Friday, 21 March 2014

The future

"Next month is the SAA session on blogging so this will be the final question for #blogarch. Learning from my mistakes this will be an actual question this time.
The last question is where are you/we going with blogging or would you it like to go? I leave it up to you to choose between reflecting on you and your blog personally or all of archaeology blogging/bloggers or both. Tells us your goals for blogging. Or if you have none why that is? Tell us the direction that you hope blogging takes in archaeology.
Short and simple and I hope a good question to finish off #BlogArch with."

The great value of this blog to me is that it's a playground where I can write whatever I want, and people do find their way to it.   I am currently involved in two initiatives which build on my 10 simple steps work: the setting up of a Project Management Group for the IfA, and a research project I am currently developing  interviewing archaeologists about how they construct their sense of professional identity.  Both of these initiatives will exist in other forms, but here is where I can add quick updates, try out bits of text, and provide pointers to related sources.

This last point sounds trivial, but it is easy to overlook.  Before websites, the following up of an article's references was a long, tedious and frustrating experience, even for people who had the chance to drop in to a university library that might hold the relevant journals.   Now there's a lot that is readily available, and linked directly.  It's true that much academic publishing is locked off to all but specialists in academia, but even so it is much easier to be well-informed than it used to be.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Blogging archaeology - my top posts

This post is part of a blog carnival in the run-up to SAA 2014:

Over the last seven years there have been 20,900 pages viewed. Whether you think that's a lot depends on your expectations. Most of the traffic comes from Google searches, although some follow links from university archaeology courses cite it as an online resource. It is notable that most of search terms are post titles, which means that 'meat and potatoes' post titles work better than clever allusive and obscure ones.


20 Dec 2007, 1 comment
1 Jan 2013, 3 comments

14 Feb 2012, 1 comment
28 Nov 2007, 1 comment
I am pleased that the post on How to get your first job in archaeology is popular, reflecting a bit of a vacuum elsewhere (the CBA website's careers advice is vague and optimistic). The otehr popular posts get significant traffic from people searching for general advice on PRINCE2, lean management, training action plans,  and Powerpoint.  The essay on Commercial archaeology  is an interesting case, where the academic published literature on ethics and development in archaeology  are sparse and therefore this contribution to the debate fills a gap.

If I was to take a gloomy view I could say that it is impossible to predict which of the posts will go viral, to the extent of finding most readers, and I am disappointed at the much smaller number of readers who explore the site at length.  But in away that's not surprising: the potential audience of new archaeology graduates or people working in generic management is much larger than my core audience -  commercial arcaheologists who have just been promoted to project managers.