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Pyla-Koutsopetria Blog Guidelines for 2010

Pyla-Koutsopetria Blog Guidelines for 2010

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Published by billcaraher
A brief guide for students and staff on how to write an archaeological blog for the Pyla-Koutsopetria Archaeological Project in Cyprus.
A brief guide for students and staff on how to write an archaeological blog for the Pyla-Koutsopetria Archaeological Project in Cyprus.

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Published by: billcaraher on Mar 08, 2011
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How to write for the PKAP Blog: The various PKAP blogs are among the most unique

aspects of our project. Our blogs inform our friends and families, bring the experiences of archaeology back to our colleges and universities, and become the face of our project on the internet. Our blogs also encourage us to think carefully about the processes and experiences of archaeological fieldwork as it takes place. Over the past few years, individual posts have become popular destinations on the web and continue to attract traffic even now. In fact, people remember well-written, exciting, and clever posts and bring them up to project members at social and professional events! At the end of each season the directors the project archive all the blog posts, and they become part of the permanent record of the project. Like last year, there will be three individual blogs that capture various aspects of the project. A Season Staff Blog is dedicated to the work of the senior staff of the project. PKAP Graduate Student Perspectives captures the experiences of graduate students on the project. And our Undergraduate Perspectives Blog provides a venue for our undergraduate volunteers. On each blog, we group the posts under the individual bloggers name allowing visitors to explore the perspective of particular participants. It's important to remember before you begin to blog that not only will a wide range of people read your posts, but they will become part of the permanent record of the project. Archaeological blogging requires a kind of honesty to confront the wide range of experiences that you will have in Cyprus and working together. It will also require a kind of discretion in that not all of your experiences doing field work and living and working together are appropriate for public consumption. If you have any question whether a topic, picture, or experience is appropriate for the blog, talk to a senior staff member before you make your post! Here are some basic guidelines for blogging the PKAP experience: 1. Blog about work in the museum and field. Archaeological fieldwork requires constant analysis and is exciting. Attempt to capture that in your blog posts. But also be discrete. It is considered bad form to publish photos of finds or detailed photographs of your trenches. Keep photographs and descriptions of objects and features general. The proper place for detailed description of artifacts and features is in our formal publication. 2. Blog about Cypriot culture. PKAP hopes that you will think carefully about your experience of living in Cyprus, seeing the various archaeological and historical sites, and learning about the diverse culture and politics of the island. These things will be particularly interesting to your audience back home! But also be aware that Cypriots can read your blog and most Cypriots can read English well and will find your writing through search engines and links. So, be respectful to the host country in your post and approach your efforts to describe your experiences on Cyprus with an open mind and a generous attitude. 3. Blog about living and working together. One of the most exciting aspects of archaeological fieldwork is living, talking, and working together. In past years, our blogs have captured some of the conversations, arguments, and discoveries

that come from the intense experiences of living and working as a community of scholars. Before you blog on a funny story that your roommate told you or a heated argument with your trench supervisor, it's always polite to ask these other folks whether you can blog about what you have discussed. In general, people don't mind being blogged about, but sometimes people might want things to remain private. Be a courteous blogger. 4. Blog with pictures. We use typepad to blog and this service allows us to upload photographs. Pictures make your blog more interesting and vivid! Be sure to ask people, though, if you can post that silly photograph of them after a hard day at work and refrain from posting photos of finds or features in trenches (photographs of people working in a trench are fine as are general work pictures). As a note, large, high-resolution photographs will take a long time to upload on our slow internet connection. Some more basic blogging tips: 1. Remember your audience! Try to write clearly and avoid emoticons and other internet slang. Some of our audience won't be familiar with these things and it will make the blog less accessible to our diverse audience. 2. Remember that people will read your posts! While it might be funny to recount a particularly raucous night on the town, you might not want your dear old aunt or over-zealous university administrator to read about these things. People will read your blog and if you say things that are inappropriate, it will come back to us and you. 3. Don't be intimidated by length. The great thing about blogs is that they can be as long or as short as you want them to be. A 50 word blog can be better, more vivid, or more revealing than a rambling 1000 word post. At the same time, you can write mini-essays, multi-part stories, or even poetry in a blog post without any problems. In fact, the more diverse, reflective, and earnest our blogs are the more people remember and appreciate them. 4. Lots of links. The very best blog posts have lots of links to other posts or even other blogs! Blogging is like social networking the more you reach out to others, the more they want to know what you are doing. 5. Tell your story. The most common comments that I get about our blogs are about the very earnest and the funny posts! So, develop a voice and be earnest. People like it. Check out the three PKAP blogs here: Graduate Student Perspectives: http://mediterraneanworld.typepad.com/pylakoutsopetria_graduate/ Senior Staff: http://mediterraneanworld.typepad.com/pylakoutsopetria_season_s/ Undergraduate Perspectives: http://mediterraneanworld.typepad.com/pylakoutsopetria_undergra/

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