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Blogging Archaeology – Publishing a Blog Carnival

March 27, 2011

 

Logo by Colleen Morgan

The final question in Middle Savagery’s blogging archaeology carnival relates to publication:

How could we best capture the interplay, the multimedia experience of blogging as a more formalized publication? What would be the best outcome for this collection of insights from archaeological bloggers?

This is tricky, and I’m sure there will be a lot of varied responses from my fellow bloggers . I think a couple of things would be desirable. Firstly, I think the blog posts should be presented verbatim rather than summarised, with the addition of Colleen’s summaries as an introduction, rather like the introduction to a set of conference proceedings. If we’re talking about formalising the record of a blog discussion, it’d be nice to have a feel for the participants’ own style of writing (and thus a sense of what blogs are like). Perhaps each author’s contributions could be compiled into a single essay.

Secondly, I think the comments should be published as well – subject to the individual commenter’s permission. As last week’s question reveals, comments are part of the package.

Thirdly, I think the publication needs to come quickly. So much can change on the internet in such a short time that it’s quite undesirable to be still be waiting for the book of this in 2014. The last time I was involved in an internet-related session at a conference, the papers were published in SAA Archaeological Record for precisely that reason, which – given that this is an SAA session – seems appropriate.

I’m not really sold on peer review in this case. When I started responding to this carnival I had no idea formal publication was a possible outcome (which actually leaves me feeling a little vulnerable) and, although I do put quite a bit of consideration into what I’m going to write, blogging is a much more off-the-cuff and informal exercise than academic writing. Much of what has been written is opinion rather than research, and (perhaps I’m not being imaginative enough) I don’t see that peer review is appropriate for this kind of writing. Of course there should be a careful editorial eye passed over this, but I think the key with this collection is to embrace the informality.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. March 29, 2011 2:55 pm

    Hi Matt,

    I think that you are right in that blog posts must be published verbatim, if they are to be re-published at all; essential to preserve the author’s style and tone. However, any addition of commentary during the formalisation of pubication could, for fairness’ sake, perhaps be attached to the original post – a kind of CC SA “ShareAlike” relationship between the ‘formal’ and ‘informal’ – a feedback loop if you will.

    One idea with commenter permissions could be to add a notice to one’s blog’s theme (or make it an option you can enable/disable for individual posts – WordPress plugin anyone?) stating that comments may be published elsewhere, and if you leave a comment you agree to this.

    You said “I think the key with this collection is to embrace the informality.” – absolutely. Shaking off the shackles of peer review, and letting your commenters be your peers is what blogging and archaeology is all about.

    (this comment may be republished)

Trackbacks

  1. Blogging Archaeology 4: What next? Part One
  2. Blogging Archaeology – Week 5 & Finished! | Middle Savagery

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