Moving around throughout her childhood, Melanie Magdalena found herself intrigued by the stories that each new city held. Filled with all this cultural diversity, she launched a site where she recounted prehistoric tales in her saga The Chronicles of the Forgotten. Soon after, she began focusing more on the mysteries of ancient civilization. Continuing an undergraduate degree in archaeology at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque in the fall, Melanie’s already got her foot in the door with BermudaQuest, an archaeology resource site.
What is BermudaQuest?
BermudaQuest began as a blog about an archaeological saga, but has now become an online reference about all things archaeological. The goal is to revive public interest in archaeology. The thing about archaeology is that it’s a very difficult career to pursue. There is not enough interest in archaeology — everyone interested in the field (that is not studying it) wants someone to discover some ancient lost city or the Holy Grail. They don’t understand that archaeology is our past: it is our heritage. Not every discovery is some out-of-this-world discovery; most of the time, we are just filling in gaps in history. Occasionally, something extremely important will pop up.
What is your paper.li about?
The subjects covered in The BermudaQuest Daily include archaeology, anthropology, art history, paleontology, environment as it relates to the previous fields, as well as books and periodicals also related to the same fields. I have been working on building up a site that focuses on all the different aspects of archaeology and the importance of preserving our cultural heritage. Paper.li has helped me personally because every morning I receive an email with all the latest headlines. I no longer have to scavenge through hundreds of websites to catch up!
Plus, the morning tweets have connected me with several new archaeologists. The BermudaQuest Daily fills in any gaps on BermudaQuest, because now my daily readers have access to all the information I have at my disposal. Every day I receive tweets saying “Thanks for the mentions!” My followers have increased dramatically since I began using Paper.li. Many of these new connections have even contributed to BermudaQuest as guest bloggers. I finally have responses about my work.
What would you like to do in archaeology?
Today, I’m studying at the University of New Mexico. I’ve visited archaeological sites such as Teotihuacan and Tulum (Mexico); Alta Mira and Empúries (Spain); Altun Ha, Cerros, Lamanai, and La Milpa (Belize); Casa Grande and Montezuma’s Castle (Arizona). All this combined has inspired me to be an archaeologist, but my journey has only just begun as founder and editor-in-chief of BermudaQuest, where I continue to publish my research, interviews and other articles.
What I wish to do with my career in archaeology is to provide free, accessible, and understandable news about archaeology so that nonacademic people have a chance to learn about our cultural heritage.
Why did you start using paper.li?
I am a social media addict: I test out every new platform and sync them up so every single one receives the same information daily. One day, I received an invite to join Paper.li and I started looking into what it was. It turned out that Paper.li could pull all the top archaeology headlines from all my different social media networks and put them together in one place. This not only would save time for me each morning as I tried to catch up on the latest news, but also guided me toward new websites and individuals in my field.
What do you think the appeal of your paper.li is?
I believe my Paper.li fills a gap, providing information that is not readily available online. Yes, you can Google topics and read headlines; but there aren’t many sites with a simple button that says “Archaeology.” Most of the time, finding those headlines involves clicking on numerous headings until the desired section finally comes up. The BermudaQuest Daily removes googling from the equation and adds extra articles to BermudaQuest. Plus, if a Twitter user happens to post something that fits into the “BQ Criteria” they get mentioned to all my followers, lists, etc.
I would by the way like to thank the Paper.li staff for nominating The BQ Daily as a staff pick and for this interview opportunity. Archaeology is our past, it is our culture, and without it we lose that opportunity to discover why we all are who we have become.