Over the past year, I have taken on a project for the Society for Historical Archaeology, my primary professional organization. As you may remember, social media was on “everybody’s lips” at last year’s conference in Austin, Texas. Somehow, I managed to absorb the task and responsibility, along with two colleagues Lisa Fischer and Kim Faulk, to develop a social media action plan for the Society to implement over the past year. As we worked on the project, my responsibility increased, and I ended up becoming the Chair of the newly formed Technology Social Media Subcommittee. Our proposal was approved this spring, and we, along with SHA Website Editor Chris Merritt, have been building our social media approach since. I have worked closely with a number of people in my field, including President-Elect Paul Mullins, Chris Merritt, and many other members of various SHA committees in order to make sure this project would be ready to launch for our 2012 conference in Baltimore. I am pleased to announce that, as of yesterday, SHA Social is live.
The plan is simple: to create spaces on social media for SHA members and potential members to discuss historical archaeology, and to gain access to resources about historical archaeology. The primary source for this content is a new blog, housed on SHA’s website, where content will be written by our membership. The bulk of this content will emerge from the various committees, but we are also soliciting “current topics” from members to write about their own research, or about issues of relevance in the discipline (please, let me know if you’re interested in writing a piece).
Twitter and Facebook are also part of the equation. Facebook and Twitter are also part of the equation. These will be places for conversation and sharing of resources for our membership, and also to engage with potential members and the public about our discipline. We will also expand into LinkedIn, and possibly other areas such as Flickr, in the future. For now, we’re “keeping it simple”.
In all, this has been a tremendous experience for me. I have met and worked with a number of archaeologists who before I only knew through their work as archaeologists. I have also learned a great deal about the world of professional organizations, and the value, and challenges, of professional service. No doubt, these experiences are not over yet, as I will be at the helm of this project during its first year of implementation, and possibly longer. Fortunately, it is something that I enjoy doing, and I look forward to being a part of its growth.
For the past two years, SHA has been doing social media specifically for the conference. A big thanks goes out to the conference committees from SHA 2011 in Austin and SHA 2012 in Baltimore for taking on the momentous challenge of being the “guinea pigs” for this project: without their willingness to take a chance on social media, SHA Social would not exist. Also, personal thanks go out to those who encouraged me to get involved in SHA more actively, and were willing to give me the opportunity to take the lead on this project. These include Lynne Goldstein, Mark Warner, Jamie Brandon, Maria Franklin, Paul Mullins, Lisa Fischer, and Kim Faulk. I am looking forward to working with all of you on this, and hope that it will be a big part of SHA’s future as the leading organization in the discipline of Historical Archaeology.
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