30 Days of Tennessee Archaeology, 2015: A Wrap Up

This morning we wrap up the 2015 blogfest with some thoughts from President Tanya Peres and Secretary-Treasurer Aaron Deter-Wolf.

Tanya M. Peres
President, Tennessee Council for Professional Archaeology

Bluff line overlooking the Cumberland River, October 2012.

Bluff line overlooking the Cumberland River, October 2012.

While we love fall, October 1st makes us a little bit sad because it means that the “30 Days of Tennessee Archaeology” blogfest is finished for another year. The TCPA membership has looked forward each day to the snippets of archaeology from across the state posted to the blog and Facebook in celebration of Tennessee Archaeology Awareness Month (TAAM). Judging by the metrics from both WordPress and Facebook that Aaron will discuss below, others from throughout Tennessee (and across the globe!) also tuned in for their daily dose of Tennessee Archaeology during the month of September. 

The numerous contributions from our colleagues working across the state kept the “30 Days” content fresh, timely, and something to look forward to everyday. Thank you one and all for taking time out of your busy schedules to write about the awesome work you are doing to protect and promote Tennessee’s cultural resources. In addition, this virtual event would not be possible without Aaron’s efficient and excellent organizational skills. He has agreed to take charge of it again next year, even though is term as TCPA Secretary/Treasurer will be over in January. THANK YOU AARON!  Most of all, thanks to our READERS – without you we are just preaching to the proverbial choir. We hope you have enjoyed the 2015 “30 Days of Tennessee Archaeology” blogfest as much as we have.

Finally, I should note that the celebration of archaeology in Tennessee does not – and should not! – end with the month of September. This coming weekend there are public archaeology events planned at both Old Stone Fort  and Sycamore Shoals State Parks, and our event calendar will continue to be updated throughout the year with new events and happenings. Be sure to follow us on Facebook for regular updates on archaeology in Tennessee and the Southeastern US, and mark your calendars for TAAM 2016!

Aaron Deter-Wolf
Secretary-Treasurer, Tennessee Council for Professional Archaeology

To begin with, I’d like to extend my thanks to the TCPA Executive Board for allowing me to organize this project for a second year. I also greatly appreciate the willingness of friends and colleagues to participate, and their tolerating my reminder emails and word count limits with good grace. The “30 Days” blogfest is a fun project, and I hope everyone out there has learned as much as I have about the fantastic breadth of archaeology taking place in Tennessee!

And now, some statistics.

The TCPA WordPress site has generally modest traffic of around 700 views each month from about 300-400 unique visitors. On the other hand, for the month of September 2015, the site picked up 10,864 views from 5,888 visitors! This is also a nice bump from the 2014 blogfest, which accumulated around 7,000 views from about 3,300 visitors. This means that from 2014 to 2015 individual readership for the “30 Days” project increased by about 90%, which is fantastic.

Global viewership for September, 2015

Global viewership for September, 2015

The most popular post this year was Heath Bailey’s contribution on the archaeology of the Smoky Mountains National Park, which as of midnight last night has accumulated a total of 1,458 views. The second most popular post this year was Shane Miller and Jesse Tune’s musings on lithics, which picked up 1,125 views. Viewership peaked on September 21st, with 758 visitors clicking through to Heath’s post. Finally, the project had a modest global reach this year! Of course the vast majority of traffic was from the United States (Canada came in second with 107 visitors), but individual posts found readership as far away as Serbia, Panama, Nepal, and Sri Lanka!

And now (briefly) for Facebook. The Day 1 post by Tanya reached the news feeds of >2K people, 108 of whom clicked through. Posts by Robert Connolly, Sarah Sherwood et al., the TAAM poster, Phil Hodge, Jay Franklin (twice!), Sarah Levithol, Marsha Welch, Shane Miller & Jesse Tune, Heath Bailey, Kandi Hollenback, Mark Crawford, and Lacey Fleming all reached the news feeds of >1K people, with between about 40 and 90 people clicking through. That exposure for both the project and for Tennessee archaeology would not have been possible without the assistance of those of you hitting “share.”  Thanks for the help!

I hope you all had a great month of Tennessee archaeology, and that your interest will continue beyond the end of the “30 Days” project. We’re always willing to accept blog posts, and would love to learn about public archaeology events in your area. Have a great fall, and I hope to see you at the Southeastern Archaeological Conference meeting in Nashville this November!