Where in the hell am I?

May 19, 2014

My SAA 2014 talk summarized

Filed under: archaeology — Tags: , , — John @ 9:42 am

Hi everyone,

It’s been a while, although long-time readers aren’t surprised.

Anyway, I was asked by the people behind Maney (Publishing) Archaeology social media and promotions to write a guest blog post about my SAA 2014 talk “Building a Community of Archaeologists through Social Media”. It was published today, and you can read it here:

http://c-u-d-i.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/building-community-of-archaeologists.html

It was an honor to be asked to write a guest post and summarzie my work, and I thank them for letting me be a little wordy.

I hope to get the text of my talk cleaned up and then uploaded to academia.edu, along with the Powerpoint. When I do so, I’ll post a link here

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January 28, 2014

Blogging Archaeology #blogarch Carnival 2014: Best and Worst

Here it is, late January. I’m on a 4-hour weather delay at work, as the Austin roads are iced over and there are scores of accidents and closures. I have on April March and Los Cincos, my go-to “gray, wet, and cold” weather album. Seems as good a time as any to write my January post for Doug’s Blogging Archaeology 2014 Carnival.

Image

Click here for a link to a summary of the December responses, which was on “The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly”. At the bottom of the page, Doug has the January question: “What are your best (or if you want your worst) post(s) and why? Compare and contrast your different bests/worsts.”

As Doug mentioned in the comments to my December post, I basically anticipated (and already answered) this question:

“My stats are pretty depressing, even when I was blogging pretty regularly. I have less than 15,000 total views. My most popular post, which  detailed some of the section 106 process and talked about how sites are both a dream and a nightmare, has 390 views. My favorite post has 113. I have gotten a lot of recent views for my Rising Star Expedition post, helped in part by Twitter promotion and retweets”

So my most viewed post is a pretty good one, and I’m happy that it has so many views. In terms of using my blog for outreach and public archaeology, it’s an excellent example of what CRM archaeologists do, and what our discoveries can mean for our clients. I felt like I did a good job of sharing the excitement of discovery and the disappointment most CRM archaeologists get knowing that finding a cool site doesn’t mean you get to dig on it (and for the sites in the blog post, the client opted to do a very long, expensive directional drill underneath them as an avoidance measure). I suspect that some of the hits come from the fact that I’ve pinged back to it in several other posts, and that it was shared on Colleen’s Four Stone Hearth compendium. But maybe some came from people looking for info on Section 106.

My favorite post is named after my favorite Ice Cube song: Today was a Good Day. It describes a typical day in the field that turns into a wonderful, atypical adventure. It’s my favorite for several reasons. First of all, it was just an excellent little adventure, getting to ride around in a WWII surplus jeep with an old rodeo cowboy (spoiler, if you didn’t read the original). Secondly, I felt like it gave a sense of what kind of people you can run into in the field, and that they’re not all bad. This is especially important to me for Texas, because so much of the country has a low opinion of Texas, particularly outside of Austin. Even a lot of Austinites can be snobbish about the rest of the state. Finally, I feel like I did an excellent job of telling the story (he says immodestly), especially once I remembered to add the punchline. I suppose I should also add that that particular day was probably the first good day for me in weeks, following a terrible stretch of fieldwork that almost broke me AND then getting separated from my now ex-wife.

My worst post could be any of the placeholders I put up promising to blog more soon, and then not following up. One might think these would motivate me to actually post more.

But in my December post, I specifically mentioned a post I made that was a little more emotional and personal than usual, and directly referenced a co-worker (although not by name). It related to concepts of masculinity, and feeling like I was occasionally slighted for not being traditionally masculine (in the big strapping lad sense) and treated differently for my slight stature (even though I’m pretty much at the median height and below weight). The bad part was that another co-worker saw it and replied, and defended the other person and essentially said I was making a big deal out of nothing (my interpretation, not necessarily their intention). It made things a little rougher and more awkward at work at a time when I was already struggling. It also reminded me that I needed to be careful what I said about work and co-workers, which essentially made me stop blogging during my really negative stretch at work (when realistically I really could have used the outlet). I didn’t link back to the original post because I’m over it, I’m sure you can find it if you really want.

Looking forward to next month’s question! Meanwhile, stay tuned for more of my “Austinite’s Guide to #SAA2014”

 

December 4, 2013

Blogging Archaeology 2014 Carnival: Good, Bad, Ugly

Filed under: archaeology — Tags: , , , , , , — John @ 1:44 pm

blogging-archaeology

It’s month 2 of the #blogarch Blogging Archaeology Carnival 2014, leading up to the Blogging Archaeology session at the 2014 SAA meetings in my hometown of Austin, Texas. Note that this session will be on Saturday morning, and I’ll see what I can do about having some coffee for everyone!

The first month had an overwhelming response, now over 60 posts. Some new blogs were created for the carnival, and some inactive ones revived (ahem, kinda like mine). It seems like there are either a lot more archaeology blogs now than there were 3 years ago, during the first #blogarch carnival, or that Doug did a better job of spreading the word and recruiting people. You can see the summary of the first month’s action, as well as the December question, by clicking HERE or this link: http://dougsarchaeology.wordpress.com/2013/12/03/blogging-archaeology-blogarch-all-of-the-responses-to-why/

December’s theme is an excellent one: The good, the bad, and the ugly of blogging. In some ways, it’s a follow-up to November. Discussion points include Good: “anything and everything positive about blogging…You could even share what you hope blogging will do for you in the future.” Bad: “What are your disappointments with blogging? What are your frustrations? What do you hate about blogging? What would you like to see changed about blogging?” Ugly: “Your worst experiences with blogging- trolls, getting fired, etc.”

For some extra fun, enjoy this playlist (click it! click it!) I made of some reggae, rock steady, and dub jams inspired by The Good, The Bad, The Ugly and other spaghetti western flicks.

Here we go!

The Good –

  • I’ve had a chance to share a few excellent stories from the field (although when I looked at my site stats, none of those are among my most viewed posts). In some ways, it was nice to document them this way, so I can remember some of the details later. I think the few people that have read them have enjoyed them.
  • I’ve had a couple of opportunities to answer questions for people about CRM archaeology, what and how and why we do it. I’m heartened that my most popular single post is about this.
  • I’ve been able to share some semi-fleshed out thoughts and opinions and participate in the debate about some of the hot topics in the world of archaeology, such as crowdfunding and #freearchaeology.
  • I’ve gotten to attend one SAA conference and will be attending another, where I’ll continue to meet awesome new people as well as some amazing online friends in the flesh.
  • I was able to participate in the Day of Archaeology for the last three years, and my post this year got a really good response from my bosses and people in general…which leads me to
  • Positive responses at work to my blog, my Twitter, and my Instagram have helped convince my bosses to recommend me as a contributor to the social media group at my job, although they don’t have any blog set up…yet 🙂

The bad:

  • As always, feel like I’m talking to a wall most of the time. Very rare comments, although sometimes I get Twitter or Facebook or IRL comments and feedback.
  • My stats are pretty depressing, even when I was blogging pretty regularly. I have less than 15,000 total views. My most popular post, which  detailed some of the section 106 process and talked about how sites are both a dream and a nightmare, has 390 views. My favorite post has 113. I have gotten a lot of recent views for my Rising Star Expedition post, helped in part by Twitter promotion and retweets
  • I just have a hard time keeping up, and it makes me feel guilty. Believe it or not, I put a lot of time into these posts! Even a very brief one might take me over an hour of thinking, writing, rewriting, finding links to make it more interesting. This makes the “talking to the wall” aspect that much worse.
  • And this can make me feel, well, a little worthless (for want of a better word), I’m putting an awful lot of myself out here.
  • The old Impostor Syndrome. I don’t do real research, I don’t keep up very well with the research, I’m afraid to take speak up or take a strong stand on issues related to my actual area of work. There are also some other topics I have really strong feelings about that I’m afraid to blog about/take a public stance on, for fear of losing my job or future opportunities (I’ll gladly talk about them with you in person, though).

The Ugly:

  • While I didn’t get fired, I did have to make private delete one of my best, most well-received blog posts, that also happened to be topical to the day it was posted. One of the client representatives saw it and demanded it be taken down and that I not mention/blog about that particular project. Not only that, but as a result one of my old company’s offices (not the one I was based in) banned their people from blogging about work, period.
  • I posted something a little more personal and emotional than maybe I should have, and one of my (now ex-) coworkers saw it and commented in a way that wasn’t entirely positive or reassuring. This turned me off of blogging for a while, because I feel like one of the strengths of this blog and my writing is the attached, personal element of it. I mean, I could just post news story links with a couple of dry comments.
  • See Impostor Syndrome, above.

November 20, 2013

Blogging Archaeology 2014 Carnival Month 1: WHY?

blogging-archaeology

 

 

 

So, at the 2014 Society for American Archaeology meetings in my lovely home city of Austin, Texas, we’ll be doing another Blogging Archaeology session entitled, appropriately enough, Blogging Archaeology Again. It’s not exactly a follow-up, more of an update with new ideas and almost all new people (I may in fact be the only holdover).

Anyway, as a contribution to the discussion  Doug Rocks-Macqueen (an excellent archaeology blogger [an excellent blogger who can’t make it, read his blog here!) is running a Blogging Archaeology blog carnival. Last time, Colleen hosted one and it was a lot of fun, got some good discussion going before and at the session.

So I’ll play along again. It also helps me because I’m not good about updating, so at least there will be a monthly post by me from now until April 🙂 This is even funnier because of question 3! So here we go!!

Question 1: Why blogging? – Why did you, or if it was a group- the group, start a blog?

I first started blogging because I liked writing and sharing my ideas and opinions. In college, I did radio and in my first run at grad school I wrote for the newspaper (entertainment section). I did a few issues of a zine after (the namesake for my other blog http://alltheragezine.wordpress.com/) and was online. So when I found out about blogs, it was something of a natural thing for me to be interested in and try out. At first, I did a personal blog and enjoyed that, met a lot of new people in Austin and elsewhere that way.

When I back to grad school for archaeology, I would occasionally write about that on my blog (it was on Livejournal and I’m pretty sure I deleted it), and I wrote some about my first field school on there. When I went back in Spring 2004 I decided to start a blog dedicated to my field school and archaeology, partly inspired by what Colleen had started doing. First post was on January 14, 2004, right before I left. It was called Digstories and there’s probably some posts on there that were too honest or not well thought out.

I kept up with it as I moved into CRM, eventually moved the blog to a different host (the whole LJ stigma partly), and changed the name to Where in the Hell Am I, because that was one of the questions my friends would always ask me! It started with just stories, and then I would explain things to my friends who would ask specific questions about aspects of my work. I tried to develop it more as a tool for public outreach, but this somewhat coincided with me starting to be burned out on archaeology, which leads to…

Question 2: Why are you still blogging?  Have the reasons why changed since you first started blogging? Are there new reasons why you blog?

Well, I answered some of that in the paragraphs above. Sometimes I still tell stories here, and I’ve used it on occasion for outreach. Sometimes I use it to vent or discuss issues in archaeology such as #freearchaeology or machismo, which was always an element of my blogging (while trying to keep it professional). Mostly, I’ve switched to microblogging and photoblogging through Twitter and Instagram (which is what my presentation at SAA14 is about). Mostly because it’s easier and has more feedback.

I still feel guilty about not blogging more, and I honestly want to, but…

Question 3: Why have you stopped blogging?

One of the ironic things about blogging that I’ve mentioned in the past is that usually when I have lots to talk about, or good stories to share, I’m too busy from doing things to take the time to talk about them, or just too tired. As I got higher in the field hierarchy, especially with some of the pipeline projects, I had a lot to do after the fieldwork was done. It was not unusual to have a 9-10 hour field day and then 2 hours of post-field work, 6 days a week. Once I was done, I was tired and didn’t want to talk about my day again.

Also as I moved up, things got less interesting, in some ways. I was mostly running the GPS in the field, managing the techs while they did the actual digging. I was talking to clients and landowners (which could be interesting, of course). I was also doing a lot of survey report writing, which is repetitive and boring even to me. I tried to talk about analysis, but was afraid to expose my ignorance to the public and other archs.

I also had some very difficult periods in my life, and got very burned out on the field and archaeology. I always try and be positive on here, even if I don’t always succeed. When I was depressed, or hating my job, I just didn’t want to pretend on here.

Finally, my company got a couple of very large projects, with clients who were very protective and concerned about media and publicity. I started to worry about possibly getting in trouble or straight up fired for things I wrote here. And when I was mad or burned out or thought something was dumb, I DEFINITELY knew not to say so on here. Last year, I found out that even a very innocent post that doesn’t mention much of anything about a client or a project can get noticed and possibly lead to reprisals (although all I had to do was pull it and promise not to blog about or while on that job). That last thing happened right when I was thinking about getting back in to this.

And, now that I’m a public servant, I feel the same need to be extra cautious. That’s why I started a totally non-archaeology blog (which gathers as much dust as this!).

And thus ends my unsurprisingly long first contribution to the Blogging Archaeology Carnival!

October 1, 2013

My abstract for SAA14 Blogging Archaeology panel

Filed under: archaeology — Tags: , , , , , , — John @ 7:39 pm

I don’t remember what fancy title I gave my paper, but here’s the abstract.
I’d love to hear feedback, questions, and anecdotes from y’all about my vague notions presented here, as this will help me with the final presentation and ideally provide me supporting anecdotal material and references!

“More agencies, cultural resources management firms, and individual archaeologists are now using social media for promotion and outreach. However, the use of microblogging platforms such as Twitter and Instagram can also help in building a “community of archaeologists” that goes beyond typical job networking.

This community aspect is likely just as important, particularly for younger working archaeologists and those still in school. People can commiserate, seek support, share advice and suggestions, and forge friendships outside of a professional setting and beyond the field. It is also a way for archaeologists to join forces to discuss and act on serious issues affecting them, such as the recent fight concerning the use of volunteers and unpaid interns, known as #freearchaeology.

Microblogging also allows for a different perspective from the common top-down, expert, official narrative. Field and lab techs are able to share their photos and their opinions. Finally, it gives the public a glimpse into the daily lives of archaeologists and the challenges we face, in essence adding a different element of “humanity” to archaeology.”

April 10, 2011

My SAA 2011 wrap-up

The annual Society for American Archaeology meetings took place this year in Sacramento, California. Colleen Morgan asked me to be a presenter on her symposium “Blogging Archaeology“, and I happily accepted. I had not presented at a conference since my senior year of undergrad (the 1993 National Conference on Undergraduate Research), so I was nervous and excited. I had attended one previous SAA meeting, in Austin, but my time there was spent mainly networking (aka drinking beer with friends and colleagues) and seeing papers by friends and co-workers.

Actually, my experience this year outside of my own symposium wasn’t all that different, in that I only saw a few papers and posters and spent a lot of time catching up with friends and meeting new people. Speaking of, I did a horrible job handing out and collecting business cards, and Saturday night I was well into my cups, so I would be happy if all those wonderful people I met and talked to would drop me a line at (idigholes at gmail dot com) or my work address on my card!!

The few papers I did see were mostly about public archaeology, since that’s where my interests are skewing. But first, I saw a couple of papers on Maya Water and Land Management, which brought about thesis flashbacks. It was nice to see one of my graduate school colleagues continuing with her research in her new role as a university professor (hell, it’s just nice to see that one of my grad school colleagues was actually able to get a full-time academic job!).

The first two public archaeology papers were part of the general session titled “Archaeological Education and Public Outreach in the Americas”. The first paper, by Rebecca Schwendler, was “Using Backyard Archaeology to Foster Cultural Resource Presevation”. This was about her excavation of a historic privy in her backyard in Lafayette, Colorado, and the outreach she conducted as a part of this personal project. Interestingly, although she wrote a series of blog posts about replacing her windows on the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s webpage, there was no mention of blogging or any sort of internet-related outreach as part of the backyard project.

This was to be a theme for the public outreach papers I saw. Kristin Swanton’s “Public Archaeology and Landowner Support at the Battle of Mystic Fort” was interesting in breaking down the most effective forms of landowner communication while attempting to conduct an academic/public archaeology project. This is partly because I always figured that landowner issues were restricted to the road and utility projects that CRM firms are involved with. Again, no mention of using social media or blogging as a part of the outreach.

I managed to drag myself out of bed Saturday morning (after an afternoon and night of carousing with a bunch of the Berkeley grad students, among others) with a goal of catching Randy McGuire’s presentation on “Working Class Archaeology” and then eating a giant pancake (aka The Hubcap) at Jim Denny’s.  McGuire’s paper was thought-provoking, for sure, particularly in the definition of class as not just pertaining to income level. His discussion of outreach involving the United Mine Workers during his work on the Ludlow Massacre site during the Colorado Coal Field wars was very cool, and also contained some real food for thought. Again, however, no mention of the Internet whatsoever, even though there is a webpage for the project (another “virtual museum”) and a paper/presentation posted online as well. I also saw Jay Stottman’s “A Slow and Moving Target: The Reality of a Practice of an Activist Archaeology” but honestly I was still waking up and don’t remember much of it. I wish I had been able to see this full session…and have no one to blame but myself.

As for the Blogging Archaeology panel, other people, including Colleen Morgan, Michael Smith, and Kris Hirst (our amazing discussant) have done a better job of summarizing than I could, so I will happily link to them and defer. I did also have my very brief wrap-up here, with a link to my paper. I also encourage you to check out Shawn Graham’s paper here (which you can read or watch). I will say that I was inspired by the different perspectives, the post-session comments and the later beer discussions, the live-blogging via Twitter, and all the nice personal backpats I got from people. I was very pleased that people laughed at my laugh-lines, and I feel like I held my own with an impressive array of presenters. Also, having seen what the Campus Archaeology Program at Michigan State University and the Florida Public Archaeology Program (particularly the Northeast and Southeast regions) are doing, I’m more determined than ever to drag CRM (and hopefully, my firm) into the 21st century.

April 3, 2011

SAAs, short version

Filed under: archaeology, archeology — Tags: , , , — John @ 5:56 pm

I’m super-tired and hungover, in the totally worth it way that reminds you that you had a really great time over the last few days. As such, thinking and focusing are a struggle, but I did want to write a short blog post, and make a .pdf of my paper available:

Blogging as a US CRM professional – John D

There was some live blogging of our session via Twitter. You can see the tweets by searching for #blogarch or just clicking here.

It was a really valuable session, I think, and a great experience. Thanks to all who presented, attending, commented, or followed online!

April 1, 2011

Almost there!

Filed under: archaeology, archeology — Tags: , , , — John @ 9:39 am

I’m sitting in Colleen’s apartment in Oakland, CA, drinking some coffee and getting ready for the drive to Sacramento for the Society for American Archaeology 2011 meetings. Our panel is tomorrow afternoon, but I’m looking forward to checking out some other talks and posters, hitting the trade room to load up on some schwag, and seeing old friends!

I finished my paper Wednesday night around 10:30 and emailed it off to the panel moderator. As usual, waiting until the last minute. I wrote pretty much all of my thesis the month before the absolute last due date, finishing about 2 days before the deadline!

I started working on my Powerpoint presentation Thursday morning, but didn’t finish it because I got distracted by other things. I figured I had a 4-hour flight to Oakland, plus two hours in the Austin airport before hand. I did a bit in the airport, but it was really crowded which made it hard to work. Unfortunately, I found out on the plane that my laptop battery is dead…

Good thing this is a relatively informal panel!

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!

March 18, 2011

Blogging Archaeology Week 3: Is this thing on?

Filed under: archaeology, archeology — Tags: , , , — John @ 7:11 pm

I’m a little behind on this week’s Blogging Archaeology blog carnival response, mostly because I’ve been in the field this week (as mentioned in the previous post) and catching a little too much of a buzz at the YO Ranch Resort Hotel happy hour after the field. Colleen knows all about the happy hours at the YO Ranch bar, so I’m sure she understands the delay. Today, however, I’m only on my second Lone Star and the huge, delicious chicken fried steak in my belly is balancing it out. So I’m ready to do this.

Here’s Week 3’s question. You can click on the link here to read the original post, with all of the summaries of the Week 2 Responses:

Catherine’s response at Dig Girl has provided this week’s question. She writes, “A final downside to the short form is the appearance of dialog. Noting this virtual round table and other blogs (like MS) as exceptions, most archaeological blogs that I read have very little in the way of dialog through comments. Often on this blog, I feel like I am talking to myself, which in a way is catharsis, but if an archaeology blogger writes and no one reacts, are we really changing opinions or moving the field forward?” I would add to this, how do you attract readership? Without too much in the way of SEO chatter, who is your audience and how to you interact with this audience? What do you want out of interactivity by means of blogging about archaeology?”

To quote my original abstract for the SAA panel, “Blogging, although in many ways more of a soliloquy than a dialogue, is one way that archaeologists can and do reach out to the public. … Often, there’s a sense that you’re trying to reach out to a public that just isn’t there, or isn’t responding.” My blog stats and lack of comments pretty much let me know that I’m not reaching much of the public, and those that do see it aren’t really responding (although my mom and Aunt Bev frequently comment on my posts through Facebook).

I’ve often questioned whether I’m just screaming at a wall here. When people find out what I do, they always seem very interested in archaeology. They may be a little less interested in how my job differs from the classic “dig”, but they usually listen. The main goal of my blogging is simply to get people to understand what cultural resources management entails, and what a CRM archaeologist does. My idea is to let them know that there’s archaeology all around them. It’s not Pompeii or Teotihuacan or the Pyramids of Giza, of course, but cultural heritage is still important enough that there’s laws protecting sites, and time and money expended to identify them.

I don’t really present high-falutin’ theory on my blog, partly because that’s a miniscule part of CRM (and even “miniscule” might be generous), and partly because I’m afraid it could turn potential readers off. I’m certainly excited when other archaeologists read and respond to my blog, but y’all aren’t exactly my target audience (although I’m always down for swapping field stories over beers). I started the blog for two reasons. First, so my friends could keep track of where I am (thus the blog title). Second, so I could try and explain to them and anyone else who might find the blog just what it is I do, while it’s happening, in a way that makes sense. Within the last year-and-a-half or so, I’ve gotten more and more into the idea of using it as a form of public outreach for projects I’m involved in, as a form of public archaeology.

As for attracting readership, the main thing I do is link to my Facebook account so that updates are posted there; before that, I posted links to blog posts. Of course, that’s basically my friends and family (which is awesome, don’t stop reading!). Beyond that, I’ve done very little. I comment on Colleen’s blog, and occasionally other archaeology blogs, and my friends’ non-archaeology blogs. I *almost* including a link to my blog while commenting on the New York Times archaeology blog posts, but I chickened out, thinking that was too presumptuous.

Finally, as far as interactivity, I’m not sure how to answer because I guess I just don’t ever expect it to happen. I’m always happy to answer any questions in my comments, and I have a few times, including a couple from people who aren’t my good friends. I like to think I’m good at putting across complex ideas and activities in a way that is easy to follow and get, but I’d always be down to explain anything that people didn’t understand. I would really love for fellow archaeologists, particularly those who are in school or the academic realm, to comment on the work we do as it relates to theories and concepts in the classroom, because I really miss the discussions I would have with my classmates in grad school.

But I think what would make me the happiest would be for someone to say something like, “I saw some people out digging near my fence, and they said they were archaeologists doing a survey. I didn’t quite get this, so I searched online and found your blog. After reading your posts, I understand what they were looking for, and why they were digging those holes out there. Thanks!”

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