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Shovelbums in 2003 - Where next?

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  • R. Joe Brandon
    Apologies for cross-posting. Hello all, With spring fast approaching in the US the traffic on Shovelbums.org will increase proportionally to the warming days.
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 23, 2003
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      Apologies for cross-posting.

      Hello all,

      With spring fast approaching in the US the traffic on Shovelbums.org
      will increase proportionally to the warming days. Currently
      Shovelbums.org has an active subscription base of 7,750 members (which
      from my research indicates it is the largest archaeology/CRM/academic
      mailing list in the world by a significant proportion) and an extremely
      high volume of traffic to my web site http://www.shovelbums.org As a
      result it seems that Shovelbums.org has become a moderately successful
      resources for the Archaeology/CRM/Academic community and I am wondering
      now, after having built this service to this level, what else the
      community would like to see out of this free resource?

      My goal of course is to keep the list trim and efficient (I do it in my
      spare time so that is a good catalyst) but I feel there is still room
      for improvement.

      Current problems I can see are:

      - Lack of high level positions SHPO's etc being posted.
      * Potential problem - there seems to be an unfortunate impression
      that shovelbums.org somehow only has "field archaeologists" on it.
      However the stats on membership tell a different story as subscribers
      realize that this low volume list is the best way to keep tabs on the
      industry and who is doing what where. Many of these people to do not
      subscribe to traditional lists for that reason, volume, There is just to
      much traffic. The math says it all - with a significant percentage of
      ALL archaeologists actively reading these mailings from Shovelbums.org
      this is a significant resource for posting these positions.

      - Lack of cross-postings from Gov. agencies.
      * while there is an overlap between jobs posted on Acra-L and
      Shovelbums.org I notice that Gov related jobs sometimes only get posted
      to Acra-L. Any thoughts on how to get the word out to these branches?
      Membership to the list is not required for postings, as they can also be
      sent to me at moderate@... and I will forward them on.

      - Lack of postings of academic related positions.
      * I believe this is partially due to the perception of name
      "shovelbums" having an air of casualness about it, instead of
      recognizing it for an easy to remember URL :). However I believe there
      is no greater resource for academic departments to get the word out
      about an opening instead of hoping that a qualified applicant is looking
      on the web site they have advertised on. This is the THE list that
      those potential employees are subscribed to (or a friend is) and while
      they might be knee deep in research, they will at least get an easy
      heads up. This is of course not a replacement for traditional media,
      just an easy free supplement.
      * One solution - when folks see relevant postings on a web site
      they can forward the URL to shovelbums@yahoogroups.com (if they are a
      member) or send it directly to me at moderate@....

      - Is there anyway Shovelbums can assist in improving the quality of
      * I have always advocated that at least three references be called
      for each employee, but even this can fail. Any thoughts on other ideas?

      - limited UK and abroad postings
      * There are a number of foreign subscribers to this service and
      while out of US postings do come along there seems to be fewer than one
      would expect. How can this be improved?

      - Not many volunteer positions posted (not field schools, but positions
      where non-paying volunteers are needed in academic or salvage

      - Lack of a forum on the web site for feedback by professionals for
      advice, tips, etc...
      * I am considering adding this. Would this be useful?

      - Should I add a monthly summary of jobs that have been posted?

      - Should I offer to do a monthly summary for field school announcements?
      * There are students on the list who are watching to see what the
      field offers. I think with a once monthly posting this would not
      inconvenience the list - and it is always nice to see what is going on
      in the not for profit world.

      Just some thoughts I have had and as I am revamping the web site I
      wanted to get feedback to improve things. My only request is that my
      thoughts above not be used as a springboard for random threads
      complaining about big picture problems that are not the subject here
      (though always amusing to read).


      R. Joe
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