I fully intended to do a quarterly newsletter, but over the summer I ended up having some problems with the newsletter plugin that I chose. The database filled up partially due to that install and partially due to a spam campaign that was just crazy. Akismet catches that sort of thing but it’s so much in the background even I missed it until the database filled.
I still wasn’t able to get the newsletter plugin to function and the sign-ups I had were lost. I think they still exist in the WP registered users database, so it might be just a matter of picking a new newsletter method/plugin. For now, I’m sticking that to the back-burner.
Thanks to Donors!
I had a handful of donors since switching off Google Adsense and they’ve made a wonderful dent in my annual hosting fees. I’d estimate more than 80% was covered, which makes it easier for a parent about to watch his offspring head to college! (no archaeology for her, she’s going into engineering)
Speaking of Ads
I get a lot of requests from outside entities wanting to place guest posts. I’m sure these come with follow links to their original homes on the internet at the very least. Some might expect a few organic advertisements in the text. I take the half dozen or so requests each week as a positive sign that I’m getting good search results in Google, etc.
I’m curious what others think of these or if you’ve had experience. If I allow one to guest post for a small fee to me, but on a topic that is at least tangentially interesting or related to archaeology, is that something that could be tolerated? Feel free to leave a quick comment in below.
There are some ads I left. My hosting company is one. I figure it’s not the worst eyesore compared to some of the adsense junk and, if just a single person signs up with 1 And 1 Ionos with my referral link, it would probably pay for half to all of my hosting for the year. Depending on the package I suppose. I think I get a kickback on the number of clicks too, because they just Pay Pal’d me $5. So, for whoever clicked it, thanks!
The other ads I use are Amazon. If I review a product or book or mention a book in Amazon, I use my referral link. The main reason I use it is because it’s a short-link generated by Amazon. But if someone ends up buying based on my link, I get a little jingle. Not much, but a few jingles eventually add up to a few dollars and they’ll send a gift card at $10. I usually put it back into a book–often to review right here!
In the reviews category
I’m in the middle of reading The Buried by Peter Hessler, a staff writer for the New Yorker and contributor to National Geographic. I’m really enjoying it so far and nearly finished. I’ll write a short review very soon.
I just reviewed Freddy Silva’s Missing Lands and he was less than pleased. The book was given to me by a friend that knew I was into reading and reviewing this sort of thing, so at least I didn’t have to pay for it. I hate giving money to the mystery mongers (but will from time to time if the book needs reviewing). He had some choice words for me in his riposte to my Amazon review, which was an abridged version of the one here.
I was hoping to receive a copy of Andrew Collins’ new book for review from the publisher, but they’ve yet to send it. I’ll probably read some older works in the meantime. Perhaps Donnelly’s Atlantis, The Antediluvian World for context since so many of the modern writers of pseudoarchaeology are drawing from these writers even if they don’t realize it.
I recently headed back out to Cahokia for the 4th time, so I think it’s time I reviewed an archaeological site and interpretive center. That’ll be coming very soon with many photographs. I’ll probably make a slideshow on YouTube or something to stream. If I’m feeling especially creative, I might even narrate it Ken Burns style.
So, lately this is getting to be a hot button topic. I had a couple of emails from readers asking about it lately and I was asked to answer the topic on Quora. It’s been a topic on a few “archaeology” groups on Facebook just this week. So I might finish a video I started on this very soon as well. I have the narration track finished, so I just need to add the images. It’ll be a “Ken Burns” style video with my voice narrating.
I’ll be working on researching local moonshine still locations this season. For me, prime field season starts in November and ends around May (though I usually find myself in the field all year). I’m hoping to locate archaeological remains like 55-gallon drums with hatchet marks from the revenuers, barrel rings, collapsed metal vats, jugs (intact or bottoms and necks), etc. I have an interesting hypothesis about the vats I’m really keen to test and I think there will be a really cool story to tell perhaps in a multi-part article in the beginning of 2020. And a paper to present at a couple of local conferences.
1800s Iron Industry
I’m also writing a short article on the Iron Industry for my county (ca. mid-1800s). It’ll be included in a local history text, but I’ll probably be able to reproduce it here.
If you have suggestions, input, etc.. Let me know. I haven’t forgotten about the request for an article on the notion of Younger Dryas Cataclysm. It’s not a quick topic, but I’m reading on it.
If there’s a particular book, topic, video, cable show, or other media you think might be interesting to review, drop a comment below. I can’t make promises, but I’m always looking for something to comment on.