The blog is back-hooray! And just in time for me to jump in on the wonderful discussion that’s been taking place among archaeology bloggers around the world. The discussion is in anticipation of a session happening next month at Society for American Archaeology Conference entitled “Blogging Archaeology,” which I am thrilled to be participating in. The series of questions asked by the session organizer, Colleen Morgan (@clmorgan) and a summary of contributed answers, can be found at the blog, Middle Savagery.
The question posed this week was:
What risks do archaeologists take when they make themselves available to the public via blogging? What (if any) are the unexpected consequences of blogging? How do you choose what to share?
Over the year that I have been working for the Florida Public Archaeology Network, I have witnessed each regional center really grab social media by the horns. It seems like just yesterday that I (along with a few of my colleagues) were touting the benefits of regional Facebook pages and Twitter accounts, and now the FPAN twitter feed is dizzying (in a good way), and some of the most hesitant among us are now some of the most prolific on social media (I’m looking at you, @FPANWestCentral).
One of the heartiest discussions that took place at our recent state-wide FPAN staff meeting was regarding regional blogs. A few of the regional centers had created blogs and, especially in the case of the Northwest region (The Dirt On Public Archaeology), had used the blog-medium as an approach to public outreach and education to such an extent that there was a noticeable impact. In fact, more individual viewers had visited the regions blog, than had visited the organizations website as a whole. While we, as an organization, applaud increased viewership and interest in public archaeology, the sheer impact of the blog was unexpected and brought up a few questions. First and foremost, should regional blogs should be allowed? (The answer, as you may have guessed, was a resounding ‘yes’). The other main concern was that these blogs were started on different platforms and separate from the existing FPAN web presence. Like any organization, FPAN has a unified identity, and we agreed that these blogs should be an extension of that image while still maintaining their regional personalities. The first order of business was to include the blogs under FPAN’s main webpage. Soon, you will be able to find the blogs as a link on the regional pages as well. So, sorry for the delay in blog posts and we hope you love our restructured blog identity as much as we do.