What is the scholarly or scientific status of blogs like this one? Is there scholarly value here, or is this just an ephemeral platform to rant and rave occasionally? A blog entry is not a rigorous scholarly work, mainly because it is not peer reviewed. Sometimes I say smart things in a scholarly fashion, and sometimes I say clueless things in a non-scholarly fashion. When I have said particularly dumb things, people sometimes catch me and correct my errors, which is great. Scholarship advances through debate and correcting errors. But many of the points I make have serious scholarly value or context, and I try to emphasize those posts by providing citations and bibliographies.
I have just seen a case where one or more of my entries had a positive effect on a reader's scholarship. A few months ago Di Hu, a grad student at Berkeley, emailed me a draft of a paper on ethnogenesis and thanked me for my post on identity, which evidently provided her with some references. It was a good paper and I sent her some comments. Her paper is now posted online-first for the Journal of Archaeological Research (posted here, if you have access). She also posted copies on Academia.edu and Selected Works.
The paper's acknowledgements contains this sentence:
"Smith’s blog "Publishing Archaeology" proved instrumental for key citations and ideas."
So, thank you, Di, for the mention. While I get quite a few positive comments on this blog, most seem to be from people who enjoy it, rather than people whose research and scholarship benefit from it. While it is nice if I can sometimes entertain people, it is much nicer and more gratifying if I can help readers in an intellectual or professional sense.
Students out there: this post has a keyword, "Student tips" because Di is doing what you other students out there should be doing: publishing papers, and posting them on the internet.