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…
Doug has starting blogging carnival for archaeology. He’s planning on having one topic each month until the SAAs. Here’s my (eventual) response to the November topic.
That’s a good question! At first, I thin was inspired by the blogging session at the SAAs in Sacramento, CA a few years ago. Or at least, all of the blogging traffic on Twitter during the preceding few weeks.
I wanted to create a blog that would build a community in a similar fashion to Red Kite Prayer. For a theme, I had noticed that most archaeology blogs that I was aware of focused on field methods, artifacts, or final interpretation of the archaeological work. It concerned me that people were getting an over-simplified view of archaeology in that they think typologies are set in stone or that you can justifiably interpret an individual site without understanding the contextual data provided by prior archaeological work.
Archaeology is more than just carefully digging.
It’s not just the public that seems to act like it is; I’ve seen this is a lot of freshly-minted graduates. So, my target audience started out as some sort of intermediate-level archaeologically interested public and slowly shifted to fresh grads and early grad-students.
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.
Also (and importantly), i provided me an opportunity to use my fountain pen more often. I really enjoy the tactile quality of using a fountain pen, but normally don’t have enough material to keep using it. So I created additional demand for writing by starting a blog.
Fun fact: Most of my original material (including this post) is drafted in ink and then transcribed (and edited) on the computer. In fact, if I begin any sort of writing with the computer, I’ll get a serious case of writer’s block. I need to prime the pump with ink and, very usually, pacing.
Why are you still blogging?
To be honest, I barely am (see below). But I do still have topics that I want to blog about and others keep posting amazingly great material that’s just begging for a reblog.
Why have you stopped blogging?
My attentions have drifted to more conversational platforms such as Twitter and the CRM archaeology podcast. I really enjoy the interactive nature of them.
I’ve also been writing a lot at work. After spending a day of writing at work, I usually don’t feel like spending any additional time writing even more material. I need to rest that part of my brain and other things demand my attention.
Finally, my fountain pen has been leaking and hasn’t been very usable, lately. That sucks a lot of fun out of it. I’m sending it in for repairs, though. We’ll see how that turns out.