Four Stone Hearth Turns 100 and Evolves

Earlier today Martin announced that he was giving up his duties as editor of The Four Stone Hearth. I think we, in the anthropology section of the blogosphere, owe Martin a big thank you for his efforts. I have agreed to take over the duties of wrangling hosts, and so forth, that Martin has so capably performed. To that end, we need hosts for September 15th and after (9/29, 10/13, etc). If you are interested in hosting contact me via email. My address is under the “about” tab.

In his post, which was also the 100th installment of the Four Stone Hearth, Martin mentions that he thinks that blog carnivals are going out of style and while I understand the reasons he gives I have to disagree. Science, as a subject, accounts for 10% of all stories on blogs. In the past few weeks several new blogging networks have come on line and anthropology blogs are prominent members of both. Back in 2004 when I first started blogging Hawks and Kambiz were the only anthropology bloggers out there*. In the intervening time there has been an explosion of anthropology blogging, so there is an interested readership and an interesting group of writers to explain and expand the field. So the question is how do we adapt the Four Stone Hearth to the continually changing internet environment – newspapers are dying because they couldn’t find a way – and continue to provide interesting content and discussion? I am going to be thinking about this issue and will probably have more to say later, but feel free to leave comments and idea.

* When I first started blogging we didn’t have the internet. We wrote our posts on rocks and threw them at our readers. You young whipper-snappers have no idea how easy you have it. You call those lithics! Get off my artifacts!

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10 Responses

  1. ” When I first started blogging we didn’t have the internet. We wrote our posts on rocks and threw them at our readers. You young whipper-snappers have no idea how easy you have it. You call those lithics! Get off my artifacts!”

    That alone made you my hero. LOL 😀

  2. Is there any chance of having a dedicated RSS feed for FSH? I’ve always found it frustrating that there wasn’t one.

  3. Bill: I think the only problem without a “dedicated” RSS feed for FSH is because it travels from one blog to another.

    We could, instead of hosting FSH in diff. blogs, host it in a permanent FSH site. That would solve the RSS prob. However, that will probably change what FSH is all about.

  4. Exactly. The whole idea of a carnival is that the hosting duties travel from one blog to the next. Given that there is no real way to have an RSS feed for it. The web site for FSH does gives dates and links to the hosting blog for each edition – which is the closest we can get to an RSS feed.

  5. I wondered whether you could keep the basic structure of the host posting the carnival, but have a home page for FSH which linked to the host and had a fairly minimal new post on it every time a new FSH was posted .

    (You already have the home page. So all you’d need to do is post ‘New FSH out now’ on it every two weeks or so.

    So the post would simply say (for example): ‘New FSH posted, hosted by afarensis (or whoever) Go check it out – and maybe give a link to the hosts blog. These posts would then turn up in an RSS feed

    Basically, it would be nice to get a reminder in my RSS reader that I should check out FSH each fortnight. (I know that afarensis normally posts when a new FSH is up; but if I see that afarensis has a new post, i don’t always see that it is FSH until I decide to go read a bunch of his stuff.

    Maybe I’m wrong about this, but I think you might get more traffic this way. Maybe its a way of updating the idea of a blog carnival.

  6. I’ve offered to host the Sept. 15th one. Not sure what I need to do to make that happen, though.

    I for one would like to second the previously mentioned idea of having a little blurb on the FSH site each 2 weeks directing traffic. It would be nice for all of us to have that reminder every 2 weeks.

  7. Hi,
    Sorry I didn’t get back to you earlier. I’ve been busy this weekend. I’ll email you with instructions later this evening.

  8. No worries, brother. Just curious.

  9. The idea of a feed is a good one. The Giant’s Shoulders carnival is set up on a WP site, and as a result has a feed that can be subscribed to. The link to GS: http://ontheshouldersofgiants.wordpress.com/

    Perhaps this is something we should consider for FSH? I would be willing to help coordinate the move.

  10. I should add that the fact that GS is on a WP site does not take away from the “carnival-ness”: It is still hosted on individual sites on a monthly basis, but the WP site serves as a promo base, similar to what has been suggested previously.

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