format.
o Upload both file types to website/cloud and offer both formats for sale/distribution – Best overall publication/distribution service in her opinion.
· Offers great help
· Let’s you offer your book/publications in printed, pdf or eBook format (as well as multiple formats of eBooks such as Kindle)
· Takes a percentage of book sale price
· Handles all orders and shipping
Handouts available - See Session Syllabi for session information and for handout information
Presentation: FamilySearch Family Tree – Ron Tanner, FamilySearch Family Tree – Main points:
· FamilyTree is the NEW replacement for FamilySearch sharing trees website
o He wants everybody to start using it NOW
o He strongly suggests users of FamilySearch switch to the NEW FamilyTree NOW
· FamilyTree is worldwide shared genealogy research
o It is preserved forever in their archives
· New FamilySearch limited edit/add to just the contributor but the new FamilyTree makes trees open
o “Share data and get it right and stop duplication”
· He said that if we all work together we can build an amazing database
· We need sources for our family trees to improve quality of shared research
o Users can directly communicate via FamilyTree when you add/change/delete a person/source.
§ You see what was removed and who removed it or who added it, etc.
o Users can collaborate with sources and research directly on the tree.
· He suggests interested researchers go to FamilyTree now and use the tutorials and learning wikis to help get started.
o Go to: to start.
§ You should create a free account for yourself if you do not have one now.
Handouts available - See Session Syllabi for session information and for handout information
Session Syllabi available at:
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