Last month, I presented a paper at the European Association of Archaeologists conference in Glasgow. I was in a section on digital archaeology and co-production, and I discussed the spinning statuette case-study as an example of how social media analysis can inform our understanding of audiences’ interpretation of – in this case, viral – news about archaeology. The video provoked indeed a huge response by different publics, and prompted many online conversations between users aiming to explain the phenomenon. The paper drew on these conversations to discuss possibilities, caveats, and ethical concerns that affect the co-production of meaning in the online sphere.
On one side, I argued for a more in-depth, both quantitative and – crucially – qualitative social media analysis; on the other side, my interest is also in observing how these online interactions can be reflected, harnessed, and grounded also in offline engagement practices.
Beyond giving the paper, I aimed also to attend as many sessions as possible, though the final countdown to my thesis submission meant that I was not able to attend as many things as I did in past conferences.
However, the positive side of staying in an hostel at the other side of the city was that I had the chance to view a lot of Glasgow, while running from a place to the other. Overall, I think I’ve fallen in love with the city, the University and its wonderful courts, and the Mitchell library, which definitely inspired me to complete the revisions of another chunk of the thesis.
Now, I’m already looking forward to going back there as a tourist and see more of this city!