Last month we participated in the blogging carnival hosted on dougsarchaeology.wordpress.com. Each month Doug is asking fellow archaeology bloggers to post their responses to questions about their experiences with blogging. He’ll be compiling a list of all the answers each month (See December’s responses here) leading up to the Society for American Archaeology’s conference in Austin and its session on Blogging in Archaeology.
This month Doug is asking for our best (or worst) posts and why.
As an intern who recently took over from my predecessor, I chose to objectively decide on an “all-time best” post, and then embark on a little self-evaluation exercise and decide what was the best post out of the ones I’ve written. While the socially awkward high school teenager in all of us is always hoping for the highest possible number of views on each of our posts, blogging to me is about establishing and/or encouraging a sense of community around the topic we blog about. Therefore, the post that stands out as the overall best on Trowel Points is one my predecessor wrote on the recent attacks on National Science Foundation Funding from Capitol Hill. Coincidentally, it happens to be the post with the most all-time views. But I also feel that it contributed to a discussion in the wider archaeological community and inspired further conversation and blog posts on the topic, which is something that I would like to emulate in my future blogging.
I chose my personal best post, on Tea Time in 19th Century NYC, based on the same criteria, and it also happens to have the most views out of all my posts. Comments on the blog and the Facebook page touched on people’s personal experience with ceramics, and I would like to see posts like that expand one day into a dialogue with colleagues that potentially contributes to our analysis of artifacts here at Geoarchaeology Research Associates. Evaluating my blog posts up to this point has allowed me to define a future direction for my posts – I know now that I need to work not only on increasing traffic and followers, but also presenting topics in a way that encourages discussion among the blog’s existing followers, both colleagues and amateurs.