Best and Worst of Succinct Research Blog, 2013

Worker_Bart Laugs, from The Noun ProjectBlogging can be lonely, especially when you’re writing about archaeology. It’s an interesting topic, but archaeology just doesn’t have the glitz and glamor of the “make money online” niche or the “eliminate-all-toxins-from-your-kid’s-lives” niche. Because our audiences tend to be much smaller, we should have different metrics on measuring success. I know I’ve spent a lot of time writing posts that very few people read and some of my posts have received much more attention than I expected.

The most recent topic in the Blogging Carnival over at Doug’s Archaeology focuses on the best and worst posts written by all the archaeology blogger participants. For me, this can be broken down a couple ways. Best can mean “most popular”, but it can also mean most impactful. The same goes for the term worst. Last year was the first full year Succinct Research had a blog that was regularly updated (at least once a week) and I was the only one doing the writing. So, the following measurements are for the calendar year 2013.

The Five Most Popular Posts of 2013

1.  How to get a job in Archaeology, Part 4 (434 unique views [UV])­ This post is one I’m extremely proud of because it’s the final installment in a case study I did last year where I helped a friend and former co-worker find a job in a new city. Not only was he able to land a new job, he actually had more than one offer and the one he took turned into a permanent position. It was awesome to see the tips I’ve been giving folks for years culminate in gainful employment.

2.  Interview with the Society for Black Archaeologists (209 UV)­ The SBA is a great new organization that was established to increase diversity in archaeology and help black people break into the industry. The founders Justin Dunnavant and Ayana Flewellen are two young, exciting, and motivated archaeologists that are awesome to work with. I’ve been very happy to participate in the SBA activities, including their recent symposium at the 2014 Society for Historical Archaeology conference.

3.  Archaeology work in hot weather (194 UV)­ This post was a follow-up from a conversation on the CRM Archaeology Podcast. It was a summary of the things I’ve learned about doing archaeology down here in Arizona. A PDF “Archaeology Hot Weather Tips Worksheet” is also available for free download on that post.

4.  Emphasize your core competencies (141 UV)­ We all have things we’re good at, but we don’t usually tell anyone about these skills for fear of being considered a braggart. While I don’t advocate bragging about all the things you know how to do, it’s okay to tell co-workers and employers about your core competencies as long as it’s done in a professional manner. Emphasizing your core competencies also helps move your career forward because, over time, you get known as a specialist in that skill.

5.  How to get a job in archaeology, Part 1 (115 UV)­ This is the post that started the series. (FYI: I’m working on another case study right now. So, stay tuned).

You can’t always hit a home run. I’ve written quite a few posts in 2013 that few people read. Maybe this post will help bring these others to life.

The Five Least Popular Posts of 2013

1.  Should you hire a resume-writer (1 UV)­ Obviously, if you’re an archaeologist, you probably don’t need or can afford a professional resume writer.

2.  Here’s how you get your resume into the right hands (3 UV)­ I’d forgotten about this post, but, once again, I don’t know why so few people read it. It has a comprehensive slideshare presentation on exactly how I helped my buddy from the “How to get a job in archaeology” series get a job. A perfect tool for professors, students, and anyone else that went virtually unnoticed.

3.  If you have a cultural resources job, you need to become a T-Person (4 UV)­ I don’t know why this post hasn’t been read more. I was really impressed when I heard that most employers want employees with a depth of knowledge in a particular subject (the vertical line of the ‘T’) but also a breadth of knowledge in many other subjects (the horizontal part of the ‘T’). Maybe it was the way I wrote the post.

4.  Introduction to friendraising for archaeology networking (6 UV)­ This was content from a course I contributed to on the Landward Campus. I use these techniques to build my professional network, but I guess I’m the only one that does.

5.  Goal-setting and cultural resource management careers (6 UV)­ I guess we don’t really need goal-setting to forge fruitful careers. Go figure?

In all fairness, those “strike out” posts were probably never properly promoted on social media and were posted in the first half of 2013 before I had any real readership. I guess I should put them together in a package and re-post them or re-advertise them on Twitter. Or, maybe they were actually written on topics that few archaeologists care about.

Best. Worst. Until this submission to the Blogging Carnival, I’d never thought about my worst posts. I was just having fun and trying to help people create fruitful careers in cultural resource management and archaeology. When you take that into consideration, none of these posts were the worst.
If you have any questions or comments, write below or send me an email.


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