Tag Archives: blogging

New(ish) Neighbors

I’ve added a few new blog links to my long list, several of which are worth further mention.

Dr. Rosemary Joyce has been busy in the blogging world with What Makes Us Human at Psychology Today and The Berkeley Blog at UC Berkeley and her single author blog, Ancient Bodies, Ancient Lives. I’m ashamed that while I knew about her contributions to The Berkeley Blog, I’ve missed the other two entirely. Ancient Bodies, Ancient Lives is my favorite, with great articles about her teaching and sex and gender in the archaeological record. Rosemary also excels at what I am particularly lax at–answering comments. I can’t believe the patience she had in this particular comment thread about global warming and the archaeological record.

There’s the Diary of an Archaeological Intern, a blog written by Meghan Ferris, an Archaeological Intern with the Aboriginal Affairs Secretariat, Government of Prince Edward Island. She has a nice selection of photos and videos from archaeology on Prince Edward Island. I think some of the best outreach blogging is done by people who are starting in their profession, as they have the ability to still look at the field through the eyes of an outsider, giving more explanation than their more seasoned colleagues.

Passim in Passing is a very new blog from Brenna, a PhD student in the UK. She took up some of my discussion about wikileaks from a few days ago, posing additional, interesting questions. We’ll see how she gets on!

Finally, there is The Baking Archaeologist, who has more baking content than archaeology content right now. It’s an anonymous blog, which I’m never very excited about, but the cookie recipes look delicious and as a fellow baking archaeologist (I contend that I am unmatchable in pie-making) I have to offer solidarity.

As always, the best way to tell me (and the world) about your blog is to link to other blogs. Support your archaeo-blogging community!

Blogging Archaeology 2011 – The Abstracts!

As you may have noticed, I’ve organized a session called Blogging Archaeology for the annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology 2011 in Sacramento.  The session has been finalized, with the following participants joining in the discussion:

Discussant – Kris Hirst of Archaeology@About.com fame.

Michael E. Smith
Can Archaeological Blogs be used for Serious Scholarship?

Most archaeological blogs are aimed at the dissemination of information to a non-professionalaudience, with a few blogs focused on communication of professional information amongarchaeologists. I explore the possibilities for expanding blogging beyond a teaching-service-entertainment orientation into a more serious intellectual realm. Why are there no archaeologicalblogs for serious intellectual conversation (like the anthropology blog, “Savage Minds”). Mightarchaeological blogs be used for the production of intellectual content through collaborationamong professionals? I discuss some of the roadblocks and potential benefits to expandingarchaeological blogging in the direction of intellectual and scientific production.

John Lowe
Blogging archaeology in CRM

In the practice of archaeology, engaging with the public is an important element. By doing so, archaeologists can help to explain the value of protecting cultural resources and the important data “in the ground.” However, this interaction can also benefit the work of the archaeologist, in understanding the perspective of other stakeholders, as well as revealing sources and data not readily apparent otherwise.
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. By sharing data, pictures, and stories, the everyday work of an archaeologist is exposed to any who are interested. The information is more personalized, and the exchange more dynamic, than a static presentation of results.

For American cultural resource management (CRM) professionals, blogging presents a challenge. The projects are often small and unexciting, and negative results are the norm. State and federal laws are a consideration when discussing site finds. Clients may have non-disclosure contracts associated with a project, or monitor the Internet for any references to project details and negative comments. Often, there’s a sense that you’re trying to reach out to a public that just isn’t there, or isn’t responding. The work is unpaid, and finding the energy to write after a long, hot field day can be a challenge.
However, blogging should become a more important part of the practice of CRM. Publicly funded projects in particular often require a public outreach component; blogging is a way of doing this real-time, and being more inclusive of the participants.

Nicolas Laracuente
Public Archaeology 2.0: Facilitating Engagement with Twitter

Public archaeology increases public awareness of archaeological issues
and their practical applications to modern social concerns. Classroom
visits, hands-on activities, site tours, and other events give
archaeologists the opportunity to engage public audiences and transfer
knowledge through face-to-face interaction. However, engagement ends
at the conclusion of the event leaving the audience with an incomplete
understanding of the subject. Twitter, a social media application,
transcends these spatial and temporal limitations by allowing
sustained multi-directional communication between archaeologists,
their audience, and others who never attended the original event. This
form of engagement facilitates learning and can be applied across
disciplines.

Johan Normark
Dealing with the public view of the Maya

The public view of the Maya is often affected by stereotypes, exoticism,
and ethnocentrism. Nowhere is this clearer than in the 2012-phenomenon.
While blogging about various parts of this phenomenon I have encountered
everything from threats, dismissals on the grounds that I am biased because
I am part of the academia but also positive feedback on the attempt to
uncover frauds. Although my blog primarily is dedicated to Mayanist studies
and archaeological theory, the 2012 part of the blog is most popular. How
does that affect my choice of topics? Am I also feeding on the phenomenon
that I criticize?

Sarah Nohe

Digital social media has emerged as one of the most powerful and revolutionary forms of media consumption, interaction, and information distribution.  Unlike traditional forms of media, blogging and social networking allow information to travel from the source, reaching wide audiences directly, and providing opportunities for feedback, criticism, and interaction. Two programs, the Michigan State University’s Campus Archaeology Program and the Florida Public Archaeology Network, have successfully employed digital social media to engage the public in archaeological heritage.   This paper illustrates the effectiveness of digital social media as a means to facilitate public archaeology.

Terry Brock
Teaching Archaeology and Community Engagement through Blogging: A Public Archaeology Field School Project at Michigan State University

Blogging has had an impact on both public engagement and college teaching. This paper will use a field school blogging project conducted by the MSU Campus Archaeology Program to discuss the importance of digital community engagement, the use of blogging as a means to share with the public not only what archaeologists find, but also to educate the public about how archaeology is done and how conclusions are drawn. Additionally, it will discuss how blogging in this manner can better teach students about archaeological methods, while introducing them to public archaeology and digital media.

Shawn Graham

Signal versus Noise; or, why blogging matters”   The single greatest reason for
blogging, for creating a professional on-line  profile and for creating a
sustained presence for our research can be summed up  in one word: Google.
Academic blogs are content-rich, and tend to focus on very  specific areas.
Academic bloggers create an enormous signal in the chaos of the  internet.
Google controls how we find information; but often, academic blogging  tells
Google what’s important. Thus, academic blogging can set the larger  research
agenda.

Meta-Bloggery – Masthead, Collections, Best-of

I’ve made a couple of changes around the blog, the first being the new masthead. I was a little iffy on it, and the DD’s have been the subject of some critique, but ultimately I’m happy with it. And it’s all open source/creative commons fonts! Everything except the “V” is Blackout from the League of Moveable Type. The “V” is from the Skullphabet type set from the Skull a Day Project. I had to fix the kerning a bit, but it wasn’t a big deal in Illustrator.

I created two new pages:

Collections - I have been amassing some kinds of archaeological photos and ephemera in a somewhat lackadaisical fashion with the help of some of my friends. I thought I’d be a bit more organized about it and share the collections as I have time. They’re a little miscellaneous, but what do you want?

Greatest Hits – I have a “Top Posts” widget, but it’s a little bit random and changeable. I picked some posts that have proved to be popular by getting linked a lot, and some that I felt were examples that best showed what the blog was all about. I should get together a sub-genres collection of my series of “Poetry and Prose that remind me of Archaeology” and my photo comics, but that will be another Sunday’s work.

What do you think? Any suggestions?

Last Call for Participation at the Blogging Archaeology Session!

Reposted from the original call here:

Blogging Archaeology

A vital, diverse community of archaeologists are experimenting with online weblogs or “blogs” for publishing research data, reaching out to their colleagues and the public, and as a venue for personal expression.  Once considered a relatively rare and nonstandard practice, blogging is becoming a part of archaeological practice during excavations, in classroom settings, and by professional organizations as a venue for outreach.  Even as the number of personal and professional archaeology blogs increases, their use has remained largely unscrutinized and unrewarded within the profession.  Even so, blogging has become an incredible source of archaeological news and data that bypasses traditional media sources, giving unprecedented public access to working archaeologists.  However, this access is not without repercussions as issues of anonymity, personal expression and privacy become increasingly relevant.  Another issue is the publication of information that may adversely affect the archaeological record through the identification of sensitive and potentially sacred sites.  In this session we will explore these questions and the complexities of archaeological blogging with perspectives from students, professors, professional archaeologists and full-time archaeology bloggers.

Email me at clmorgan@berkeley.edu before midnight (PST) 8 September 2010 if you would like to participate. The session is at the SAA in Sacramento, California in April 20011.

Blogging Archaeology – Update!

This week has been big for me in the blogging world! First, I am chuffed to make Archaeology Magazine’s list of Top 5 Archaeology Bloggers:

http://archaeology.org/blog/?p=965

Welcome to everyone who has followed their link to this blog–I’m currently working at Tall Dhiban in Jordan and hope to have more updates about the archaeology in the very near future.

Also, the much esteemed Kris Hirst of Archaeology at About.com has agreed to be the discussant for the Blogging Archaeology session at the Society for American Archaeology in 2011. There’s more information on the session here:

http://middlesavagery.wordpress.com/2010/05/07/blogging-archaeology-saa-2011-draft/

I should have an updated abstract soon.

Meta: Blog Linking

In a fit of structured procrastination, I decided to go through my blog links today and add a few blogs links that have been emailed to me or that I’ve noticed and delete a few of the blogs that haven’t been updated for a while. There’s been a huge increase in archaeology blogs lately and I don’t pretend to have a list of all of them (I tend to prefer blogs that talk about personal research interests and methodology) but if I’ve missed any good links, please let me know about them.

Some new(ish) links:

I’m quite enjoying Archaeopix and their reblogging of archaeology photos available under a creative commons license. I’m lazy about adding my flickr photos to groups, so they give me motivation to be a better flickr user.

Archaeopop is another new kid on the block, and is the work of a few grad students from the University of Michigan. Fun to read for interesting takes on archaeology news.

I remember finding it a while ago, but for some reason I didn’t link Punk Archaeology. It’s a topic close to my heart (and will be posting an abstract that I sent off in a bit that is related), but more for investigating the DIY ethos in relation to my own work than investigating specific archaeology/punk band linkage.

Another blog that has been around for a while, The Archaeology of the Mediterranean World, is one that I’ve read but never linked to out of sheer negligence. Fixed!

I’ll be watching Sexyarchaeology with interest, though a “sexiest field crew” competition makes me a bit uncomfortable. I’ve been working in relatively conservative communities for too long, it seems.

In a sad note, I’ll be removing the following blogs in the next week or two:

Archaeozoology, after a year of no updates. I was never quite sure who was running Archaeozoology, but I quite liked their posts on Cat Domestication and Islamic Pig Prohibition.

Archeduct, what happened with the Loretten dig?

Nomadic Thoughts, with a rather cryptic last entry.

Online archaeology, now offline.

I really miss Random Transect, for their geographic proximity and interest in labor and class issues in archaeology.

As for my own online presence, I’m up to 12 regular blogs that are updated (with more or considerably less frequency) and three tumblr blogs, which is perhaps a bit much. Most of them are project related though, so they don’t get updated when I’m not currently working on that particular project.

One of the tumblr blogs is actually for a class that Ruth and I are teaching this semester and it serves pretty brilliantly so far for that purpose–we’re teaching archaeology and the media again, with the film emphasis, so when films are mentioned in class or in assignments, we can link to clips without too much trouble. I’ve never had much luck with class blogs, but tumblr is a low-investment linking tool that compliments the content of the class nicely. It’s somewhat opaque to outside viewers, but that’s okay. If it’s a huge success, I’ll blog about it at the end of the semester.

Community Service

I figure I should look up from the stacks of books occasionally, blink my eyes, and look at my surroundings.  As most of you probably know by now, I’m midway through my fourth year of grad school.  Four years!  I took my qualifying oral exam last spring and I’ve been hammering out the shape of my dissertation, due in Fall of 2011 (or so).  I’ve gotten to the point where people pretty constantly ask when I’m finishing.  My answer varies depending on my mood.  I still seem to go between being incredibly inspired by my research, and utterly disillusioned about the whole process and academia in general.  All of this is apparently typical.

I made a couple of “best of” blogging lists, and am picked up in a few of the Four Stone Hearth blog carnivals and in that spirit, I wanted to share a few places where I get inspiration when the dissertation seems particularly bleak.

A pretty constant source of joy is the Moore Groups blog, which covers a wide range of topics with Irish…snark?  Is that the right word for it on that side of the pond?  I met Declan and friends at WAC, where he showed us how to make beer and how to drink beer. Of particular delight is his recent coverage of Obama’s Irish roots and the archaeology of the associated area.

Shawn Graham’s Electric Archaeology always provides interesting links and commentary–I consider his blog the first and last word on developments in digital archaeology.  He adopts an explicitly pedagogical approach to the subject, which I really appreciate.  I do wish he’d switch back to a single column style though!  It’s hard to believe I’m a traditionalist when it comes to blogging.

Testimony of the spade is Magnus Reuterdahl’s blog about archaeology in Sweden.  I particularly liked his recent post about patterns that he was seeing in the doors of cabins–classic archaeological vision at work.

Though it’s hardly fair, I’m always a fan of John Lowe’s Where in the hell am I?.  He’s an old friend and is posting about his experiences as a professional archaeologist in Texas.  He’s been moving up in the world lately and has started managing projects and the accompanying headaches.  Good luck, John!  (and ew…move away from blogspot!)

Fotis’ Visualizing Neolithic is exactly where we need to be with archaeological photography.  It’s just…wow.  In the same vein is Ian Russell’s relatively new blog, culturge.  He highlights art and culture with particular attention to material culture.  Of course, I particularly liked his post about killer robots.

Obviously these are only a few of the blogs that I read (look that way for more! —–> ) but these few particularly resonate with my perspective on archaeology.  If you have any more suggestions, I would be happy to hear them!