Friday, August 27, 2010

FGS 2010 - The Syllabus

I forgot about my thoughts on the FGS 2010 syllabus when I wrote up my assessment of the conference.

First, I love being able to download the syllabus materials online before I left for the conference. The syllabus can persuade or dissuade me from attending a particular session. It is really helpful when you can't decide between two sessions. I liked how the FGS syllabus put each session into it's own PDF file. This made it very easy to find the session you want and not have to page through the entire thing. But I do wish they had made a zip file of all the PDFs so that I could just download one file instead of 100.

Second, I think that the CD syllabus given out at the conference is so much better than the printed edition. I only noticed a few people using the printed version. (Unlike when I went to the Ohio Genealogical Society's conference and everyone but me had the printed syllabus.) But I do have a problem with the CD syllabus. How many people bring a CD drive to the conference with them? I personally brought my netbook which does not have a CD drive. So if I had needed to look at the syllabus on CD, I would not have been able to. I had already planned for this and put all the syllabus files on my netbook in case I made a last minute schedule change.

So here is my question/idea: Would it be better to put the syllabus on a flash drive instead of a CD? Of course the CD is cheaper. But why not get a sponsor for the flash drive. Instead of FamilySearch sponsoring the conference bag (because how many people really need another bag and wouldn't it be better to have your own bag that you can tell apart from everyone else's?), have them sponsor a flash drive. After the conference, you can delete the syllabus materials from the drive (and back them up on your computer) and have a flash drive to use. Plus every time you use it you see the sponsor's logo.

What do you think about having the syllabus on a flash drive instead of a CD?


  1. Excellent idea! That could be a sponsorship opportunity offered to exhibitors or general conference sponsors.

    What about your name tags, where they sponsored?

  2. Yes Jenna, Ancestry sponsored the lanyards.

  3. I think it's a great idea, Tina -- another reason to allow to bring *gasp* laptops to the sessions! :o)

  4. Good idea. It's probably not going to be long before the CD goes the way of the floppy disk.

  5. I remember that one problem is that it's lots easier to put data on lots of CDs than it is to put data on lots of flash drives.

  6. What a wonderful idea Tina! I think sponsored flash drive would be a great way to usher in the 21st century to the genealogy seminar! I hope that your idea goes "viral"!

  7. For those not totally familiar with the different sizes of flash drives, an advisory about what size to bring would be helpful.

  8. I agree.

    Although my first choice would be to download the documents I need before the conference. They could have a password-protected website where you download the syllabus for the sessions you want, and it's up to you whether you want to print them and bring them with, view them on your screen, or just listen to the lecture.

    But I'm probably strange in that I don't really use the syllabus...and I hate the waste of the paper, the plastic for the CDs/flash drives, etc.