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Looking back, looking ahead

January 8, 2016

Beginning with an aside, as I often do, there are many, many songs on the theme of ‘look/ing back’ and I believe my brain has suggested every single one while I’ve been writing this. Incidentally, there are far fewer songs with ‘looking ahead’ or ‘looking forward’, this is undoubtedly significant and probably cultural too, it may even reflect the zeitgeist.

And my point is? Ahem. Looking back at 2015 in terms of HARN and telling you what’s in store for 2016, that’s what this post is about, not the bletherings of someone who finally has unimpeded access to her brain and computer after the Christmas break and is going a bit google crazy with the giddy freedom of it all. WordPress very kindly send an email at the end of the year summarising the previous year’s blogging, so I can tell you that we had 8,300 views last year, which is over a thousand more than 2014. We had 3,712 visitors, up by over 700 on 2014. 118 posts were written, the most viewed was this one about Wiltshire, written in November 2014, which is strange when you think about it! 231 pictures were uploaded and our busiest day was the 2nd of February. Most visitors are directed here by Facebook, Twitter, Academia and Antiquity – which shows we’re succeeding in attracting new readers.

There’s all sorts of other facts and figures WordPress supply, but I’ll spare you those and do my own research to tell you we gained 25 new members – and you would not believe how long it’s taken me to work that out – we now have somewhere in the region of 150 members. Posts covered museum reviews, mainly by Kate, book reviews – some of which were even about archaeology – and details about conferences, calls for papers, publications and member activities, there were guest posts, member of the month posts as well as me wittering on about chickens, children and baking. I have no idea how the year breaks down into content of posts and yes, I am losing enthusiasm for counting and scrolling back through pages and pages of stuff, and frankly, who cares? Stuff was written, stuff was done, people joined us, this is all good.

[Pause while I went away and did something that didn’t involve any counting or wading through text and got out of my bad temper]

The main event of 2015 HARN-wise was the conference we held in Glasgow in September. It was an overwhelming success and the papers should be published later this year – look out for announcements about that. And this is where we start to look ahead, because we’re intending to hold another conference this year. We’re in the process of finalising the details, but I can tell you that the format will be slightly different this time: we’re arranging a 2 day event, we’re intending to organise the conference around particular predetermined themes, there will be a variety of sessions in which to present your papers, additionally we’ll have invited speakers, and, as if that wasn’t enough, we’re going to hold an AGM. Doesn’t that all sound exciting? As soon as I have more details I’ll pass them on, but do let us know what you think in the comment box or email us.

What else can we look forward too? Let us know and we’ll post it here.

In the meantime, have a great weekend

Julia

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