Blogging Archaeology

Posted on November 5, 2013


This is the page the launched the 2013-2014 Blogging Archaeology Blog Carnival. Don’t know what it is? Read on. The event is over and has accumulated in a wonderful book:


Blogging Archaelogy Cover Image

Blogging Archaelogy Cover Image

It is Open Access i.e. FREE to Read. You can download it here: Blogging Archaeology. It is a great resource to learn about blogging in archaeology. If you want to learn more about the carnival that started it all read on-


Blogging Archaeology

At this year’s SAA conference there is going to be an amazing Blogging in Archaeology session. It has been a few years since there has been one. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to attend the session and I know a couple of other archaeology bloggers who can’t either. My way of contributing is to widen the participation by hosting a blogging carnival (what’s a blogging carnival, click here) on archaeology and blogging. This was done for the last blogging session by Colleen and this is inspired by her work.

It works like this:

  • Each month leading up to the SAAs I will post a question. If you would like to answer this question, blog about it. Tell us your thoughts and opinions. Please steal the banner above, and link back to this post (wordpress alerts me to links).
  • Also, email me ( or post the link in the comments (either here or the post with the questions on it). This is so I know about your post and can link to it.
  • At the end of the month, I will summarize all of the post and add links so that folks can find them all in one place.  Hopefully, this will allow us to highlight some great archaeology blogs.
  • EDIT– Kelly asked- ‘Is there any obligation to take part every month?’ Absolutely not, take part as many or as few times as you want. If there is a question you really like, blog about it. If it does not particularly interest you, wait till the next month. It is all up to you.
  • EDIT– You do not have to be interested in going to the SAAs or an American to participate. We want everyone who blogs or who are interested in blogging to participate, regardless of geographic location.

Ideally, this carnival will run till the SAAs in 2014. Participate as many or as few times as you like, it is 100% voluntary. I realize everyone is very busy but if you have a moment to blog we would love to get your input. To quote Colleen from the last Carnival,

“The more people we hear from, the better! There are so many great archaeology blogs out there that don’t get enough readership, hopefully this will bring a few of them to light.”

We have a twitter hashtag- #blogarch  please use it for the carnival and SAA session. Thanks.

Responses so far (it is not too late to respond to these months)-




Last Question– this ended the carnival

Final Question

Next month is the SAA session on blogging so this will be the final question for #blogarch. Learning from my mistakes this will be an actual question this time.

The last question is where are you/we going with blogging or would you it like to go? I leave it up to you to choose between reflecting on you and your blog personally or all of archaeology blogging/bloggers or both. Tells us your goals for blogging. Or if you have none why that is? Tell us the direction that you hope blogging takes in archaeology.

Short and simple and I hope a good question to finish off #BlogArch with.

Past Months
February is a bit different as it is an open question because of several other things that are taking place. The details of which are-
 Chris Webster, who is running the SAA session on Blogging that inspired this conference, and I are putting together an e-book of papers on Blogging and Archaeology. Those who will be giving papers in April at the SAAs will be contributing and Chris has been kind enough to open it up to anyone, including those of us not attending. We have a publisher lined up and the e-book will be Open Access so everyone can read it.
If you are interested in contributing a paper on the subject of Archaeology and Blogging the details are as follows:
  • Let Chris know by March 5th if you are interested in participating
  • Papers are due April 5th, email them to Chris at
  • Put in as many graphics as you want. It’s an eBook so in this particular case, size doesn’t matter! Please ensure that you have permission to use the images
  • Because it is an e-book there is no real limit in terms of length but don’t go crazy, we would like to keep it under 6000 words but longer pieces are ok if you let us know in advance. It can be as short as a blog post too
  • Use the Harvard referencing system
  • Style- write in whatever style you want, 1st person casual or 3rd person academic it does not matter. British English, American English, German, etc. it does not matter but please stay consistent.
  • There will be an editorial review but no peer review
  • It can be on any subject related to Archaeology and Blogging. It can be a full referenced examination of a topic or a personal narrative. It can be a photo essay too. There is no limitation to how you write your piece.

Also, Colleen Morgan is putting together a special peer reviewed issue of Internet Archaeology on Archaeology and Blogging. For more information about the dedicated issue of Internet Archaeology, please contact Colleen Morgan ( by 10 Feb. That date is key as spaces for the IA issue are limited and Colleen needs to know if you are interested right away. Those papers need to follow IA standards and how to write for IA can be found here.

So what does the e-book and IA special issue have to do with the carnival? Well this months question is open. That is you can blog about any subject you want relating to Archaeology and Blogging, Blogging Archaeology, Archaeology Blogging, or however you want to term it.

The reason for this is because throughout the carnival many of you have mentioned using a blog as a way to work through your thoughts, some on the way to writing longer pieces. We are hoping that you might want to blog about a subject that you would then turn into a piece for the e-book or IA issue i.e. Blog post to e-book chapter to peer-reviewed journal article.

So feel free to choose any topic relating to Archaeology and Blogging and blog about it for this months carnival. Maybe considered submitting it or turning into a longer piece for the e-book or IA issue? Or NOT. I don’t want to turn this into a chore so feel free to just blog about whatever, there is no pressure to make it anything more than a blog post. We will return to a defined question for March but we thought to get this out so people have enough time to put together something for IA or the e-book. If you have any questions let me know-


What are your best (or if you want your worst) post(s) and why? Compare and contrast your different bests/worsts.

I leave it up to you to define what best is. We bloggers have all sorts of different stats available to us. You could look at-

  • Most viewed -single day?, week? month? year? all time- I leave it up to you
  • Most individual views
  • Most diverse audience
  • Facebook likes
  • Most viral (however you define viral)
  • Most Tweets
  • Went viral on reddit

Or you could go a bit more qualitative-

  • Best conversations
  • Led to a talk or a paper
  • Personal favorites (again however you determine that)
  • Most proud of
  • Best comment left by your audience e.g. this post changed my life,

These are just some ideas to get people started but please use what ever criteria  you want e.g. post with the most mentions of the word mummy, post your mom liked the best. Use 0ne or 20 different criteria it is up to you. Compare and contrast two posts or 200, again it is up to you.

John’s response to December’s question is a good example- “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.”

The idea for this month is simple- reflect on what you consider you best post(s) and why that is. Also, think about what others might think is your best post however you want to measure that (views? comments? etc.).  Then share your thoughts.


Please, please blog about the past months questions. We only do it my months to move the carnival forward but there is nothing to stop you from blogging previous questions. Blog and send me the link and I will add you to the final post.

The theme is the good, the bad, and the ugly of blogging. Blog about one or all of these themes. Instructions on how to participate can be found here.

The Good- what has been good about blogging. I know some people in their ‘why blogging’ posts mentioned creating networks and getting asked to talk on a subject. But take this to the next level, anything and everything positive about blogging, share your stories. You could even share what you hope blogging will do for you in the future.

The Bad- lots of people mention it feels like talking to brick wall sometimes when you blog. No one comments on posts or very few people do. 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?

The Ugly- I know Chris at RAS will mention the time he got fired for blogging about archaeology. It is your worst experiences with blogging- trolls, getting fired, etc.

New to Blogging? Now I know some of the participants have only been blogging for a few weeks and PLEASE join in. You may not have had any good or bad experiences but we would love to hear about your hopes and dreams/ concerns and nightmares about your future blogging experiences.

The idea is that these are general themes to guide you. Looking through the different responses to the last set of questions I see a huge range in how people responded. Please respond to these themes however you want. I will be collecting up the responses on January 3rd and do this all over again.

Please link your responses to Decembers questions to this post/comment there or email me at with your links so I can collect them at the end of the month.


Is actually two and half questions, feel free to answer one or both.

Why blogging? – Why did you, or if it was a group- the group, start a blog? Feel free to take this an any direction you want.

I realize that lots of people have already done a post like this (still please post the link here or send me the link if you have already blogged about this). So in case you don’t want to write this post again here is a second(ish)  question. (Again, still send me the link or post it below).

Why are you still blogging?- Some prompting question along those lines: Have the reasons why changed since you first started blogging? Are there new reasons why you blog?

Now I am know I am asking a lot here but the flip to that question is- Why have you stopped blogging? I know there are lots of bloggers out there who have stopped blogging regularly or at all. It would be great to hear the reasons why. The irony of asking people who stopped blogging to blog about why they stopped is not lost on me. But if you are willing to share through one last post or maybe send me an email that I can re-post here, please?

PS if anyone wants to host one of these monthly sessions drop me a line.


Posted in: Publishing, Wildcard