Hacking Archaeology, or, PDQ Redux

I cross-posted this yesterday at the Ancient World Bloggers Group

At the risk of sounding derivative… are folks aware of the ‘Hacking the Academy‘ book project? Perhaps something similar to collect together the archaeo-blog-o-sphere is a good idea…?

To recap, Dan Cohen and Tom Scheinfeldt launched this as part of the recent THATCamp:

Can an algorithm edit a journal? Can a library exist without books? Can students build and manage their own learning management platforms? Can a conference be held without a program? Can Twitter replace a scholarly society?

As recently as the mid-2000s, questions like these would have been unthinkable. But today serious scholars are asking whether the institutions of the academy as they have existed for decades, even centuries, aren’t becoming obsolete. Every aspect of scholarly infrastructure is being questioned, and even more importantly, being hacked. Sympathetic scholars of traditionally disparate disciplines are cancelling their association memberships and building their own networks on Facebook and Twitter. Journals are being compiled automatically from self-published blog posts. Newly-minted Ph.D.’s are foregoing the tenure track for alternative academic careers that blur the lines between research, teaching, and service. Graduate students are looking beyond the categories of the traditional C.V. and building expansive professional identities and popular followings through social media. Educational technologists are “punking” established technology vendors by rolling their own open source infrastructure.

“Hacking the Academy” will both explore and contribute to ongoing efforts to rebuild scholarly infrastructure for a new millenium.

At least one other ‘hacking’-inspired project is now underway. We had a bit of momentum a while ago for something along these lines (PDQ) but maybe the problem there was that we tried to build it entirely via blogs – ‘Hacking the Academy’ seems to have gained its momentum by its use of Twitter for collecting/collating submissions.

So. Good idea, bad idea, unnecessary?

(see here for comments over at AWBG)

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