Doug, author of the blog Doug’s Archaeology, will be hosting a blogging carnival on the subject of archaeology and blogging in the lead-up to next year’s Society for American Archaeology (SAA) conference. Each month, Doug will post a question on his blog and invite other bloggers to share their thoughts and opinions on certain issues. This sounded like a fantastic initiative to address the role of blogging in archaeology so I decided to join in the fun and share my own (dare I say limited) insight into this subject.
The question for November 2013 was “Why blogging? Why did you start a blog?” And for bonus points: “Why are you still blogging?”
Let’s address each of these questions in turn.
“Why blogging? Why did you start a blog?“
I started The Archaeology of Tomb Raider in March 2013 as a way to combine my long-time interest in the Tomb Raider video game series with my passion for archaeology and write articles that could be considered educational, entertaining, and engaging. When the new Tomb Raider game came out earlier this year and people started expressing an interest in Japanese history and archaeology, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to launch this blog and reach out to those fans who wanted to learn more about the real-life locations and artefacts featured in the games.
In the eight months since I started this blog, I’ve written about a wide range of topics, including Inuit mythology, Nazca pottery, and Minoan frescos, put together lists of useful online resources for self-study purposes, and spent a lot of time discussing the often erroneous depiction of archaeology in popular culture with Tomb Raider fans across the world. While I can’t take all the credit for the fans’ growing interest in the ancient world and archaeology, I’d like to think that my blog is serving its purpose.
“Why are you still blogging?“
Why am I still blogging? Well, my readers are the real reason why I haven’t thrown in the towel. While I see this blog as an outlet for my creativity and enjoy conducting research into topics I’m less familiar with, it would all feel rather pointless if it felt like no one was reading. I’ve met some wonderful people via the blog and social media and although I sometimes feel like an imposter (unlike many other archaeology bloggers, I don’t have a formal background in archaeology), I’d like to think that I’m doing my own small part to educate others about the importance of preserving archaeological sites and taking an active interest in the past. As long as there are Tomb Raider fans who want to know more about the ancient cultures and treasures that appear in the games, I will keep on blogging.
So there you have it, folks. If you’d like to see how this blog carnival progresses over the next few months, you can find us on Twitter by running a search for the hashtag #blogarch.
Update: Over a dozen bloggers have posted their answers on their blogs since I first published this article. Among them are Katy B (who explains why she started blogging about mortuary and bioarchaeology), Graecomuse (who started her blog as a means of “productive procrastination”), ArchyFantasies (who made it her mission to debunk myths and tackle pseudoarchaeology), and Sam Hardy (who blogs about the state of the archaeology job market and unpaid labour within the cultural heritage sector). You can follow them and other bloggers over at Doug’s Archaeology or on Twitter (#blogarch).
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