Archaeolog Post: Twittering TAG

I wrote this for, but I’ll post the beginning here:


At first, I was at a loss. Earlier in the week I had stated my intention to twitter the Stanford meeting of the Theoretical Archaeology Group on my blog, but there I was, standing outside the door of a conference room, wondering what exactly I should write. Twitter is a social networking site that allows users to send messages to their ‘followers’ in short, 140 character-long statements. These statements can be read online or sent automatically as a text message to your cellphone. Out of curiosity I signed up for Twitter in April of 2007, but didn’t use the service much, as I didn’t know anyone else who was using it at the time. Since then, Twitter has grown precipitously, with famous users such as Tina Fey, Oprah Winfrey, Hugh Jackman and President Obama (who has been rather quiet lately) updating their subscribers on subjects ranging from world policy to food preferences–Tina Fey ate a Caramello bar for lunch on February 3rd, in case you were wondering. I find Twitter useful primarily to join in a broader conversation during specific events; Twitter is nearly indispensable during South by Southwest, a large music, film, and interactive conference where I was a guest speaker on an archaeology panel last March. People attending the conference could use hashtags, a method of tagging updates that makes it possible to search for event and topic-specific commentary. I was able to find reactions to our panel discussion by searching for archaeology under the #SXSW hashtag and was happy to see that our discussion of virtual reconstructions and the archive were well-received by the technologists in the audience.

(the rest can be found at

Author: colleenmorgan

Dr. Colleen Morgan (ORCID 0000-0001-6907-5535) is the Lecturer in Digital Archaeology and Heritage in the Department of Archaeology at the University of York. She conducts research on digital media and archaeology, with a special focus on embodiment, avatars, genetics and bioarchaeology. She is interested in building archaeological narratives with emerging technology, including photography, video, mobile and locative devices. Through archaeological making she explores past lifeways and our current understanding of heritage, especially regarding issues of authority, authenticity, and identity.

2 thoughts on “Archaeolog Post: Twittering TAG”

  1. I tried to leave a comment over on the archaeolog site, but got frustrated with the commenting procedure!

    Kudos to you for trying out this new technology on old material, so to speak. I attempted to Twitter my way through AIA in January and the Roman Archaeology Conference in April. Yes, lots of dirty looks as I pecked away at my iPhone.

    I am also frequently frustrated by the procedure of academic conferences & how limiting it is for fruitful discussion. I set up a wiki for my RAC panel with the hopes that those interested in the papers could keep the conversation going. Unfortunately, many people are as cynical or freaked out about wikis as they are about Twitter.

    I think that as netbooks and other hardware (more robust than a smartphone, more portable than a laptop) become more popular, it might get easier to have meaningful, electronic back-and-forth during conferences.

  2. Love your twitterfeed!! Make sure it is preserved for the future
    Think I got the gist of half the sessions – completely bewildered by the rest

    I expect more tweets from conferences in the future.

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