To blog or not to blog… archaeology?

Posted on February 22, 2016


8 months ago I asked you readers if you could help a research student out by taking a survey about archaeology blogs. Fleur has now published her research, ‘To blog or not to blog’, you can down load the full thesis here (FREE)- She also got it approved so congratulations Fluer. While she does spend some focus on blogs as a tool for engaging youth she covers archaeology blogging in general which makes it of interest to any Archeobloggers out there.

to blog or not to blogIt was interesting for me because I have an interest in public engagement and blogging but I might be the only Archaeoblogger who does not have as one of their stated goals public outreach. Other than blogging about random things that capture my fancy and the videos I have recorded the main focus of my blog is the profession. My audience is mainly archaeologists or people interested in becoming an archaeologist. Or at least that is who I think my audience is….

Fleur was kind enough to share the data she collected from people responding on my blog (good practice that more people should follow). Some people filled it out because I broadcasted it on Twitter and so came by it that way but there were quite a few of you who are regular readers. Turns out not all of you are trained in archaeology or are based in the USA or UK, which tends to be my areas of focus:

Regular Readers

Age | Gender | Country of residence | Education in archaeology
30-35 Male Poland No
42-47 Female USA No
18-23 Male UK Yes
24-29 Female Romania Yes
42-47 Female USA Yes
24-29 Male UK Yes
54-59 Female USA No
48-53 Female Ireland Yes
36-41 Female Canada Yes
24-29 Male USA Yes
60-65 Male USA Yes
24-29 Male Turkey Yes
24-29 Female Italy Yes
30-35 Male Australia Yes
24-29 Male USA Yes
42-47 Male Germany No

There were a couple of comments that stood out from the data I got-

“I wish the writer would update more frequently. He has an interesting point of view, which is the main reason I follow any blog, and he doesn’t write about archaeology just as an academic topic, but as it pertains to contemporary life and politics.”

Thank you and I will try to post more often.

“Blogs exist out there, but there is the question whether the general public hears about them or not. Maybe campaigns such as Forbes’ or the Guardian’s, who employ bloggers to write in their pages, and then people can search for more content would be a good publicity for these blogs.”

Kristina Killgrove now blogs for Forges and gets significantly higher views than I ever could. I do wonder if we should be pushing to blog more on news sites.

“Academics need to learn to write for a public audience. Shorter sentences, lower “reading age” etc, so they can reach AND engage a larger audience. Most academics I know still “blog” in the same fashion as they write papers/books, which is far from ideal.”

This was interesting- not from a regular reader of my blog though. Funny enough I have been told the opposite, my paper writing style is to folksy… I kind you not, I was called folksy.

“I wish the writers of archaeology blogs were more honest and brave—particularly the other archaeologists who write blog posts and comment on blog posts. The discipline of archaeology in the [redacted] runs on a unique fuel—PISS IN YOUR PANTS FEAR. Everyone in [redacted] archaeology is taught from Day 1 in university that the Ph.D. holder in archaeology is a god—and the god requires total obedience and complete submission from graduate students, undergraduate students, M.A. holders, B.A. holders—and preferably members of the public too. This is not just the people at the god’s university—but all other people in the [redacted]. The god must always be the agenda setter, the god must always be center stage, the god must always have his way, the god must have his ass kissed regularly and well (to reassure the god that he is really god), the god must have total submission, the god must always get what he or she wants, the god must be obeyed, the words of the god must be reverenced, the god must be glorified and stroked. If a lesser human being fails at these requirements, they are in danger of being labeled as a pariah—and being treated accordingly. This is true throughout [redacted] archaeology and has been for many decades. No one ever talks about it because they are too afraid to talk about it in any public venue. I am registering this response in such frank terms here because I am an old person nearing retirement—meaning there is nothing bad they can do to me at this point. No 34-year- old archaeologist would dare write a response like this for fear that their career would be immediately finished—even when your research terms say that all responses will be kept confidential as per name of the person who fills out your form.”

I redacting the country mention to keep it anonymous but I think you could insert any country into that and most people would agree.



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