Vindolanda Excavation Expansion Resourcing

SacoHarry
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Joined: August 22nd, 2006, 9:29 pm

October 3rd, 2010, 1:04 am #1

Vindolanda Excavation Expansion Resourcing

Total votes: 67
11(16%)
48(72%)
8(12%)

The second of two polls on possible extras that could be added to the Vindolanda volunteering experience. Of course, every new service comes with a cost in time, resources, etc. And those need to be paid for. So we would like to know what WeDig'ers think. If you could have more things available to you, how would you best like to see them resourced? Please vote!
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Fiona D
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Fiona D
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Joined: May 30th, 2010, 10:07 pm

October 4th, 2010, 8:27 pm #2

Hi - you must have been mind-reading as I was about to give you a ring to see if any opportunities were available for learning more about recording and finds conservation. I don't know if I'm alone, but I'm definitely interested in seeing the next stage of the process, and have already done some archaeological drawing and have a working knowledge of computer cad design - and lots of patience! It maybe that lots of your volunteers could bring extra skills to this - and I would also be very interested in doing this over the winter months, which could extend your income stream as well as processing more finds hopefully!

Whilst I loved the whole experience of the first weeks dig I did this year and am very keen to do perhaps two weeks next year, the one thing I have found frustrating is trying to follow the progress of the dig through the following months. I have found the website somewhat confusing to navigate, and although Michael's photos have been prolific, I would have been really interested in a brief two or three sentence summary on the site every week or two. I know you'll probably groan at this - maybe someone could do it without Andrew and Justin needing to get involved?

I'm not intending to gripe though - the whole experience was fantastic - if hard work, and
I really hope you feel you can expand into the finds area. If you want a guinea pig I'd be very keen to come up anytime.
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SacoHarry
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Joined: August 22nd, 2006, 9:29 pm

October 5th, 2010, 12:27 am #3

Fiona D wrote:...the one thing I have found frustrating is trying to follow the progress of the dig through the following months. I have found the website somewhat confusing to navigate, and although Michael's photos have been prolific, I would have been really interested in a brief two or three sentence summary on the site every week or two.
I agree completely that WeDig still isn't where we admins would like it to be in terms of ease-of-use and regular updates through the year. The Vindolanda staff this year were exceptionally busy with all the on-site upgrades and management (the new museum, study center, hardscaping, etc.), so that made progress reports hard to pin down. And getting pictures from volunteer diggers proved trickier than usual.

The good (?) news is that we seem to get a little better each year at ironing out the kinks. Over the winter I plan to take a good look at how the site is laid out. There is a huge amount of information (especially in the Digger's Guide). But if it's not logical or easy to get to, it doesn't do a lot of good! Also, for 2011 I'm going to try to stay a little better in touch with the pro's. Hopefully I'll be able to keep an up-to-date page on where the digging is happening and what's being learned/uncovered.

But in the end, WeDig rises or falls by the efforts of diggers. As always, I heartily encourage anyone who digs at Vindolanda to send a picture or two of their trench, and whatever thoughts came to them. It's a neat ongoing record of the dig, and it's EXTREMELY helpful to enthusiasts who love watching a season unfold. I'm happy to help put up photos and lay them out so they make sense to other WeDig'ers. But it all depends on getting those posts from diggers in the first place!
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NOT Mick
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NOT Mick
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Joined: May 25th, 2009, 9:57 pm

October 5th, 2010, 1:25 am #4

Decisions, decisions. It seems to me that one of the big challenges will be balancing cost with participation. I can't imagine an "extra" running if only one or two people sign up for it and pay for it via the "a la carte" model. On the other hand, just adding an extra fee could easily mean people not being able to afford the trip (especially us foreign types) or paying for things they don't participate in. A tricky balance.

I remember being pretty tired most evenings after digging all day. Especially on the really hot days. It makes me wonder when the "extra" activities would be offered? Again, if I have to pay a flat fee for evening activities, but am too tired to participate, or just want to spend the evening with new friends at the Twice brewed, that doesn't seem fair. Also makes for a tired, grumbly, digger the next day.

Whatever options are arrived at, for me the whole point of Vindolanda was to dig, so I would not want any new "extras" to take away from dig time.

Just my 2 cents (Canadian, so about 1.4 p)

Dave.
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Fiona D
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Fiona D
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Joined: May 30th, 2010, 10:07 pm

October 5th, 2010, 4:26 pm #5

Harry
Thanks for response - I completely understand the site is a fantastic resource and developing all the time. I would love to have posted photos but was not quite sure how to go about it - I'll have a practice before next year. If you can help me at all with an idiots guide to posting that would be great.
Fiona
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georgina
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Joined: August 26th, 2010, 6:45 am

October 5th, 2010, 8:35 pm #6

Good idea Fiona, I too would have a photo or 2 to put up if I knew how, any chance of someone talking this through in simplespeak please?
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Badger
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Badger
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Joined: May 12th, 2008, 1:10 pm

October 5th, 2010, 9:23 pm #7

I would be delighted to walk you through the photo process. The key is reducing the photo size. Your basic digital camera takes huge multi meg photos which need to be reduced to around 250 kb. for posting. Really not difficult....

Tim Wolter
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Mike C
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Mike C
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Joined: August 30th, 2009, 9:07 am

October 6th, 2010, 9:54 am #8

I understand what people are saying about the "a al carte" model (pay as you go) but this may cause problems for the admin side. I would think they would need to know well in advance (ie approx 6 months) what programs to run, what cost would be involved & what income they would have to run the programs. A flat fee, one off payment for all, would help help admin to better budget the programs & keep the cost down to diggers. A few diggers going to one program & a few to another, would work out very expensive.

NOTnic k makes a good point.
However I should think whatever's done it would only be on one or two evenings a week (Not quiz night) or even at the weekend so it would spread the load.
I love the whole digging experience, for me it's living the dream but after 3 years digging (few that makes me feel tired) I want to know what happens after its been dug & washed. I definitely don't want it to eat into digging time, but also definitely want to know what happens next & think an hopefully small charge & a little lost relaxing time would be well worth it to expand our knowledge & add the the whole wonderful experience.

I also agree with Fiona & Georgina on posting photos. I promised Andy I would do a report on my two weeks digging in August but I've quite a few photos & don't know where to begin.
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Fiona D
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Fiona D
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Joined: May 30th, 2010, 10:07 pm

October 6th, 2010, 11:10 am #9

Thanks for tip about the photo size Tim. I take it you reduce the size on Photoshop then upload using the image button I can see in the toolbar above this box?

Regarding funding posts - I know the dig at Hungate in York does training weeks and weekends on the conservation side. They charge (a lot) for this and the weekends are, I gather, pre-booked and in demand. Surely this would make planning and budgeting easier? Have any of the wediggers taken part in anything like this and maybe have ideas?

Fiona
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Badger
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Badger
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Joined: May 12th, 2008, 1:10 pm

October 6th, 2010, 11:14 am #10

Fiona

Photoshop is too complicated. I just resize with Paint.
right click on photo. take the Open With Option and click on paint. then hit resize. It starts at 100, I knock down the percentage a time or two to get the desired size. Then save. Then post.
But there are likely other ways to do this. File size of 200 to 250k fits just fine.

Tim Wolter
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