Periodically archaeologists turn their gaze inwards towards their own field, to consider it as a craft activity or as a community of interest in its own right. The phrase ‘archaeological community’ is one widely used but rarely defined, and there is always a tendency towards the division of archaeology into a variety of distinct specialisms: yet one of the major aspects of academic life is in the construction of communities of shared interests. Here I draw upon my own experiences of encouraging others to become involved in efforts to develop those areas of enquiry that interest me. This includes the construction of formal networks but also more ‘covert’ activities by inserting contributions into conferences and sometimes publications where they may not have been initially welcomed. It was awkward and slightly dangerous work, especially early in my career, and I am not sure it always achieved what I intended.