Presenting Anthropology has been about social media, which expands on the conversations we had in class on open access, digital humanities, and Web 2.0.
Last week, we were privileged to have Charlotte Noble (USF) skype in to tell us about her inspiration for This Is Anthropology (the Prezi and now the AAA-sponsored website). Charlotte emphasized the importance of getting a message out through multiple social media platforms, of crafting a message that's accessible and doesn't rely on industry-specific jargon, and of reacting and being present rather than waiting for others to step up. It was great to have Charlotte reiterating what I'd been telling my students, and we circled back to her comments this week, when the students presented the seeds of their semester-long social media projects.
Please consider following one or more of these 15 awesome graduate students, who are writing about a wide variety of anthropological topics on various platforms:
- Sarah Bennett is an archaeologist interested in Spanish Florida. She is live-tweeting Presenting Anthropology every week using the hashtag #shareanthro. She is also creating stories using Storify.
- Becca Booker is an underwater archaeologist. She has a tumblr called The Field Book and tweets as well.
- Andy Derlikowski is an underwater archaeologist. He has a tumblr called Archaeoholic (tagline: "Let's Get Drunk on Science!!!" and tweets.
- Tina Estep is a cultural anthropologist studying fictional fantasies like LOTR and Harry Potter. She is blogging at "One does not simply... write about anthropology" and tweets.
- Jayne Godfrey is an underwater archaeologist. She blogs as Indiana Jayne at tumblr and tweets too.
- Gregg Harding is an archaeologist with a strong interest in public archaeology. He is blogging about his current experiences helping teach archaeology to high schoolers at Building Heritage Education, and he is also tweeting and has a Flickr for more pictures of his outreach.
- Tristan Harrenstein is an historical archaeologist. He's working on setting up an outreach program through Foursquare, but I don't have any live links yet. He also tweets.
- Zach Harris is an underwater archaeologist. He tweets and has a new tumblr called Under the Sea Archaeology.
- Linda Hoang is a biological anthropologist. Her tumblr, Facing the Inevitable, is about exploring cross-cultural approaches to death, and she tweets as well.
- Amanda Lawson is a cultural anthropologist. She blogs at Constructs of the Constructs and has a tumblr and Twitter account as well.
- Devin O'Meara is an archaeologist going retro-social media. He's exploring LiveJournal (yes, it still exists!) and Facebook Notes as non-standard platforms for discussion.
- Stella Simpsiridis is a biological anthropologist. She's started a primarily visual tumblr on all things anthropological.
- Evan Springer is a cultural anthropologist. He's blogging about his thesis research into academic dishonesty (e.g., plagiarism) at Academic Misconduct.
- Robert Taylor is an archaeologist. He plans to cross-post on both a blog and a tumblr, both called Trench Warfare, and he tweets.
- Nelma Spradling-Bell is a biological anthropologist who will be doing a bit of a creative social-media project, integrating her Etsy site with her blog and Pinterest. She occasionally tweets too.
Each student presented a bit about his/her social media platform(s), goals for the semester, inspirations among other public anthropologists, and ways they plan to quantify/qualify whether or not their attempt at public outreach through social media was successful. I suspect most of these blogs/twitter accounts will evolve over the course of the semester as the students get feedback and begin dialogues with their followers and the public at large. So please do comment on their work -- let them know what kinds of things you want to see more of, what kinds of questions they can answer for you.
I am definitely looking forward to finding out more about their anthropological interests over the course of the semester, as most of them are doing work in areas I have little knowledge about (particularly underwater archaeology). I'm also happy that the majority of the students in my class are women, as women are still underrepresented in science blogging (see Shema et al. 2012).
We didn't have much time for general discussion about blogging this week, nor did we have a particularly fruitful conversation about "public" anthropologists based on the reading last week. I suspect that if I had put the discussion towards the end of the semester, after they'd worked on their social media outreach for a while, it would have been much better.
But we press onward... the next two-week unit is on presenting anthropology in print (and the reading list for that will be up soon). I plan to bring in my research posters from the last 10 years. Not looking forward to unrolling the terrible poster I presented at the AAPAs in 2002...