Monday, December 16, 2013

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, or Why We Blog About Archaeology


The Florida Public Archeaeology Network started a blog as an outreach tool back in 2007. We hoped to reach a wider digital audience and share some of our experiences in the field, at festivals and with current happenings in archaeology. Since then, we've logged around 330 posts with well over 100,000 page views.

Artifact found at the GTM NERR from a "What is it Wenesday?" post.
Through our blog, readers have gone on numerous site tours and visits throughout Northeast Florida
(and beyond!) including historic cemeteries, prehistoric middens, shipwrecks and historic homes. Our readers have played games with us like "What is it Wednesday?" They've gotten book reviews, museum exhibit previews and special interviews with local celebrities (aka, archaeologists).

Our most popular post's topic: Tattoos!

The good things that have come from it are numerous. We've helped highlight endangered sites as well as told about little (and big!) preservation victories. We've shared knowledge about archaeology and the past for peers and the public. In fact, our post on Native tattooing in the Southeast is our biggest hit of all.

The bad things have luckily been few and far between. We've had to pull down a post because of weird legal reasons (the post implied someone's job included more research than it really does. He's supposed to mostly just manage resources and only do research when it's a part of that, which does happen a lot.). We've had some typos. (Okay, maybe more than a few...)



One of the ugliest sites we've featured as a warning: a vandalized cemetery in Edgewater

 The ugliest thing about our blog has been out own learning curb. How do we keep things engaging? How often should we post? And how do we make Blogger put the pictures where we want them?! (The secret as I've come to realize it is only composing in the Blogger window itself - no copying and pasting!) I think everyone who's blogged for us has learned a little something about technology and outreach in the process. Somehow the ugly keeps becoming a part of the good in the end... and so we blog on!



Words by Emily Jane Murray, FPAN Staff

This blog post is in support of a small movement in archaeological blogging. At the 2014 Society for American Archaeology conference, a few folks have put together an entire session on Blogging on Archaeology. In honor of this session, archaeologists in the blog-o-sphere have been typing away on, well, blogging about archaeology.  To learn more about this project, visit Doug's Archaeology Blog.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Archaeologists are self entitled people who feel anything buried underground should be off limits to the public, even on private property. To name your blog Going Public is extremely hypocritical. The same youngsters you allow participate will be the same people you try to prosecute for finding artifacts (ummm, old litter) if they choose to dig without a college degree. The "Public" has long realized your attempts are merely self preservation (job security) NOT historical artifact preservation! Except for the ones you have on display in your homes! Archeology should be banned!

Anonymous said...

I disagree with Mr. Anonymous' post. He simply doesn't realize the value of archaeology to the public. Which is the entire reason FPAN now exists. The youth who are exposed to programs showing how archaeology puts us in touch with the broader scope of humankind will have not only a greater respect for an artifact, but also for humankind and the environment that has supported it for these thousands of years. I hope Mr. Anonymous can get a little happier in 2014!! As for you FPAN people, keep preserving our knowledge of the past, and your jobs for that matter!