Archaeological Outreach and the New Media

Popped down to Lund over the day to teach a class on new media reach-out in archaeology. I showed the students a presentation and spoke for about 2 x 45 minutes. Spending only four hours in town, I had little time to do anything else, though I passed the venue of James Randi’s upcoming lecture, checked out the relocated runestones outside and peered into an enticing sewer trench cut into the stratigraphy of LundagÃ¥rd, Sven Forkbeard’s old hangout.

Here are the main points of my talk. (And here’s the whole thing in Swedish.)

Old media – New media
Gatekeeper – No gatekeeper
Pros write – Everybody writes
You get interviewed – You write
You have no control – You have complete control
Large unspecific audience – Small specialised audience
Audience silent – Audience talks back
Audience pays – Free entry

Don’t become a brief candle
Don’t start a new blog for each excavation. Nobody will find it before the project is over. Instead, ask for permission to publish your entries on the central blog of your department, museum or excavation unit. It already has an audience and will survive your project. Or ask a big-name blogger in your field to write some guest entries for them.

The new media also have its national papers and cable TV vs. the Bloom County Picayune and college radio stations.

Check out Arkeologiforum’s aggregator for Swedish archaeology blogs.

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2 thoughts on “Archaeological Outreach and the New Media

  1. I think the “brief candle” comment is good, but is really context specific. Large, multi-season digs, which are more likely to cover a number of universities, may be better off with a centralized blog. The best example would be something like Catal Hoyuk.

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