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#arrowheads: Instagram as a Creative, Social Media-Based Approach to Public Archaeology

Author(s): Elizabeth Lynch

Year: 2015

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Summary

Social media is a hot topic of discussion and innovation among archaeologists. Although we've improved our ability to digitally reach wider audiences, "social media" is not a single entity. Each platform is different: purposes, user bases, and means of connection vary widely. As archaeologists, we must be proactive about fully understanding these differences, in order to find the most effective ways use each platform and reach a greater public.

This paper provides an example of one way to accomplish these goals. Instagram is a mobile device-based image sharing social media platform; users connect with hashtags: pound signs followed by a word or phrase of interest. I surveyed American Instagram users who self-identify as "artifact collectors" to understand their demographics, how they use Instagram, how and why they collect, and their thoughts on archaeologists, collaboration, and cultural resources. This allows me to holistically understand the community that I hope to interact and collaborate with, and how best to reach them. By conducting similar surveys of users on other social media platforms, professionals and groups working in public archaeology can expand the depth and breath of their outreach efforts, and be more aware of the needs and interests of their audiences.

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#arrowheads: Instagram as a Creative, Social Media-Based Approach to Public Archaeology. Elizabeth Lynch. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 398212)


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Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America