Blogging Archaeology Carnival — “Glogging” Archaeology!

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Blogging, glogging, or vlogging? Regardless of what you call it the ability to quickly share our thoughts, data, capta, or any other aspect of archaeological information with the world at large is not only incredibly powerful and here to stay, but quickly becoming a full-fledged research area in and of itself. I attribute this–in part–to the increase in our integration of new digital anthropological methods into archaeology in a fashion reminiscent of Lewis Binford and other “New Archaeologists” integration of methods over a half-century ago, or its post-processual reanalysis. Powerful and transforming rapidly, I’d like to reflect on both my own glog (as well as all of archaeology blogging/bloggers) and discuss potential directions of our chosen communication/interaction medium.


  • First and probably most obvious, I see it growing, and within that “growth” I see blogs/vlogs/glogs gaining a new type of legitimacy currently absent from academia; legitimacy held by well-established but hegemonic peer-reviewed journals. Personal success within the “peer-review” process has historically been critically important for funding and career advancement–namely tenure review–however, the kinds and types of rigorous academic discourse that qualify at many institutions have not scaled with time. Our blogs, vlogs, and glogs represent considerable investments of time, effort, and skill. Polysemic and multivocal, they provide this place we control; a place where both state our own personal opinions about aspects of our discipline as well as legitimate avenues for disseminating research that I believe will give the entire peer-review process a run for its money. Consider this very blogging carnival as evidence for power of doing things in new ways.
  • Second, I see the simplicity of blog/vlog/glogging increasing significantly in the future for a number of potential reasons:technologically-acculturated ,new and upcoming students of archaeology. Growing up, making, and experimenting with their own blogs does foster a certain appreciation that is missing in others.
    • Wearables.  One aspect of “increased simplicity” is the interface by which the blog/vlog/glogging occurs. Currently smart-phone, tablets, laptops, and hypertops are the preferred way of posting these bits of archaeology we care about online, however that’s changing with wearables. A fact you are no doubt aware of being HERE on this glog is that I’m testing this entirely new interface for communication by being the first anthropologist and archaeologist with Google Glass. I can happily report that I am no longer alone, and I’m eager to see what others do with the technology, but there’s something to be said for the ability to walk around your campus on a Wednesday night and verbally dictate an entire post. By liberating our hands and allowing them to go back to doing traditional archaeological things like holding trowels or geophysical instruments, we can provide a perspective that is raw, real, live, and up-to-the minute. What happens when archaeologists no longer have to wait to link the public with their projects?
  • Considering all the other amazing archaeological blogs, which range from straight discussion about methods and data, to interpretation strategies, issues within the field, ethics, and generally helpful advice to the next generation interested in studying the past, I can see a future trend developing for (lack of a better term) “professional archaeological bloggers/blogging consultants” as an outgrowth of additional technical training.. Knowing what you know about archaeology is critical, yes, but effectively translating that into this ever-changing online medium requires skills currently existing outside of the discipline. Imagine this as “anti-technical writing 2.0”.
  • Finally, I can see the future of archaeological blogging/lvogging/glogging being empowered through geolocation and augmented reality. I will admit that I am in part biased as these aremajorcomponets of my research, I cant help but see the benefits to being able to not only *share* a blog/vlog or specific post with someone, but have that sharing be intelligent and location-specific.
    • Imagine for a minute a future where your devices automatically scour the net for *anything* relevant to your personal interests “wherever” (in the locational, not time, sense) you are. I’d be like Archaeological Blogging + RSS on steroids.

I conclude things by saying the future of archaeological blogging/vlogging/glogging (or whatever new form it may take) is one that will probably favor approaches that are integrated, intelligent, dynamic, relevant, yet robust. We are eternally searching for a recipe, an algorithm, or a formula that allows us to translate our jargon-heavy research results into a format that is easy to disseminate and heavily utilized by many. Until then we will #KeepExploring


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