Blogging archaeology: the good, the bad and the ugly

This is round #2 of the blogging archaeology carnival run by Doug Rocks-Macqueen. My previous post is here.

The good

The good is that blogging makes me a better archaeologist. Blogging is a collective endeavour and being part of it has meant for all these years to get in touch with other people, discover research paths that were otherwise invisible. Getting more visibility is only one side of this, and I don’t think my blog is necessarily making me a popular archaeologist, but there have been some fortunate cases, like when I decided to write a story about 20th century mass-produced pottery (apparently very popular!), or the idea of discussing “Archaeology (and Web) 2.0“. Blogging is a skill, that is featured in my CV.

The bad

I cannot always write what I want on my blog. This is partly because I have a natural tendency to write rants, but also because since I started blogging I have always been within some institution (e.g. university) and straight criticism of colleagues or managers is almost always not well received. Now that I work for a public institution, things are even worse in this respect, because I could write a lot about interesting topics, but not without dealing with stories that are potentially disagreeable. I prefer to keep these things for myself, but I’m not happy with that.

Is this really bad? Yes. Writing and blogging comes out of creativity, freedom of expression and speech, and limiting myself to academic topics and general politics is increasingly frustrating.

The ugly

It would be hard for me to find something really ugly about blogging archaeology.  So I’ll just leave you with the final scene of “Rock’n’roll highschool”:

Ugly, ugly, ugly people.

(bonus points if you know why the Ramones must be quoted when dealing with “The good, the bad, the ugly”).

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Stefano Costa

Archaeologist, I study the Late Antique and Early Medieval/Byzantine period on the northern side of the Mediterranean, focusing on pottery usage patterns. I'm also involved in open source and open knowledge communities, like OSGeo, the IOSA project and the Open Knowledge Foundation.

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