Monday, August 12, 2013

A Soft Sell from FindMyPast.com.au

I was a little disappointed to see that the venue at Parramatta RSL was not overflowing for D. Joshua Taylor s presentation on Saturday afternoon. While there was a reasonable crowd there was room for more attendees. I find it hard to believe that more genealogists did not take advantage of this event hosted by FindMyPast.com.au to hear D. Joshua Taylor give two presentations. I had heard Joshua speak at two Rootstech Conferences and he was an engaging, energetic and passionate presenter so there was no way I was going to miss out this opportunity just half an hour from home.

D. Joshua Taylor
I'm so pleased I went along. While I did not learn heaps from Joshua's talks I learnt enough to make my journey worthwhile and I saw a polished professional presenter in action. As someone who presents around the traps I learn so much from observing people like Joshua. I am so impressed with his style; the fluent way in which he presents indicates a deep knowledge of his subject, he has touches of humour and the mentions of his Grandma portray him as a real family guy. I particularly enjoyed the story of Joshua's Australian connection.

Arriving early I snagged myself a front row seat. I mentioned to the FindMyPast ladies that I wanted a photo of Joshua for this blog so they directed me to the coffee shop where he was having (until I arrived) a quiet lunch; thank you Josh for graciously posing for my camera.  I used the time before the talks to catch up with some of my genealogy mates including Jean from Ku-ring-gai Historical Society, Allan Phillips from Unlock the Past and Allan and Joy Murrin.

Alan Phillips, Unlock the Past and in the green jumper Allan Murrin
Then it was on with the show, after a very short intro from Vicki Davidson of FindMyPast Joshua took to the lectern.  Clutching my Galaxy Tablet in one hand  I took notes in Google Drive (Tick - Josh suggested using Google Drive) and Tweeted and, with my Galaxy camera strung over a wrist, I took photos of Josh in action during his performances (sorry the pix are fuzzy but I didn't use a flash). They were great talks but I think that Joshua probably challenged many of the people in the audience with the concepts he was demonstrating.
Joshua's First Presentation

Busy Note takers 

During the breaks I met up with Annette, a former work colleague from Waverley Library, Carole Riley, Geneablogger Janelle Collins and Australian Geneapodcast Guru Maria Northcote. I'm excited that Maria will be presenting on the 4th Unlock the Past Cruise in February.

Janelle Collins and Maria Northcote

Joshua's Second Presentation

I applaud the people from Find My Past Australia for enabling Joshua to present on general topics and not engaging in a hard sell of their products. Joshua gave two one hour talks and then a twenty minute presentation on FindMyPast and the new and exciting things it has in store for users. FindMyPast offered a door prize of a year's subscription that was won by one lucky gentleman. I think they missed a marketing opportunity by not offering a discount on subscriptions to those present. If this would have been the case I would have been tempted to renew my World sub that recently lapsed.

Thank  you Josh for travelling downunder to share your knowledge and passion with us and thank you to Find My Past Australia for making this happen.

A few of Joshua's wise words:

  • Use a research log
  • Use the cloud to keep track of documents so you can access from anywhere
  • Not all indexes to records are created equal
  • Collateral lines give lots of information
  • "Or" is the most powerful Boolean search tool
  • Save search strings into a word document and paste into Google
  • Joshua's favourite search engine is Yippy.com .It saves him hours and hours of time



POSTSCRIPT
Sorry Find My Past Australia I just found your flyer offering 10% discount. As I do with bits of advertising bumph I was just about to toss it in the bin but glanced and saw your offer. Other potential customers might also have done this too. We wouldn't have minded  a little intro spiel about FMP and verbal notification of the discount. 13/8/2013











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4 comments:

Jackie van Bergen said...

So sorry I couldn't get there due to a prior commitment, I agree it was a great opportunity and a shame that more people didn't go.

Amy Coffin, MLIS said...

Thanks for the recap, Jill!

Celia Lewis said...

I appreciate the great overview of his presentations, Jill. It sounds like a wonderful learning time. And your juggling was very successful, I see!

cassmob said...

I guess we have to remember not everyone can afford to do the tablet thing. I use Google Docs in talks but sometimes it's just easier to take notes on paper :-)

Wish I could have heard his talks -I was impressed seeing him via RootsTech.

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