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From Aug 2006 - Nov 2013 WeDig provided a live forum for diggers & fans of Vindolanda. It has now been mothballed and will be maintained as a live archive.

Here you will find preserved 7 years of conversation, photos, & knowledge about a site many people love. Vindolanda gets under the skin. (Figuratively and literally as a volunteer excavator!) It's a place you remember, filled with people you remember!

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Hiatus; Fond remembrance of 7 great years
Topic Started: Oct 17 2013, 12:04 PM (1,686 Views)
snowglobe
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The roll call is up for those excavators who wish to add their names to the 2014 season
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davidgoldwater
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Very sorry to see hiatus looming, BUT, hopefully we can evolve our mutual contact elsewhere with equally, or even more positive results. Let's all resolve to support this. Thanks and loads of thanks to those who have held it all together for all this time - great work! David G
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Claire_M
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Just want to say how useful I found this site ahead of coming to Vindolanda for the first time (makes me sound like an older hand than I am...). Accommodation, what to expect, what to bring. Potted history of the site too.

So thank you very much for that - and for the general friendliness of folks on here. It's one of the nicer forums I've used.

As a communications officer, I can well understand organisations' desire and need to keep some kind of control (Vindolanda definitely isn't unique in this!). The most successful ones at achieving this though, seem to do this by offering something that has the kind of audience-specific element. In this case, several people have stressed the social side of things and I think that it would be useful if the Trust did maintain and moderate something (whether Facebook or something else) similar.

I'm on Facebook and would welcome a social page there for Vindolanda, where new and old diggers could ask questions and share but not everyone is. However, one of my other archaeological interests is (like Sunny *waves*) the Thames Discovery Programme, which has a not-open-to-the-public area forums and information that that the TDP control and moderate. Something like a slimmed down version of this might perhaps be appropriate?
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Justin-T
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Hi Claire,

That sounds very interesting, it looks like its the FROG Network you are referring to? For those of us that are not members (and therefore can't see it), can you give us more of an idea of what goes on behind the closed doors?

There must be a few hundred newly-minted Vindolanda diggers each season, so the number of people on a similar Vindolanda network could quickly become sizeable, how many volunteers take part in TDP per year?
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mooseandhobbes
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Hi Justine (and Claire *waves back*)

the FROG forum is a Ning network. As with any forum, it's only works if people use it, and the FROG network has taken some time to get going. It is going now though and I like it. It's very easy to add documents and photos, blogs, groups, discussions, all that.

There are some clunky things about it, like the fact that if anyone starts a discussion, it has to be approved by an Admin. I don't know if it's possible to just set it up so that no approval is needed, but in any case, it does need Admins, so it'll depend on whether people have the time and capacity to do that.

Something to think about.
TTFN
MooseandHobbes

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Claire_M
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Adding to what Sunny said:

There are 224 members on the Ning network; all of these are people who have done the TDP training and who are encouraged to take part and organise activities under the TDP. Over 400 people have done the TDP training, not all of them are on Ning or still involved with TDP.

Behind the log-in wall, there are

- TPD-produced documents eg, a Monitoring guide 'How to', information about the different evidence types you might find when monitoring, some documents about the terms used and definitions. All practical stuff that will help you when you are working and recording.

- As well as the forums, there is a 'blog' where members can post things they think of interest to a significant number of FROGs. (eg I've just put something up about an upcoming exhibition of paintings about the Thames.).

- a gallery of pictures taken during FROG activities.

- 'TDP News' a place for TDP staff to post info

- Events calendar (which any FROG can add to) is a mix of social stuff, monitoring visits (as FROGs set these up) and things such as relevant documentaries, lectures can go here (though you might also want to promote these on the blog).

The thing with the TDP is that its members, like diggers, have a variety of interests relating to the work done under the programme, which can be anything from family history to art to reception. The NING which, as Sunny says, has taken a bit to get going, offers a space for this and keeps the TDP in the loop with what we're doing and gives them some control over it.

Edited by Claire_M, Nov 5 2013, 04:01 AM.
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mooseandhobbes
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^^ what she said, plus it is also linked in to a number of people's Facebook and Twitter feeds, so people who aren't on either of those can get to see at least some of the FB/Twitter activity.
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Claire_M
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The TDP approach additionally means I feel I can blog about it. For example, I checked in with TDP before this blog post: http://thewordmuses.wordpress.com/2013/06/09/417.

I also wrote the piece in the November edition local paper (under Helens's name - she's the FROG who runs the Greenwich group) and cleared it with TDP before it went to print.

http://www.thegreenwichvisitor.com

Very much depends what Vindolanda want to do but, for what it's worth, I do think some social comms would be good.
Edited by Claire_M, Nov 5 2013, 07:24 AM.
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mooseandhobbes
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The difference though, is that TDP actively encourages its volunteers to take ownership of outreach activities,whereas the Vindolanda Trust doesn't.

Personal blogs are entirely up to individuals, but a group blog, like the Fawkes Hall of Thames blog and the piece in the Greenwich Visitor, actually represent TDP activities. TDP is fine about that (delighted actually), would VT be?
Edited by mooseandhobbes, Nov 5 2013, 01:54 PM.
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Claire_M
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That is a very good question. It depends in part how VT wants to be perceived, not only by us diggers, but the outside world. One for their comms people really. There's probably something in the T&Cs about not personal blogging etc if you're digging, I've not looked as I suspect it would be discouraged and have no wish to be at odds.

With TDP I prefer to check with them, so that we're all working from the same page and can get some good publicity for the TDP.

Some thoughts anyway. I'm fairly pro pro-active/community type comms, but am well aware of the risks in doing - and not doing - it simply as comms has been my day job for a fair few years.
Edited by Claire_M, Nov 5 2013, 02:16 PM.
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JaneC
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I will echo the thanks to the administrators of WeDig, and will be sorry to see its demise. I cannot offer anything on the technical front, I am until now an FB refusenik, but would like to see the forum continue in some form and would happily support it.

As we are now pinned into the two-week format, this has to be my main holiday of the year; the personal observations, discussion and interesting diversions add value for much longer.
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