Welcome to the new AAA website! For almost a decade our former site has provided an insight into the work of the Australian Archaeological Association and its members. However, most would acknowledge that the old site had lost some of its lustre and was in need of an overhaul. With that in mind, in 2011 the then AAA Executive and AAA IT Sub-Committee embarked upon a major website redevelopment. We perhaps did not fully appreciate the work involved in such an undertaking however we were all motivated by the potential benefits that a new site would bring for the AAA.
The key purposes of the new website are the same as those of the Association more generally: to encourage discussion and information sharing about matters relevant to archaeology in Australia, to publicise the work of our members and to promote the study and management of archaeological heritage. While the old site served all of these functions well, recent years have seen quite fundamental shifts in how people are both using and thinking about the web. Once seen merely as a source of often questionable information, the web has emerged as a powerful tool aiding social interaction, community outreach and the rapid sharing of information and ideas within interest groups. Social media are now de rigueur as a means of both scholarly and not-so-scholarly communication for students, professionals and the broader community and many of us regularly use websites to share information with others and to rapidly communicate the results of our work. We think these changes offer important opportunities for the Association to further its objectives.
Thus, the new site sees the AAA adopting a new approach. We have adopted a blog-like format for dynamic content, in part so that users can easily keep up with new content using social media, email or a feed reader. We want members to use the site to promote their work and to share information relevant to members and non-members alike (see our call for content) We are also working towards greater integration with our flagship journal, Australian Archaeology : book reviews and thesis abstracts will be made freely available for all to access, images from recent and future issues will be featured across the site and all current members will be able to access the entire archive of AA back issues online. Members can now edit their own membership details and make payments using Paypal while our conference site has also been bundled into the redevelopment and from early 2013 will be more seamlessly integrated into the site.
As members will no doubt quickly notice, there are many things that still require some work and there will be minor problems and errors that emerge. As such, we ask for your patience as our web admin volunteers keep the site updated while at the same time manually importing the substantial amount of material from our old site and our journal back issues. Also, if you do notice a problem we would be very grateful if you could please report it.
Lastly, a few words of thanks are in order. Dr Sam Bolton had a long tenure in administering the previous site and provided a great deal of support as we transitioned to this new site. Thank you Sam! Rowan and Matt at our web development firm Twenty4 have done the heavy lifting with the site, developing a great framework for us to build on. Finally, Jacqueline Matthews (Membership Secretary) has done a stellar job in ensuring that the membership features are on track, Nathan Wright (Treasurer) has jumped through many hoops to set up Paypay while our new AA Editors Dr Lynley Wallis and Assoc. Prof. Heather Burke have provided considerable assistance with more fully incorporating the journal content into the new site.
Thank you also to our members who have patiently waited for the new site for almost two years: we hope that you like it and that it serves you well! Please do not hesitate to contact me with any suggestions or comments.