savage minds

The Savage MindsThere is a new anthropological group-weblog. The savage minds behind the accordingly named endeavor are Alex Golub, Antti Leppänen, Chris Kelty, Kerim Friedman, Nancy Leclerc, and Dustin M. Wax. anthropologi.info kindly commented: “Great! A new anthropology group blog! Something like an American version of the German Ethno::log.” This comment is kind in respect to the ethno::log, as with the latter we never had the impact savage minds already has after just some days—and I dare say we never had this kind of quality. Not that the entries at ethno::log lack quality, but they possess a different kind of it. Savage minds is a group weblog for anthropology, like many2many is for social software, or like media@LSE. My experience is that entries at group weblogs normally are of considerable length and more in depth. The ethno::log never was a group weblog, but something of a wiki-weblog, meaning that everybody who registers can post entries. In consequence the group of authors is not defined, but as open as it can be. With a policy like that there is the danger of drowning in spam—but that never happened. What happened was that the ethno::log quickly found a wide readership, but from the start on carried the illness of far too less people who actually fill it with content. What the founding fathers (KerLeone and me) originally had in mind was a global platform for anthropology: news, conferences, call-for-papers, job-opportunities, publications, discussions, and whatyouhave. But that never happened—maybe my view is a bit too bearish and resigned. The two of us, backed-up by activists like fab and 2R, made several attempts to refurbish the ethno::log—but till today it refuses to bloom as we had envisioned. What struck us most was the fact that the vast majority of our institute’s anthropology-students (and we have 1200+ !) never made good use of the ethno::log—despite of random reading. I assumed that the cause was the bondage of having to write in English (as you easily can deduce from my own faulty writing, I am all but a native-speaker, too). So we dropped the language-barrier and allowed every language. Which inconsistently may have cost us quite a bit of our international readership. Anyways, I am terribly proud that both the ethno::log and my xirdalium reside on savage minds’ blogroll.

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