Sunday, 5 January 2014

Blogging Archaeology - the Best and the Worst

It's Blogging Archaeology round 3! The summary of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly has just been posted over on Doug's Archaeology . Lots of good responses, it's definitely worth a read to see some of the 'bad'. The positive aspects of blogging are obvious in some ways - spreading the word about your research, (theoretically) getting interaction with an interested audience. The negative side it seems can be quite serious. My own reponse to 'the bad' seems quite trivial compared to what some people had to say. One response that stood out for me was Pots and Places, Stones and Bones,
"the balance between self promotion and over exposure on social media (including blogging) really needs to be questioned" and the suggestion that blogging can come across as boasting. This is something I have thought about with my own blog. As it is a blog about my research, it is all a bit me me me, though I hope it doesn't come across as boastful. Maybe I should have a think about other types of content to include rather than just my own work!

Onwards to round 3:

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

Ok first off, worst is easy. I have a lot of little bitty posts back when I started the blog (hopefully not too many recently), which would be much better as Twitter posts. But I didn't have Twitter until recently (see shiny new Twitter feed to your right ---->). I have a couple of 'new publications out' posts which in hindsight (see above) are a bit crap. In future I will use publication posts to discuss the work in a bit more detail so it's more interesting.

Best is also easy. There is one post that stands out for me as 'best' for many reasons. It is the most viewed post of all time on my blog (c.300 unique views if I remember correctly - that's a lot for me!), probably because when I posted it the link was shared on a few facebook pages and other sites with a large audience. It is also my personal favourite. It is a poem I wrote a couple of years ago, which started out as a humorous spoof (archaeologically themed spoof poetry is a hobby of mine), but ended up being quite poignant. I'd been working on it on and off for a while, a poem about Catalhoyuk based on Tennyson's The Lady of Shallot. I was inspired to finish it when I heard the news in 2012 that Shahina Farid had resigned as field director of the Catalhoyuk project. I started working at Catalhoyuk in 2004, and Shahina has always been an inspiration to me. She always found time to help me, a shy and terrified graduate student with no clue, my PhD literally could not have happened without her (even if she did give me the nick-name Deep Shit for working on coprolites from the Deep Sounding). For many of us, she'll always be the Lady of the Hoyuk...

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