Blogging Archaeology #BlogArch – All of the Responses to Why?

Posted on December 3, 2013


Wow! We had an amazing turn out for the first month of the Blogging Archaeology blog carnival, 58 (now 72) participants! If you don’t know what Blogging Archaeology is click on this link. Even though this post is the summation of what was said in the last month it is not too late to join in. Anyone can join at any time and you can blog about the previous months questions too, I will add them to the end here. Seriously, send a link to your post and I will add you.

First, apologies if I missed anyone. I went through links, comments, emails, and tweets to try and find everyone but I might have missed one or two. If I did, just know it was not on purpose. Just let me know and I will add you.

New questions for December at the bottom.

On to the posts. Because so many people have responded I can only give the most brief of snippets of what they said. So go and read the full version, your life will be better for it. (some friendly advice- bookmark this page and come back because there is so many great things that were said and it will take some time to go through it all).

Our very first participant was vox hiberionacum and he attached his answers to another similar post he did so go and read both parts. In his post Ich Bin Ein Blogginer, VH brings up the interesting point of drive by blogging and how we are going to see a lot more of it-

“There are many new blogs & SM handles, both individuals & organisations, appearing online these days (especially over this side of the water) –  a large number of which will disappear after the next round of REF/ (insert generic national, corporate uni research assessment method). In other words, they are only producing content and material in order to boost and skew the numbers relating to how their departments/unis are evaluating, measuring and collating ‘impact’. The online hole and virtual silence afterwards will speak a thousand words. Those continuing will be the ones actually interested in doing…whatever it is we’re doing online.”

Our very next participant was Kelly from The Archaeology of Tomb Raider. She discussed how she decided”to launch this blog and reach out to those fans who wanted to learn more about the real-life locations and artefacts featured in the games (Tomb Raider)”. What a brilliant idea, take something seen as a negative portrayal of how archaeologists work and flip it around. Really, think someone should start a blog on the Archaeology of American Diggers, just my two cents.

After this I lost track of who submitted what next so the following order…. well there is no order I will just go through what everyone said as I come to it.

History Echoes gives us two posts for the carnival. In the first post, we learn that History Echoes came to blogging because of migraines. In the second post we, not just bloggers, are all encouraged to blog –

“Learning and sharing are the two reasons I think we should all blog. If you aren’t writing right now, I encourage you to pick a topic on your own that interests you or is relevant to you.” (there is more really good advice if you are considering starting a blog).

Martin, at 10 Simple Steps to Better Archaeological Management, tells us about his very unique beginning to blogging as part of the preparation for a conference presentation. He also brings up how he turned his blogging and presentation into a book, something I know some other bloggers will be very interested in.

MSU Campus Archaeology explains how that everyone who works for Campus Archaeology is required to blog and the reasons why they continue to blog-

“Most students, alumni and campus members will never take an archaeology class, but almost all have a strong interest in MSU’s heritage. We provide an alternative view of the past by revealing history in its material remains in an accessible manner online, and I think this is why we will always continue to blog.”

Traces of the Past explain how they created their blog to contribute to their Traveling Exhibit. There is an idea worth replicating elsewhere.

Imponderabilia tells us how blogging has done a lot for her-

“On the flip side, blogging has actually done a lot for me. The sharing of my thesis via my blog landed me a spot as a keynote speaker at the recent Association for Gravestone Studies inaugural NY Chapter meeting in Green-Wood Cemetery, in Brooklyn.”

Archaeology Fantasies identified a problem that she wanted to tackle with her blogging-

“Carl Sagan mentioned in his book Demon Haunted World how he got picked up at the airport by a driver who was completely ignorant of science, yet loved the topic. The only sources of information on the topic of science this driver had access to were pseudoscience and woo. Sagan didn’t blame the driver for his lack of formal education, he blamed the scientific community for not providing better access to real science to the lay person.

We have a very similar problem in the Archaeological community. Because we are not more accessible to the public we have issues with aliens, Atlantians, ethnocentrism, looting, and validating our field of study to governments. The other side of this coin is that we so rarely prepare students and professionals to talk with members of the public.”

a stitch in time asks the interesting self-reflective question-

“Yes, I do have a blog, and I am an archaeologist, but I don’t really see my blog here as a proper archaeology blog?”

A question I am sure many of use have asked ourselves.

Archaeology, Museums, and Outreach brings up the fact that many archaeology blogs fill necessary niches-

“Primarily, I focus on a specific niche of the cultural heritage student or professional interested in public engagement. If you Google my blog title, you will not find another blog with that focus. So I definitely fill a niche and the interest continues to grow. Unique hits per post range from as few as 500 to many as 3000 per week.”

Christchurch Archaeology shared their excellent post I am an archaeologists for the carnival-

“I am an archaeologist. I’m not interested in dinosaurs. Or rocks. I don’t look for gold. And I’m no more interested in the pyramids than most people. But I’m fascinated by people, and our past, and the lives of those who went before us, especially here in Christchurch.”

Henry discovered my master plan to take over the world of archaeology blogs. He now must sleep with one eye open at all times. 🙂

The Girl with a Trowel tells us how she started her blog to keep in touch with people, a theme we will see a lot from bloggers. Also, like Stitch in Time see wonders if it is really an ‘Archaeology Blog’.

The Mesolithic unite!!! Hazelnut Relations and Microburin tell us about the Mesolithic blogging community. Hazelnut in the post script brings up a very interesting point I am sure some many people would agree with-

“But I would not mind if blogging, or science communication in general, also got some sort of support from my department, faculty or university. (If only it would qualify for an ECTS point. I need 12 for my PhD, thank you very much.)”

Microburin reminds us that blogging is not done in isolation-

“My people network, acknowledging that the blog is one component of a multi-node social media presence, can now be counted in the hundreds. I have new friends “in the industry”, some now very close collaborators, others “secret followers”. The complete “trip”, for me, must include the varying degrees of immediacy and interaction embodied in other media such as The Facebook, The Twitter and, a one-off dapple, YouTube. There’s more of course, but my world is not yet ready?”

Outlandish Knight compliments these thoughts that blogging has a space along side different medias-

“… at about the same time I began blogging I also joined Facebook. Fairly quickly, FB became my preferred method of sharing the small links and odd bits of news that I intended the blog for. This was primarily because I had a ready made audience of friends and students on FB, who would pick up, share and comment on them. With the blog, people rarely commented and to be honest, I’m not sure many people read it. FB gave (and still gives) that direct link and facility for easy response and sharing. It doesn’t reach a big external audience, but it doesn’t need to. There are plenty of bigger blogs out there which essentially act as archaeology news sites and aggregators. This was never what I intended my blog to be and frankly I have neither the time nor inclination to make it into one. The second major shift was the fact that I increasingly wanted to make longer and more thoughtful and discursive comments rather than simply posting news items. This meant that the entries got longer and the subject focus shifted somewhat- moving away from straight archaeology and more towards the overlapping worlds of heritage / archaeology / landscape / Englishness / folklore and traditions where my more straight ‘academic’ interests intersected with my wider personal hinterland.”

Process: Opinions on Doing Archaeology raises the interesting point that not all blogging platforms are the same-

“I really liked the idea of using Tumblr because I like the conversational nature of it. You can favorite a post or reblog it for your own nefarious ends, or have a conversation through a stream of repeated reblogs. Of course, this rarely happens with the posts that contain my original content. My reblogs, though. Those things get noticed and passed on.”

Bill at Succinct Research tells us how he got involved in blogging- to help other archaeologists find jobs.

Bernard at The Virtual Curation Lab reminds us that blogging can become addictive

“I’ve since started another blog that reflects my research interests on New Deal archaeology ( because I have found the blogging experience to be so positive. “

Zoo Archaeology describes how blogs can evolve with passing time-

“From about this time last year, the form and length of my ‘blog posts here changed dramatically. I no longer wrote for those who might be looking to contract me but for those who were actually visiting my ‘blog. In making this change, I found that I actually enjoyed the process of ‘blogging far more.”

Trowels ‘N’ Transit shares how for some blogging can be counter intuitive at times-

“The other thing I fight against is that I spent years as an archaeologist for the U.S. Army, where blogging was not encouraged/discouraged, and any public dissemination of knowledge about research, no matter the content, was to be shopped through a public affairs officer (PAO). We don’t have PAOs with the Survey, and while I get that I’m in a different job that encourages this kind of outreach, blogging still feels… just wrong at times.”

Stuart Dunn puts blogging into the perspective of archaeologists wider attempts to communicate-

“But you only have to look at the mass of links the Doug alone has identified to see that any the age of sourcing archaeological discourse to only ‘professional’ or ‘official’ channels is long past.”

Pots & Places, Stones & Bones describes a feeling many people have when looking for a job and how blogging can help

“So, how to publish my thoughts, and give potential employers something to look at other than my (until recently horrendous) Academia page. To show them I could write, I could think, I was a real person.”

Rebecca at Old Bones cuts to the chance and gives us bullet points of the why. One of which is finding her voice, which I think she has.

Mathematical Tools, Archaeological Problems brings home the point that blogs are very useful for many different things

“For example, I used the blog to post R code that I wrote to perform some of the analyses for the intensification paper. This experience led me to the realization that the blog was also a great place for small projects that would likely never get formally published.”

GraecoMuse, one of the first to post, tells us that blogging is good way to cut through the romanticism of archaeology

“There is a highly romanticised view of archaeology that I see in the eyes of students even on the first day of a dig which can lead to a lot of disappointment for them. We are not Indiana Jones, nor are we perfectionists with tiny tools. Blogging became a way of giving people who were interested a non romaticised view and show them that despite the lack of whips and Nazis it can be just as exciting for different reasons.”

Terry P. Brock takes us into the world of societies and why they blog, (cough, cough, wink, wink other societies the reasons are great) –

“Third, it allowed us to expand and add value to being a SHA member. The SHA could now be a part of our member’s daily lives throughout the year, as opposed to when they received the journal or attended the conference. We could become a vocal destination for them to access our resources, read about archaeology, keep tabs on what our committees were doing, and comment and interact with them. Most importantly, the blog itself provided opportunities for members to contribute. After the first year, fifty different archaeologists, all members, contributed to our blog, and many of those members had never participated actively with the SHA before.”

Sam at UnFree Archaeology reminds us that we can blog to make a difference in the injustice we see in the world

“Unfree Archaeology is both my most profession-focused and my most political blog, and it is the least read one that has been the most successful engagement. It grew out of the live #freearchaeology discussion of unpaid labour and other precarious work in the cultural heritage industry, my anger at the exploitation of cultural heritage workers from the UK to Turkey, and my frustration with being unemployed for a third time.(1)”

Katy at Bones Don’t Lie explains that we, bloggers, provide an alternative voice to the main stream media.

“There are so many news sources that are discussing archaeology, and many of them twist the facts a little or choose only to discuss the sensational bits. I think archaeologist bloggers provide an important service by alerting the public about the truth behind these news posts.”

Archaeologik demonstrates how a blog can become a serious publication

“Practically Archaeologik turned to a kind of an archaeological journal. On one hand, articles became longer, but on the other hand other authors got involved in Archaeologik. Technically they are guest contributors. Since summer 2013 Archaeologik holds an ISSN(see here).”

Albion Calling reminds us that blogging can be widely successful

“Simply put, my blog has been a success. It’s been running for just over a year and a half and has passed the 20,000 hits mark. Okay, that might not put it in the category of one of the internet’s most popular blogs, but for a site dealing with such a niche subject as the archaeology and history of religion then I feel that that’s a success.”

Archaeology, Academia and Access shows that blogging can help with the thought process

“Blogging helps me to think about all those things; to line them up in my head and compartmentalise them.”

Castles and Coprolites demonstrates how blogging acts as a public service and inspire others-

“I have a huge collection of images that I use for teaching, and only a fraction of them have ever been published. When I was learning micromorphology, it was sometimes very difficult to get good reference images, and I figured by posting these online it might inspire others to take up micromorphology, or at least to make the subject less of a mystery to non-specialists.”

Evolution Beach asks us to not only share but share responsibly

“Of course, sharing is not the only property of value for ideas: they also have to accomplish something. If academics were all about sharing, science (at least) would be an enterprise that encourages Kardashianism rather than the generation of knowledge.”

Kerry Massheder describes some of the baby steps that most of us took when we started a blog

“Why have you stopped blogging?
I haven’t! Honestly! But I have slowed down……..Initially I posted every tiny detail of my working week-BORING! Now I try to post items that are interesting and relevant such as training notes or brief updates.”

Chris at Random Acts of Science explains how #blogarch inspired him to create a blog. Not this one the one ran a few years ago. If you check the other posts you will see that several other people were inspired there as well. Hmmm, I wonder if this session will doing anything?

“Fast forward to 2011. I have a fresh MS degree in Archaeological Resource Management and I’m at the SAAs. I was starting to get more interested in talking about archaeology and was intrigued by the Blogging Archaeology session organized by Coleen Morgan. What I saw not only humbled me, but, blew me away. While I was waiting for the session to start I opened a Twitter account because of the Twitter information on the projector screen at the front of the room. I was amazed at the behind-the-scenes activity going on! I was also pissed that I wasn’t part of it….”

Theoretical Structural Archaeology plows straight into the issues with an academic system that does not serve the interests of all students and how blogging helps fill the void

I have worked in some tough industries, but nothing had prepared me for a culture of such mendacious duplicity; having read very little of the 3 chapters of my PhD, and having attended none of the five paper I gave in my first year, my Tutor had me suspended for not doing any work. In a nutshell; while I was striving for an objective methodology, she was the University’s Expert in Iron Age Building Cosmology, and thought I should be writing about annotating archaeological plans with beliefs and perceptions. While Universities in UK may be publically funded,  they are run like private members club, and I had been blackballed.”
Unearthed, even though they believe that haven’t been blogging long enough to need a reason to keep going, has a nugget of wisdom- blog about what you like.
Another new blogger, The Archaeology of Painting, gives us insights into a blog from Sara Perry’s brilliant project to incorporate blogs in the class room. Speaking of which there is the King and His Manor from that same project  that also joined in, you should check them both out. So far I am very impressed with what they are doing.
“I can not begin to count the times where the only reason I accomplished something in the workshop on Monday morning was so that I would have something to write about on Monday afternoon. “
Russel at Diachronic Designs shares that his blog is there to help archaeologists become more tech savvy
This blog will help archaeologists get straight to “the good stuff” in every program featured. Since I learn best by teaching, this blog primarily serves a selfish purpose – I want to be that go-to “tech” person every office and university department should have and this blog will help me teach myself about these tools.
Anthroslug brings up a pretty unique reason to blog, for storytelling
Tell stories: Field work can be wonderful and exciting, but it is, at least as often, stressful and frustrating (at least if you are a supervisor). I realized that I had the opportunity to do a lot of things that other people could not, but I was often so stressed that I wasn’t enjoying it. However, I found that even the worst field experience became considerably more tolerable when I realized that it would make a good story later. Blogging gave me an outlet for storytelling any time I needed it, which allowed me to better deal with stress, which, in turn, helped me focus on my job and be a better archaeologist.
A Hot Cup of Joe explains why his blogging has slowed down recently
“My blogging definitely slowed to a trickle, which was a perfect storm of many things. I was finishing a master’s thesis in archaeology (those things never seem like they’ll be done), getting bogged down at work, and maybe a little distracted by life in general. It seemed that some of the pseudoarchaeological dried up a bit too. However, with the thesis behind me, I’m ready to start blogging again!”
A Bone to Pick brings up a very interesting topic that might apply to some of you

“At the time, however, there already existed a number of excellent bioarchaeology blogs that enthusiastically covered the discipline (Powered by Osteons and Bones Don’t Lie, for example) and I wasn’t sure I could add anything new to the conversation. Rather than attempting to cover all aspects of bioarchaeology, I ultimately set myself the more modest goal of focusing on my own particular research interests and activities in the field.”

I wonder if there is something about bioarchaeology that attracts bloggers?

Digs & Docs takes my questions and runs with them
“I’d like to extend Doug’s question a bit, and ask aloud why more people in archaeology aren’t blogging? Last week I was at the annual convention of the American Anthropological Association, and I had the pleasure of meeting one of my favorite social-media-savvy archaeologists, Bob Muckle (he’s on Twitter @BobMuckle and writes a monthly column for Anthropology News). In a talk on the state of the field, Bob wondered aloud where all the American archaeologists are on social media and in the blogosphere. In part, this blog carnival should help make us a bit more visible. But his point is well-taken: Why will Doug’s call draw from (likely) dozens of bloggers, rather than hundreds?”
Where the Hell Am I paints a picture of some of the difficulties in finding the time to blog
“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.”
Trowel Points articulately lays out many of the great things about blogging
“Medicine bottles with questionable levels of alcohol content, the lost spectacles of some absent-minded person, the dentures of a potentially MORE absent-minded person, and even a proto-credit card are just some of the objects we’ve found during our excavations.  By blogging about the objects, and more importantly, the stories behind them, we’re hoping to illustrate how archaeology isn’t just arrowheads and painted pottery, but is literally under their feet at every turn.”
Madsenb brings us something no one else has- why he has scrapped blogging and moved to Open Notebooks. Very interesting read-
“So I don’t really blog. Instead, I keep a lab notebook, and I keep it here, for everyone to read. Sometimes there is a post which I have locally on my laptop, and isn’t finished yet, but otherwise, it’s all here (or in some github repository).”\
We brought Diggin’ It out of a two year blogging retirement to join in.
“Since I returned from the field in May of 2010 I’ve posted five times, the last of which was over two years ago. I guess that means I have officially stopped blogging. Don’t get me wrong, though, I’d love to blog more. So, why don’t I? The answers to this question are varied. Perhaps the easiest answer is that I started this blog to document my experiences in the field, and that was a finite period of time that is now over. Without that adventure the impulse to blog has diminished.”
Dig this Feature tells us about some of the nice wonders of having a tumblr blog
“Will I keep blogging about archaeology now that I’m in graduate school? I’ll be honest, as most of you have probably noticed, I don’t have a lot of free time anymore to post/re-post things, and in some ways I think that’s ok. I don’t think me endlessly reblogging “whatshouldwecallgradschool” or “socialsciencegradschool” really contributes to the archaeology blogging community (although I do follow them religiously because, let’s be honest, they’re spot on), but I do like having this tumblr around in case something particularly relevant or important comes around that I feel like needs to be shared. Case in point: a post about women in the field got over 50 notes, and while it was on the one hand disheartening to read the notes and find out that many female techs had also experienced harassment, it was also very encouraging to read that women aren’t afraid to speak up and say “I’m not going to stand for this”.”
Bodies and Academia asks us to be public intellectuals
“I believe that an archaeologist should be a public intellectual (to pick up on Sarah Tarlow’s question) and express his/her point of view on several public matters of concern (the fate of the Humanities, heritage, education, public policies etc.). In the same time, I support Public Archaeology and opening to the wider public our research and questions.”
“Random Twitter conversations are energizing. Feedback is immediate and infinitely more helpful than a blog posts that people read but don’t take the time to comment.”
While many people talk about reaching the ‘public’ Heritage Action is interested in interested in the movers and shakers
“It’s our humble opinion that the audience we now have includes some of the top ‘movers and shakers’ – people who are in a position to make a REAL difference to the UK’s protection of its heritage. If we can persuade them of the need for change, by highlighting sites under threat, then there’s a chance that things eventually WILL change.”
“There are certainly a lot of people who’d be very happy if I stopped (or if they could stop me), and who have their own answer to that one. The problems with artefact collecting and the antiquities market don’t stop; while there is something to write about, then surely somebody ought to be drawing attention to the issues. When I look at what is out there, it seems to me that (at least in the English-speaking world) that basically there is nowhere else where an attempt is made in this sort of medium to cover the same ground from this point of view.”
These Bones of Mine tells us how blogging about archaeology and archaeology related subjects can hit very close to home
“There was also a personal side to the story- I know first hand what it is like to hear your tibia and fibula snap, to hear the crunch of the femoral neck as it buckles, to have undergone some fairly extensive surgery to re-align and re-enforce the bones themselves.  I was worried that this could bias some of things I wrote (and still do worry) but I thought that the blog would open up an opportunity to talk about my own bone disease (polyostotic fibrous dysplasia) in a way in which I have had trouble finding online.  Maybe if I could provide some sort of resource other sufferers could see that they were not alone?  (although this sounds perhaps a bit too grandiose when typed onto the screen).”
Passim in Passing brings home one of the great values of blogging
“The world is a lonely place at the end of a PhD or in the dreaded gap between degree and employment, and I enjoyed the company.
Holly at Mountains, Monuments and Mud shares what happens when your reason for blogging changes
“I still feel it is necessary to alert people to the beauty and importance of the fabulous archaeology scattered around the local area. As such, I came to the conclusion that I would write articles about towns, castles, forts and other exciting old stuff which can be found around the Brecon Beacons and surrounding areas.”

Anthropology #Through Glass tells us what a GLOG is and how he tries to find ways to remain “ethically proactive” . Don’t know what a GLOG is? Check it out.

Bill at The Archaeology of the Mediterranean World tells us how blogging has just become part of his everyday routine

“After only a few months, I found that blogging had become a vital part of my daily workflow. Even to this day, the first thing I do every morning is sit at the keyboard and write this blog. On most days, I’ve hit send – typos and all –  before the sun has come up over the North Dakota prairie. My blog has incubated most of the ideas I’ve had for articles, hosted working drafts of these papers, and announced their final publications. My workflow has become routine, public, and more transparent through the medium of blogging. “

Jake shares with us how #BlogArch has finally push him to finish his four year journey and to start blogging.

Stefano shares some insights into an interesting event hosted in Italy about blogging and archaeology

“Last month I was very lucky and I took part in a panel about archaeological blogging and bloggers in Paestum. It was a first time in Italy ‒ that perhaps explains how antiquate Italian archaeology is ‒ and most of the discussion we had was about improving how bloggers are perceived as communication mediators by domain experts in archaeology and cultural heritage.”

David Gill shares an older post about why he blogs about looting.

“So why blog about archaeological ethics?

Here are some preliminary thoughts …

First, it allows a day by day response to what is happening on the antiquities market. And things can happen quite suddenly. Take Friday October 26 2007: Bonhams withdrew a piece of Lydian silver from a sale in London, an article was published on incantation bowls at UCL, and then to finish the day, Princeton announced that it would be returned some of its antiquities to Italy. Web 2.0 technology allows for a swift response; without it, the response would have to be submitted to a journal, and the piece would appear months (at best!) later.”

Collen, who first had an idea for a archaeology blogging carnival for the SAAs, explains why she still blogs, even after ten years!

Why am I still blogging? Indeed. I frequently ran out of words while I was writing my thesis, leaving none to spare for the blog. Still, I keep updating Middle Savagery. It’s mine, my own thing, and in the morass of academic publishing, I have a platform I can experiment with. I can be as dopey and full of purple prose as I want to be, or call out misdeeds, or summarize academic articles. Through some trick of luck, people read my stuff.

We find out how blogging has replaced Mercury as a preferred method of communication.

Jonathan explains how a blog can help you gain control over your internet presence.

 “Several months ago I did a search on my own name. It is a pretty common name so anytime I did it in the past it always brought up other people in other parts of the world. However, this time it brought up a website that is being used by an archaeology company using the website as a way to attract clients. The website is very well put together and pretty effective. The problem though, is that it has my information wrong. It is wrong in several places by a wide margin. I was very concerned when I saw this because I knew that any job I applied for in the future would search my name and see the inconsistencies between my resume and this website. So I knew that I would have to control my internet presence.”

ArcheoVideo presents a pretty unique reason for blogging

“The first concept is Narrative->Story->Video. My main topic of research is the communication of archaeology via video-narration; this blog provides me the opportunity of developing my skills in writing a sort of scripts as dialogue (i.e. this one in Italian) and, at the same time, explore through them some hot topics of the week (for the next weekend I’m going to publish a dialogue about the last government act “Valore Cultura”).”

Victoria shares how here blog is way to stay connected with archaeology after moving into another career.

“I had three main challenges with getting started with the blog: I let archaeology go out of my life and have had to deal with a sense of regret, loss and a kind of grief which has taken some time to shift, I didn’t know who I was in archaeology and felt slightly fraudulent, I had to take some time to review my research and get to know it again.”

Sprache der Dinge tells us how blogging can be many different things-

“And it has grown to contain not only book reviews and critics of exhibitions I visited and conferences attended, but also ideas on the integration of the past into our everyday surroundings, information on grants and scholarships, and thoughts on the process of studying archaeology, doing continous education online and things related to archaeology I have always wished to explore. It serves me as a platform to present myself at the web.”

And then there is my response to this all.
Finally I would like to close this with Archaeology and Material Culture’s dissection of blogging as Public Archaeology
Regardless of their specific missions, archaeology blogs are prototypical examples of public scholarship that extend all our conventional missions beyond conference hallways, peer-reviewed publication, and classrooms.  The caricature of a blog—comic book guy registering his disapproval of Itchy and Scratchy, or a pre-teen waxing rhapsodic over a boy band—is simply a stereotype that reduces blogs to unfiltered (and un-reviewed) streams of consciousness.  A blog certainly can be rigorous scholarship without forsaking accessibility (that is, both literal access online as well as reasonably readerly text and challenging ideas).  Archaeology blogs inevitably take a wide range of textual forms—open-ended ideas; technical studies; tiny thinking exercises; descriptions of digs; long-winded essays (I recognize I am guilty); self-revelatory contemplation—but pundits seem to hyperbolize how much blogs differ from the more disciplined and homogenous peer-reviewed voice.  An astounding amount of peer-reviewed archaeological scholarship is absolutely fascinating and readable and is not all faux French philosophy or insulated sherd-counting and scientific nerdery; the distinction between that literature and archaeological blogs is perhaps one more of delivery and style than it is of substance.

Congrats, you made it to the end. We are now a little over 5000 words, this could be its own journal article. I will try to sum this up as quickly as possible.

In one word- diversity.

70+ archaeologists, and non-archaeologists, have blogged about the same questions but everyone had their own unique response to the question. Yes, there was overlap but having read them all I never once thought to myself, “gee I have already read this”. We are all archaeologists or interested in archaeology but we all blog, or don’t, for very different reasons.

Decembers Questions-

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 here or email me at with your links so I can collect them at the end of the month.

Mailing List for Blogging Archaeology

Also, we now have a mailing list for participants. Basically, I will send out an email to anyone who wants to participate at the end of the month with links to the other posts in the carnival and next months questions. That way you don’t have to follow my blog to get the new questions. Emails will not be given out or used for anything else other than for blogging purposes. Link to mailing list here-

I can not begin to count the times where the only reason I accomplished something in the workshop on Monday morning was so that I would have something to write about on Monday afternoon. – See more at:
After doing a few different blogs, and most recently trying my hand at tennis blogging, I had the lightbulb moment and realised that I should blog about what I’ve always been interested in since I was a lightie. – See more at:
I can not begin to count the times where the only reason I accomplished something in the workshop on Monday morning was so that I would have something to write about on Monday afternoon. – See more at:
After doing a few different blogs, and most recently trying my hand at tennis blogging, I had the lightbulb moment and realised that I should blog about what I’ve always been interested in since I was a lightie. – See more at:
After doing a few different blogs, and most recently trying my hand at tennis blogging, I had the lightbulb moment and realised that I should blog about what I’ve always been interested in since I was a lightie. – See more at:
After doing a few different blogs, and most recently trying my hand at tennis blogging, I had the lightbulb moment and realised that I should blog about what I’ve always been interested in since I was a lightie. – See more at:
After doing a few different blogs, and most recently trying my hand at tennis blogging, I had the lightbulb moment and realised that I should blog about what I’ve always been interested in since I was a lightie. – See more at:
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