As an applied anthropologist, I am concerned with solving practical problems. This started with my University of North Texas direct-to-consumer genetics thesis research and has continued into my professional life.

Many tech projects I work on, while important, are relatively minor when it comes to their impact on society. My thesis project, however, was not one of them.

After I submitted my thesis to the UNT library archive, where it would never be viewed again, I wondered what was next. Given the ethical concerns that came out of my research, I knew I couldn’t stop there.

I wanted more people to learn what I had learned. Most importantly, I wanted those people to include the general public and not just academics. I’ve done that by focusing my efforts on public anthropology.

Start a Website

Starting a website is a great place to begin because it helps build your brand and gives you space to discuss any topic you wish. It is also a very low barrier to entry. I have my personal site MattArtz.me built on top of WordPress.

An easy way to accomplish this is by registering a domain name and getting a managed hosting account at either Godaddy or SiteGround. If that sounds too complicated, you may also want to look at Wix or Weebly, or if you just want to blog you can use WordPress.com or Medium.

Guest Blog

Another great option is guest blogging. To start, you may wish to look at the American Anthropology Associations’ Anthropology News, EPIC Perspectives, Sapiens, and anthro{dendum}. All are fantastic options but don’t limit yourself to only anthropology sites. Getting our voices heard outside of our echo chamber is key to being successful with our advocacy efforts.

Any easy place to start is Medium channels. Many of the channels on Medium are hungry for new content, making it easy to get published. Moving beyond Medium to sites with greater brand recognition, though, should ultimately be our goal. The outlets will vary based on your content, but the process is usually similar. Find the guest contribution page and submit a pitch.

Speaking

Finally, I would suggest you start speaking outside of academic conferences. An easy way to get into speaking is by being a podcast guest. Here again, there are many options in and out of anthropology. Some great anthropology podcasts that touch on a broad range of topics include This Anthro Life, AnthroPod, That Anthro Podcast, and my two Anthropology in Business and Anthro to UX.

To find podcasts outside of anthropology, use Podchaser or the Apple Podcast directory. In all cases, track down the website, look for a guest or contact page, and send them a message. Most podcasts need guests, so again, the barrier to entry is low.

To go a bit further, look at other higher profile options like TEDx and South by Southwest (SXSW). To apply to TEDx, you will need to track your local event’s website and keep your eye on the call for submissions. SXSW is similar, except there is one yearly call for proposals.

Regardless of how you want to get into public anthropology, the key is just to get started. Once you get the ball rolling, new opportunities will present themselves, making it easier to share your ideas and create the change that you want to see in the world.