#244 Refocusing

I'm sitting at a table in the socializing area of the Riverside Hotel at the 2014 Great Basin Anthropological Conference in Boise, ID. I've only heard about five papers but I've come to a realization that I think I came to subconsciously months ago. DIGTECH, as a CRM firm, is done. Sort of.

I've got some contracts that I'll still be working on when they come around in the next couple months, but, I'm not going to be actively looking for other work. There are several reasons for that, some of them personal, and some professional.

The Other Half of CRM is Communication

Just seeing a few papers at this conference has made me realize that DIGTECH simply can't do the type of work we need to do to put out quality, scientific, papers like the ones I've seen and the countless others that are at this conference. Sure, I can rock some fieldwork, record sites with the latest technology faster and more efficiently than anyone, and I can do it all at what should be a more affordable price. If I'm not able to put the time into the analysis and technical side of these presentations, though, then what's the point? 

It's not that I don't know how to do this stuff, or can learn, anyway. I just don't have the time and resources to do it. If I could just find some people willing to build this with me that aren't looking for an immediate return and that can see the positive influence we'll have on the future. There are a few people I know that would probably come along with me, but, they're risk-averse for one reason or another and would rather just stay in the safe place they're in right now.

Anyway, I don't want to do this right now if I can't properly communicate the results. Maybe CRM should stand for "Communicating Resource Management".

Find Out What You're Good At, and Crush It!

What I feel I'm good at is developing new ways to make our science more efficient. I'm good at explaining things. I'm good with technology and understanding what new tech works and what doesn't. Why not focus on that and bring it all together? It's what I enjoy and it's what I love to talk about.

For the next few sections I'll discuss the future of my three other companies.

Field Tech Designs, LLC

This company was started with a co-Founder, Theron Isensee. He operates Dreamers, Inc. which is the parent company of many of his other ventures. Theron is the financial reason for the existence of FTD. He also had, and has, the same vision I do for the future of archaeological field recording. 

Here's where we're going in the next three to five years, in order:

  • Complete development on Field Notes, a digital recording app for iOS and Android
    • Nov/Dec 2014
  • Expand Field Notes to the rest of the states west of the Rockies
    • Dec/2015
  • Include shovel testing and other generic forms for the east coast
    • June 2015
  • Add mapping capability to Field Notes (sub-meter integration and sketch and feature mapping)
    • April 2016
  • Add in-app reference material to Field Notes
    • Dec 2016
  • Expand Field Notes to every state and territory
    • Dec 2017
  • Expand Field Notes to other environmental fields (biology, geology, wet lands, etc.)
    • Dec 2018
  • Take over the world!
    • Jan 2019

Those aren't deadlines. They're guidelines. I don't rigidly hold to timelines if I don't have to. With the way tech evolves and changes, you have to be willing to throw it all in the trash and start over.

Archaeology Podcast Network

This is a project that I'm getting off the ground in the next month or so. It's based on the fact that I want to do about five or six more podcasts. Also, I want other shows to come into the network so the public and professionals can find all their archaeology podcast info in one spot.

The formation of the APN requires a partner and some quality programing. I've been talking to Tristan Boyle of the Anarchaeologist Podcast and he's just as fired up as I am to get this going. So, We're bringing his show and probably one other into one convenient location.

In addition to the CRM Archaeology podcast and the other two shows we're producing a few more. Here are the shows we're recording right now:

  • ArchaeoTech
    • A podcast about technology and computing in Archaeology
  • Excavating Sex
    • A show about sexual differences in the archaeological record
  • Profiles in CRM
    • A segment I've had on the CRM Arch Podcast but want to spin off into a separate show.

So, that'll be six shows total. Not too bad. You'll be able to subscribe to each show individually or subscribe to a feed that has all the shows in one. And of course, it's all free.

A note about the "free" bit. It's time consuming to record and edit these shows. Also, it costs a bit of money for equipment, hosting fees, and bandwidth. So, we'll be including some sponsors in the shows and probably some ads. I'm going to do my best to find sponsors and ads that make sense for the show. You probably won't hear an ad for stamps.com if I can help it.

Heritage Conservation Incorporated

The name is still in flux, but, this is a website dedicated to quick, concise, training in all thinks CRM and heritage conservation. The idea is to create short modules and packages of short modules that people can take in advance of a project or a field season. If you're going to the Great Basin and have never worked there, or haven't in a while, take the modules on Great Basin cultural groups and point typologies. Need to know about Section 106 and any local regulations, take the short modules.

Tests will "certify" the test taker for about one year. That way, the info stays fresh and you get continuing education credit. Since it's only valid for a short period of time, the tests will be very affordable, about $5 per test. There will be discounts for packages, students, companies, and returning students. Took the Section 106 last year and want to take it again? Here's a discount.

Still working out the details, but, this is basically it.

So, I'm keeping busy, but, just not on what I thought I'd be working on. This post is now tl;dr, so, I'll kill it there.

If you're at the GBACs, stop me and say hi!

Thanks for reading and I'll see you in the field