If you’re reading this, it means you attended my RootsTech session, “Connecting the Dots and Remixing My Story” and you’re looking for digital access to the syllabus, or cheat sheet, I shared in class. And, I’m all set to share it with you!
But first, I want to express my sincere appreciation for you attending my session. There are so many exciting and interesting things happening at RootsTech so I am beyond honored that you chose to spend an hour of your time with me and I hope you found the session well worth it.
Now, here’s what you’re here for!
Below you’ll find the tips and resources covered in the session. This information is an abridged version of my process created specifically for my RootsTech section, so feel free to visit the original, more detailed instructions on the “Make Your Own Playlist” page on this site if you want a more in-depth explanation about my process including how I built this website.
Also, since starting this project, I’ve had some people reach out because they want a little more support in creating their playlist or coming up with an authentic way to approach their DNA journey and I’ve been able to help them launch their own unique projects. If you’re interested in hiring me to help you with a custom project, feel free to contact me.
Okay, without further ado, here are the resources shared in my RootsTech session. Good luck and please reach out to me to tell me about your journey!
1. MAKE THE ASK.
The key to the ask is keeping it short, establishing your legitimacy and offering something in
return. Here’s the script I used:
My name is [NAME] and I’m reaching out to you because I’m currently working on a DNA playlist
and would love for you to contribute. To contribute, all you have to do is let me know your
favorite song and I’ll add you to the playlist. I won’t be sharing any personal information about
you, just your first name and if you want to include your location (city, state), you can. Here’s a
link to more details: http://universalplaylist.com/. I’d love to hear back from you! You can
respond to this message or email me at [email]. If you want to learn a bit
more about me, you can visit my LinkedIn page here:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/rosilynrayborn or visit my website: rosilynrayborn.com. Thanks!
2. COLLECT THE DATA.
Make sure you set up a process or system to collect submissions. A simple spreadsheet may
work. Here’s the spreadsheet template I used:
|Ann||Paternal||3rd Cousin||At Last||Etta James||Soul|
3. ANALYZE THE RESULTS.
Choose an analysis tool based on your expertise and comfort level. If you collect your data in
Excel, you can use Excel’s built-in charts and table functions. Microsoft also has Power BI—a data
analysis tool that’s free for basic use. If you’re doing a survey or poll, consider using a tool
designed specifically for that purpose, like Typeform, Survey Monkey or Wufoo, which will have built-in
analytics and make discovering trends super-simple.
1. BE CLEAR ABOUT THE DATA YOU WANT TO COLLECT.
Before you ask anyone anything, clearly define the information you want to collect and how you will collect it. I didn’t realize until after gathering 200+ songs in a spreadsheet that I wanted to view trends by genre, so I had to add that information later all at once. If I’d been clear at the beginning, I would have saved a lot of time.
2. KEEP THE ASK SMALL.
The more effort needed to respond to your request, the less likely it is you’ll receive a response. For instance, I broke the ice by asking participants for their favorite song, which is easy to answer for most people. But, I used that exercise to identify participants who were more engaged and followed up with them to discuss bigger projects—like the podcast and cookbook which are much more time-consuming and require more effort.
3. DON’T GET BUTT HURT.
Some people are on a mission to find very specific answers, not to connect with new people and they will tell you. Don’t be offended. It’s important to respect everyone’s unique DNA journey. Plus, the people who want to participate far outweigh the ones who don’t.
4. MAKE IT YOUR OWN.
Music, food and conversation make a lot of sense for me because those things are special to me. To make this a truly personalized experience, build your content around something authentic to you. Here are some ideas to get you thinking:
b. Family crests
d. Family games
e. Sports allegiance
f. Military Service