A Public Archaeology Twitter Conference in April

I have been inspired by the World Seabird Conference to try and hold a Twitter only conference on public archaeology, partly for academic enjoyment, for fun and to attempt something new in terms of communication (as well as to add to my body of work on the use of Twitter as part of digital public archaeology). This is also as an experiment in using social media to encourage diversity and inclusivity. After all, conference attendance has many issues, such as funding and childcare, which are being discussed elsewhere, especially with the Inclusive Archaeology Project.

This is a tentative experiment, and I would like to get some help with this event if possible. I would suggest that the event takes place on Friday 28th April 2017, and the paper timings will run all day so that it can cover multiple time zones. I have outlined a bit more information below (taken from the World Seabird Twitter Conference guidelines with some adjustment to fit archaeology), so that people can find out what a Twitter conference would entail.

If you are interested in submitting a paper, please complete the submission form here. The deadline for submission is February 10th 2017 at midnight GMT:

What is a Twitter Conference?
A Twitter conference is a social media event that occurs from the comfort of your desk/sofa/bed/bus/whatever. This event is meant to bring together public archaeologists from around the world in an online setting to encourage communication and collaboration, which also happens to be free, easy to follow and allows for multi-stranded communications, without the hassle of flights, accommodation and canapés.

How do you participate in a Twitter Conference?
All you need is a Twitter account (that’s your @joebloggs name). You can sign up for one these very easily at https://www.twitter.com if you are not there already. After getting a Twitter profile, you only need to search for the hashtag #PATC1 (Public Archaeology Twitter Conference 1) to see all posts that are related to the conference. If you are interested in “spectating only”, you can follow the hashtag online, but you won’t be able to interact without a Twitter account. If you don’t have a Twitter account or don’t know how to use Twitter (or are not confident doing so), we will provide support materials and signpost ‘how-to’ guides online, so no one is excluded as far as possible.

How much time am I expected to spend on this if I participate?
After the CfP closes, everyone will be allocated a 15 minute time slot during which you are required to present your 6-12 tweet-conference paper. These slots will be allocated in relation to your local timezone, so it is vital that you provide this information accurately when requested. We do strongly encourage people to interact during the conference using the hashtag as well. It is especially vital that you will be available during your presentation time slot to present and then to answer potential questions you might receive, like at a real conference. After sign up closes we will circulate a list of abstracts and timeslots, so that you can pin point which presentations you might want to ‘see’. If you are unable to be present during your allocated time slot, you can schedule your tweets (using services such as Tweetdeck, Hootsuite or Buffer), so that they get posted automatically without you having to be online – although this means you won’t be able to answer any questions in real time.

What’s this public archaeology conference about?
Any paper or case study is suitable, as long as it is not offensive, and fits the broad definition of what public archaeology is outlined by Gabe Moshenska in this link. The aim is to make public archaeology information widely available, and to see if this conference would aid professional networking as well as public engagement.

You can read more about how this conference will work in my next post here.


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