So Doug, over at Doug’s Archaeology, launched a blogging carnival leading up to the Blogging in Archaeology session at the Society for American Archaeology 2014 meetings in Austin. The idea is that Doug will pose a question each month to which folks will respond. Doug will then summarize the individual posts at the end of the month, and post the set of links. The carnival and SAA session have the Twitter hashtag #blogarch.
So, if you are up to writing a response to the monthly question on your own blog send the link to Doug’s Archaeology and/or email him (firstname.lastname@example.org) the link. Sounds like party!
The December topic is the The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly about Blogging.
The Good – It’s really all pretty good. In the last month’s post I talked about why I blogged and that says it all.
The Bad – The biggest downside is that blogging can be a real time suck. I take the writing and content pretty seriously – at least from my perspective. Most posts go through at least 3 or 4 major drafts and then a few more minor ones. Although I like to think that the more substantive posts I write from scratch take me about 3 hours – it’s probably closer to 4 or 5 from the very start to pushing the publish button. If I am publishing a guest post, an interview with someone else, or something short and directed like this post, I have maybe 2 hours invested in each post.
For posts I write, I now use only photos I have taken and played with in Photoshop. I think my images are at least aesthetically pleasing, and most often relevant to the post, at least in my head. Finding and creating the right image also takes time. I also have a whole set of half-written blogs that I probably just need to dump as they are no longer relevant. So, time commitment is really the bad part of blogging for me.
The ugly – Very few trolls have commented on my blog over the years. I made a firm decision several years ago to always approve a comment and never delete a response unless it is truly offensive. I began this policy with the C.H. Nash Museum FB page where I deleted one rather bizarre and somewhat offensive comment a few years ago and regretted doing so. On FB I find that a reasoned dialogue with haters or negative Neds/Nancys has a neutralizing impact. The same is true with my blog. I recall only one instance of a rather strident and polar commenter who was not interested in a dialogue, but a platform. The individual pretty much just went away when confronted with a reasoned response. Engagement is an important part of the “social” in social media – blogs, FB, et al. should not just be used as a megaphone but in true dialogue.