Thursday, March 24, 2011

Print publication of oral presentations about blogs ?????

Colleen Morgan asks us to cogitate about how the presentations at the SAA blogging symposium might be published. I've said a number of times that most edited volumes in archaeology are close to worthless. And it seems absurd to publish a formal book of oral presentations about blogs. In my own case, I don't read papers at meetings (I talk from slides), so I won't have a written paper to submit.

Some of the first things to consider in thinking about a publication, or a public presentation of some kind, are:
  • Who is the audience?
  • What is the purpose?
I find myself wondering about the level of "blog literacy" within archaeology. Not among the people who are reading this, or those who are writing or reading the other blogs Colleen is bringing together, but among those who choose not to get involved. In the case of cultural anthropology, it is quite clear that there is a major strain of cluelessness among senior anthopologists. This came out in a review in American Anthropologists of some anthropological blogs (Price 2010), and it came out in the AAA Executive Board's response to the flap over the elimination of "science" from the Association's long-range plan.

How common is such blog-cluelessness ("blogistically challenged"?) among influential archaeologists? Would it be helpful to somehow reach and influence such people? What might be a good way to do that? Rather than think: "Here are some works about blogs. What can we do with them?", it would be more productive to think: "What do we want to accomplish? What is the best way to do this?"

Price, David H.
2010    Blogging Anthropology: Savage Minds, Zero Anthropology, and AAA Blogs. American Anthropologist 112:140-142.


Colleen said...

More formalized publication does not necessarily mean an edited volume or anything paper at all. I don't think that such a thing would be of use to anyone, which is why I asked the question. I would still like to capture the conversation in a way that would be citable, and perhaps more accessible to the blog-illiterate. Any ideas?

samarkeolog said...

How about a freely downloadable e-book of the contributions, or thoughts inspired by them (on scribd, smashwords, whatever)?

Michael E. Smith said...

I generally don't worry about dissemination or publication or follow-up until a symposium is done.