Monday, 25 November 2013

Am I or am I not? "Blogging Archaeology" Carnival.

I have found out about Doug's "Blogging Archaeology" carnival half a month ago, when that post was quite new. Now Rainer Schreg from Archaeologik (which is a mostly German blog) has joined in, bilangually. He has also condensed the basic info about that carnival beautifully:

At the SAA annual meeting 2014 in Texas there will be a Blogging Archaeology session. The weblog Doug's Archaeology by Doug Rocks-Macqueen contributes by hosting a blogging carnival (explained here). Each month leading up to the SAAs in April, Doug will post a question. Answers will be blogged at the individual blogs. At the end of each month, Doug will collect all posts and add their links.
The blogging topic for November: Why blogging? – Why did you, or if it was a group- the group, start a blog? Why are you still blogging?

Ever since I have read about the carnival, I was on the fence about it. Yes, I do have a blog, and I am an archaeologist, but I don't really see my blog here as a proper archaeology blog. But what the heck - I am going to join into the fun today, and I will let you (and Doug!) decide whether my blog is an archaeology blog - or not.

I started blogging back in 2008, December - the fifth blogiversary is almost upon me, can you believe it? When I started out, I had just finished my PhD thesis and was searching for a publishing house to take it on; I was starting out as a freelancer full-time, and I had no idea where my life would actually go. I was, however, already mostly out of the digging part of archaeology. (I loved the digs, but I tend to get knee issues when digging, and I knew years before that I did not want to do the actual digging forever.)

My (not-so-secret) plan was to regularly post things about archaeological textiles or garments and share things that I do, or find, including tips for computer gadgets, websites, books, and Calls for Paper. The blog was started because I had been reading blogs for a good while and just liked how people would share things and post excitingly interesting links, but it was also intended, right from the start, as a method of getting word about my work out there into the world - the work which happens to be connected, at least, to archaeology.
This blog saw my first bigger museum projects, as well as the birth of the Textile Forum. I have partly documented quite a few of my projects, and, as usual for blogs, started this or that blogging venture that soon tapered off into nothing (anyone remember the "all the gory details" venture? No? I'm glad you don't.). I have also used it to bleg, with varying success (mostly due to the very obscure things I was blegging for!) and have, according to plan, posted some things about medieval garments and other actually old things (tagged as "togs from bogs" even though they are not all bog finds).

Basically, the blog still does what I intended it to do, from the start - I share details (or vague allusions, in some cases) about my ongoing projects, I blog about conferences (mostly the CfPs, that is), occasionally about archaeological textiles, experimental archaeology or crafts, and there's a bit of self-promotion sprinkled in. There are not so many posts about ancient textiles as I had secretly hoped and planned to do, which is to the most part due to their taking up quite a lot of time. However, I still manage to blog most days, just like I planned from the start. There are blog-less days due to holidays, or conferences, or illnesses, but you get a post every weekday otherwise.
Just in case you wonder now why I planned on blogging Monday to Friday from the very beginning... that's because I was convinced that otherwise I would totally forget that it was Blog Day Today. Which I still am. And nothing is more frustrating than a blog you enjoy not posting at least from time to time, semi-regularly. So I made a decision to go for a daily post, even if just a short one, even if it would mean less really big and substantial posts due to time issues, because I personally would prefer having regular smaller updates to having very occasional bigger ones. And also, for me personally, if a blog only updates once in a blue moon, it needs to have really, really good and interesting posts to make me want to bother and check in on it from time to time.

I'm still blogging, obviously. I do it because I still think it's a good idea, and I hope what I have to say is helpful and interesting to readers - surely not every thing for every reader, but nobody manages that. So I blog on, even though sometimes it is hard to find the ideas, or something to blog about, or the motivation to add in those links and format those pictures. (Yes, sorry, I'm a lazy person in that respect.) The blogging in the morning (my morning, in case you are time-shifted) has become part of my daily routine, and I'd probably miss this. I would probably also miss having the blog as a good excuse to read other blogs and keep up with stuff and randomly click interesting links all because well, I need to have something to blog about, and maybe I could blog about that tomorrow?
When I have a bad day (or week), and I think about stopping the blog, I keep going because a) it would be stupid to have made all this investment of time and effort and good vibes into the blog just to stop because of a bad streak, and b) much more importantly, I hope that there are  people who would actually miss their regular read here, and the occasional useful link. Also, I still think defunct blogs are sad, and I don't want to add to the overall sadness of the Internet.

So there you have it. That's why I started blogging, and why I still keep on doing it.


Anonymous said...

I would miss your posts. I have learned SO MUCH from blogs like yours and generous people like you, who share what they have learned about the history of textile production and archeological digs!

a stitch in time said...

Thank you - that is what keeps me blogging : )