Thursday, October 11, 2007

I'm Baaaack!

I realized it has been almost a full month since I have written. It has been a very chaotic month as I am trying to recover from several weeks of travel for Genealogy conferences and personal time. I am amazed at the energy that is require to attend a conference. After one month, I am still trying to absorb all of the information I acquired from the Utah Genealogy Conference and the Northern Utah Genealogy and Family History Jamboree.
An item I feel I need to comment upon, is the preponderance of technology sessions at conferences. Don't get me wrong, I am not some Luddite that is opposed to using technology. But, we have to keep a perspective upon the value and capabilities of technology. Computer programs, websites and on-line resources are great assets for research. But we need to keep in mind that anyone can load information onto a website. Simply because the information is on line doesn't mean that it is accurate. I think we need to keep repeating the adage: "Trash In, Trash Out." We need to continue to verify and confirm all of the information and facts we have accumulated from on-line, as well as published sources.
In addition, with technology we need to keep in mind that computers and other electronic gadgets are temporary storage facilities. None of the new technologies that have arrived on the scene over the past few years is capable of lasting more than ten years. Even the best compact discs, with optimum storage, is estimated to last seven to ten years. High quality paper will last over one hundred years, if stored under optimal conditions.
So, as we move into new areas of research, keep in mind that technology, if used correctly, is an incredibly valuable tool. Yet, we have to keep in mind that computers and other electronic resources have serious limitations.