Identities

… and four weeks to go until I have been here a whole year. It’s really flown by!

This is just a little post to keep my promise to myself about regular posting. I’m also starting to think about online identity more, about where to draw the line between myself and my work-self. The radical feminist in me wants to insist that if everything is ‘political’ then there isn’t a dividing line. I don’t do my research in a personality-less vacuum. Years of post-processual theory have me absolutely convinced that my archaeology is as much about me as it is the past…. but I also worry about jobs, about image. I want to be taken seriously.

We had a big meeting yesterday about how the various projects in Italy plan our communications (outside of finished theses and peer-reviewed papers)- do we have any plans to involve local schools? Do we want a web presence? If so, what do we want it to be? Who are we talking to? What are we trying to communicate to them?

I enthused about twitter and blogging (in particular) as ways to engage with people, rather than just broadcast pictures and text. I talked about the great people I’ve never met in person, but who help me out with tech advice, suggest projects, papers or conferences to me, or cheer me up when I am lonely. @tomgoskar said to me the other night that at times twitter can be like a village. It’s a good thing that @lornarichardson and I have talked about both serious academic research and Buffy the Vampire Slayer in the past week. It’s good to be human, and I think the best twitter accounts run by larger organisations are the human ones: I think @metoffice do a great job- it’s a corporate account but the different people running it on a shift always introduce themselves, and though they’re professional, they aren’t policied to death- they chat, they engage.

If we’re going to have a social web presence (as well as or instead of a static web page) then we need to come up with some guidelines and aims. That’s what I am going to spend the weekend thinking about…

So, I think I’ve talked myself into keeping the tone of what I do here and on twitter the same…right? I’ve never ‘marketed’ this blog as anything other than my ramblings, and when I do post about my research it is usually more like ‘zomg Italy is so pretty lookit!’ than prejudicing anything I might want to later put in a journal.

The meeting just made me stop and think in depth about identity and presentation and so forth, and has left me a bit discombobulated.

Also, I love having pink hair, but I suspect that might not help with the job-getting and the ‘serious’ image… But I also once swore that a career that didn’t let me be me was never going to work. I just though I’d left all of this identity-negotiation crap behind me as a teenager (some 10+ years ago), you know?

 

Your's truly, in a stolen fedora on NYE 2011

 

Perhaps the Buffy watching isn’t helping with this regression/late ’90s vibe… but I don’t care. I’m off to vicariously re-live my misspent youth some more. Tomorrow I’m heading to see my little brother in Amsterdam before he heads back to Georgia (the country, not the state). We’re gonna eat apple pie, drink Belgian beer and probably tease each other an awful lot. I can’t wait!

4 thoughts on “Identities

  1. When I started this I really just jumped in- I was an MSc student at the time, and wasn’t sure if I’d ever go into academia or teaching. There was no facebook, people only googled you prior to a job interview if you were working in webscience… With a LOT of hindsight I think I perhaps haven’t always done it the right way, but I’d still rather be me, warts and all!

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