Monday, January 10, 2011

Anthropological bloggers write to the AAA board

A group of anthropological bloggers (including your truly) has just submitted a letter to the President and Executive Board of the American Anthropological Association. The gist of the letter is that the discussion of the AAA-science episode in blogs and other social media has been beneficial to the discipline. This interaction (here, on Neuroanthropology, Savage Minds, and elsewhere) has been more dynamic, relevant, and productive than: (1) the rather limited and wooden pronouncements from the AAA Executive Board; and (2) the articles by Nicholas Wade in the New York Times. Therefore the AAA should think about how to promote the use of social media professionally and how to take advantage of this growing network of on-line anthropologists to promote the interests of the discipline and the association.

You can read the letter here.

So just what are the intellectual and professional implications of all this blogging? Come check our our symposium at the SAA meetings on blogging in archaeology, organized by Colleen Morgan of Middle Savagery.

3 comments:

ArKeopatías said...

Estimado Michael E. Smith:

Me encuentro gratamente sorprendido con este blog que mantiene a la par del desarrollado para el Proyecto Calixtlahuaca, donde publica entradas con las que el equipo de ArKeopatías coincide totalmente (por lo que en ese sentido hemos trabajado durante más de 5 años), por ejemplo esta última, sobre las implicaciones y la importancia de la discusión entre la comunidad antropológica y arqueológica en línea, a través de blogs y otros redes sociales.

Esperamos poder tener en la red una copia de su simposio sobre blogs en arqueología.

Ya le dejé la información sobre ArKeopatías en el mencionado blog, aquí simplemente le adjunto la liga para que nos visite, será muy agradable recibir sus comentarios.
http://arkeopatias.wordpress.com/

Atte.
Juan Tonchez

Greg Downey said...

Michael --

Thanks for posting the letter, and I hope you all get some traction. I would have signed on the letter if I hadn't been so distracted here in Australia.

I think the online presence of the AAA so far has been really lackluster, and I don't think it will change until we give them some outright competition. To me, the only way to do this is to create a credible open access online journal -- that would specifically expose the publishing model of the AAA, it's bread and butter, to some kind of threat.

As it stands, the only public, freely accessible voices for anthropology, other than the occasional post on the AAA site, is the swarm of us, anthro-bloggers and networkers. It's probably healthier that there is no 'center' to the online anthropology community, but until we get something to truly rival the old institutional players, we don't really push them to innovate.

Greg Downey (Neuroanthropology)

Ryan Anderson said...

Greg,

"I think the online presence of the AAA so far has been really lackluster, and I don't think it will change until we give them some outright competition."

Agreed, 100 percent.

"To me, the only way to do this is to create a credible open access online journal -- that would specifically expose the publishing model of the AAA, it's bread and butter, to some kind of threat."

Definitely a good idea. Absolutely.