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ASHA NEWS

ASHA NEWS: Blog presentation at SHAP 2017



Bronwyn Woff, ASHA Blog Editor

The presentation for the Sydney Historical Archaeology Practitioner’s Workshop covered the change ASHA has recently enacted from having a quarterly newsletter to an online news blog and quarterly blog summary. This occurred between December and April 2017. The blog can be found at www.asha.org.au/news .

In the past, ASHA’s newsletter was sent out to members quarterly, the last edition of which was sent out to members in January 2017. The ASHA news blog was launched on the 1st of January 2017 and aims to share current news and information with members so that they are up to date with the goings on of historical archaeology in Australasia. The news blog includes articles on research and excavation, news about upcoming events and an artefact of the month article, the content of which is supplied by our members and discovered through the various avenues of the internet.

Why a blog?
According to the Pennsylvania State University, a blog is “a simple platform to share information to an audience on a timely basis around a single or multiple topics”.

    The positives include:
  • Information is released more regularly
  • More recent information (newsletters can quickly contain out-of-date material, especially with a long lag time between editions)
  • Easier to access on mobile devices
  • Provide smaller chunks of information - easier and quicker for readers to process
  • less time consuming to edit and manipulate than an e-newsletter and therefore more information can be distributed
  • More visitors to the site - search engines are more likely to suggest a regularly updated site
    The negatives we have encountered include:
  • Lack of understanding about using a blog
  • Currently, no automatic updates each time something is posted (we’re working on this)
  • For the editor, needing to learn a little about coding, and the blog posting system
    How to find the blog:
  • Go to www.asha.org.au/news
  • Go to the ASHA home page (www.asha.org.au) and on the menu at the top of the page, click on the “News” button
  • Go to the ASHA home page (www.asha.org.au) and scroll down to “Latest News”
  • On the mobile site, click on Menu on the top right, then from the menu, select “News”
  • Click any of the links when you receive a members only News Blog Summary email

The News Blog:
On the first news blog page the past 10 posts will load, and older posts can be viewed using the page number menu at the bottom of the page. Click “Read Post” to view the whole article that you are interested in. To the left of the page at the top, there is a link to each of the past 10 blog posts under “Recent Posts”. Below this there is a “Topics” menu, which can be used to filter the blog for one topic at a time, as listed. These include the region related to the post, the type of post (eg: upcoming events), and broad topics.

Quarterly Blog Summary:
As a members-only benefit, a summary of the blog posts from the previous quarter is sent out by email. So far, only one summary has been sent out, which was for early April, with the next ones set for early July, October and then January 2018. The blog summary email is in replacement of the newsletter, and outlines the titles of all the posts from the previous quarter. Members can then click the links for the posts that interest them and read the full articles on the blog.

Progress:
The ASHA news blog has taken over a page which was previously reserved for news updates, which were posted every couple of months. This page previously had an average of approximately 175 views per month. Now that the blog is posting approximately every 2 to 3 days, we are receiving an increasing number of views per month. In April we hit a total of 908 views.

Submissions:
We would love to hear more about what you are all doing in the field, and in your research! So if you have some research or excavation news you would like to share, an interesting artefact you could write about, or an upcoming event that you would like to share with a wider audience please send a submission through to either your regional representative (found HERE) or to [email protected] . We also accept other historical archaeology related articles that don’t fit into these categories.



Thank you for your ongoing support of the ASHA News Blog.