The Future of Blogging Campus Archaeology
This is the final blog post in a series of larger blogging carnival posts hosted by the blog Doug’s Archaeology. The previous posts have focused on why we blog, what we blog about, and the potential issues of blogging. For the last month of the blogging carnival, we look to the future. For the full question and answers to last month’s questions, check out the post here. Today’s post is written by Katy Meyers and Lynne Goldstein.
“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.”
Campus Archaeology is a unique type of blog. It isn’t run by an individual, though it is overseen by Dr. Lynne Goldstein. There isn’t a single individual who writes the content- though oftentimes the Campus Archaeologist, the head of daily operations for the group, blogs more than other individuals. There is a wide range of voices on the site, coming from a wide range of backgrounds. Some are sixth year graduate students studying bioarchaeology, others are freshman undergraduates who are just beginning to understand what archaeology really is. The tone of the writing, the focus of the posts, and the goals of the blog are constantly shifting with the various Campus Archaeologists, graduate research fellows and undergraduate interns. I believe that it is this diversity which keeps the blog interesting- even if we touch on similar topics, it is from a different perspective. While I would love to predict the future of the blog, a lot of it depends on who the Campus Archaeologist and rest of the crew is at that moment in time.
There are however some specific goals that we hope to aim for and things we would like to introduce into the blog.
1. Video: We would like to add more video interactions into the blog. Archaeological work can be very active and dynamic, and adding more visual aspects like video would be a major benefit to communicating our work to the public. We hope to begin in the next month taking video of our work at MSU’s Science Fest with local children, and from the summer construction projects we will be working on. We don’t intend to create complete video blogs, but hope to use the medium as a supplement to the writing. For example, if we are discussing stratigraphy on Michigan State University’s campus and how diverse it can be in different areas, we could include video of someone pointing out the layers of a unit in one area and layers of a unit from a different area. It would give us a chance to demonstrate methods, or show 360 views of what certain historic buildings or artifacts look like.
2. Theme Months: We started our first ever theme month for March, focusing on Women and Archaeology. The hope with introducing these themes is that we can increase discussion and engagement of the public with the blog, as well as focus on the fact that there are many different tasks required to meet one specific goal. For example, we have individuals working on archival research, educating children, creating type collections, accessioning materials, and conducting lab and field work. By having themes, we can highlight how the wide range of archaeological activities are all related to one another, and how they each help us learn more about the past and educate people in the present.
Overall, our hope is to continue to engage with the Michigan State University community, the broader public and other archaeologists through blogging. Blogging is a fantastic tool for learning, teaching, sharing, and discussing archaeology in an approachable way. We want to make our blog a place where folks come to learn something new, discuss archaeological topics, and appreciate the past.