January 19, 2014

Blogging (Bio)Archaeology: Best/Worst Posts

(stolen from TheseBonesofMine)
This month's Blogging Archaeology prompt deals with our best/worst posts. It's hard for me to pick a best or favorite post, to be honest, as there are aspects of all of my posts (in the PbO era, that is) that I love. So here are some favorites:

Best Posts
  • Gay Caveman! ZOMFG! This is the post that heralded the PbO era.  Prior to this post, I was mostly writing random observations about my dissertation and hadn't really heard of science blogging. Plus, no one had heard of me. I like this post because it is written in a reasonably accessible style, with plenty of snarky comments. This blog genre (take-downs of crappy science) remains my favorite to write. (The most recent in this genre is: Baby Bones Were Trash to Romans.)
  • Friends, Romans, Countrymen - Lend me your rears!  I am really, really horrible at coming up with titles, so I'm inordinately proud of the pun on this one, which reports on organic material found in a sewer at Herculaneum, and of being able to quote a Latin graffito about pooping.
  • Lead Poisoning in Rome. This is my most popular post, with over 35,000 views in two years thanks to Wikipedia, Reddit, and Google. It's a decent post, and I like it because it includes some of the data from the Romans I studied for my dissertation.  I think its popularity, though, owes more to the subject matter itself (as there aren't that many studies published on the topic) than to my writing or my explanation of the subject.
Worst Post
  • There's only one post that I have ever reverted to a draft after publishing it.  I didn't delete it, but it's no longer on my blog. In essence, this post was about an archaeological topic I didn't (and still don't) know much about involving an archaeology professor and a lawsuit. Although comments on the post were generally positive, I got emails off-blog about how I shouldn't write about the topic if I ever wanted to get a job. They weren't the first emails I'd ever gotten suggesting blogging may hurt my career, but in this case, I think taking the post down was the right thing to do.  After all, since I didn't fully understand the situation, I couldn't contribute anything to the discussion on archaeological ethics. It's not the kind of post I would write now, and it's not the kind of post I should have written then.  I'll stick to what I know best.

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