Where in the hell am I?

March 27, 2011

Blogging Archaeology Week 4 – Beyond the net

Filed under: archaeology, archeology — Tags: , , , , — John @ 2:55 pm

The Blogging Archaeology panel at the SAA 2011 meetings is less than a week away, which means the last week of the pre-panel blog carnival. Colleen’s summary of the various week 3 responses, including a very complimentary summary of my own (thanks again!) can be found by clicking here. A lot of interesting answers, and thanks again to Colleen for all the hard work!

Week 4’s question is a tough one for me, which is partly why I’ve put off answering it for so long (and I’m not sure I’ll really be answering it now):

For our last question, I would like to ask you to consider the act of publication for this blog carnival. How could we best capture the interplay, the multimedia experience of blogging as a more formalized publication? What would be the best outcome for this collection of insights from archaeological bloggers?

This is certainly a challenge. A simple print publication, such as a series of themed articles in an issue of the SAA Archaeological Record, seems like the easiest and most obvious answer. The main limitation here is losing the interactivity and multimedia elements of the blog carnival, although a digital version could certainly have links to supporting web content. A lesser consideration is that this publication is only circulated to members of the Society for American Archaeology, leading to a self-selected audience. At the same time, I think that our blog carnival, while available to the entire public, is directed more towards our peers in the archaeology world as we try and expand the use of  blogging as a medium and tool in the archaeology kit.

As to the second part of the question, I think the best outcome for this blog carnival and panel session would be an increase in archaeological bloggers, or at least more viewing, commenting, and sharing on the existing blogs. My own experience in this blog carnival has made me realize that I had never really sought out other archaeology blogs, living in my own provincial world of the CRM experience, and more particularly the US/Texas area. I hope to keep up with more archaeology blogs in the future, including those of the other participants in this blog carnival, and be an active reader.

Ideally, I would like for CRM firms to see the opportunity that blogging allows for real-time (or near real-time) public outreach and interaction, and this is going to be one of the main points of my presentation. I know of a few academic excavations that have project blogs, and I like the MSU Campus Archaeology Program blog, where multiple people at different levels participate. I tried doing something like this for our excavation at Fort Hood in late 2009, with the idea of showing my bosses how easy a project blog could be (and how inexpensive, although I would certainly anticipate that the bloggers would at least be able to bill some time for their work).

I still think this is an uphill battle, as most of the folks in my office don’t seem to think of my participation in the SAAs for blogging as something particularly valuable (although I do appreciate their willingness to pay for my membership and registration fees!). They would prefer I present on work we did at some site at regional/state meetings, which is of course important, but somewhat perpetuates the view of CRM as small-scale and unable to be involved in big picture ideas.

With that, I need to work on my actual presentation for the panel!



  1. […] John at Where in the Hell Am I? also likes the idea of a publication in the SAA’s Archaeological Record and hopes that more archaeologists might consider starting a blog as a result. He also would like for CRM to be more open to blogging and notes that the people in his office don’t consider his participation at the SAA in a blogging session to be “particularly valuable.” This is frustrating and as John says, “perpetuates the view of CRM as small-scale and unable to be involved in big-picture ideas.” I would also encourage John’s bosses to check out the incredible public education and outreach that Wessex Archaeology is continuing to do in the digital realm. […]

    Pingback by Blogging Archaeology – Week 5 & Finished! | Middle Savagery — March 31, 2011 @ 4:29 am

  2. […] approach is clever. She’s put­ting the ses­sion into a main­stream con­fer­ence. Both John and Matthew Law raise the pos­sib­il­ity of pub­lic­a­tion via an SAA related […]

    Pingback by Blogging Archaeology 4: What next? Part One | AlunSalt — July 14, 2014 @ 10:55 am

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