A new job. A new blog?

As some of my three hardcore readers know, I will soon be taking a new job. Yes we’re leaving Chicago for the mild, smalltown charms of Champaign-Urbana. And I’m leaving behind the Newberry Library for the University of Illinois Institute of Labor and Industrial Relations where I will be a professor of Labor Education. I’ll be teaching labor history, labor law, and other things to union members and other interested working people.

So what to do with Bughouse Square the blog? The distractions of negotiating the job offer, selling our apartment, and looking for a new home have been taking me away from my blogging duties, and Bughouse Square has been pretty lame since April. Also the name, concept, etc., are connected to Chicago, the Newberry and our free speech exhibit “Outspoken.” Maybe the concept won’t transfer to the new situation.

So the question is, should I retire Bughouse Square and start a new, more explicitly labor-themed blog? Or should I just keep going with “Bughouse Square” as the title and shift the content? Maybe fill out the blog description so readers with no Chicago connection will get the point of the title? Maybe invite some of you to guest post (on labor issues, no naughty nurses, Jeff) so as to recreate virtually a bit of the Bughouse Square of yore?

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5 Responses to A new job. A new blog?

  1. Church Secretary says:

    Hello, Tobias. Congratulations on the new job, but you have my sympathies on having to live in Champaign-Urbana. Semi-kidding on that last clause.

    What an interesting set of choices you have. My humble opinion is that Bughouse Square is an electronic location, anyway, so your geographic location is not entirely relevant. It’s not like you live in Bughouse Square (or maybe you do, I don’t know). I understand your point about the connection to Chicago, but your writing the thing (from wherever) will mean that it always has a connection to Chicago.

    Perhaps you might decide to keep it “as is” until you get settled in your new locale and job, then see if the inspiration for something entirely different overtakes you.

    Anyway, you’ll figure it out in time. While I’m thinking about it, that “Outspoken” thing was awesome. My wife and I checked it out some months ago, and we really dug it.

    I think there is a tragic dearth of education for working people about labor history. I’m on my second union job, and most of my colleagues (on both jobs, it seems) have consistently voted Republican. Yikes. I recall someone once remarking that even NPR has a show called “Marketplace,” but no show called “Laborplace.” My point, if there is one, is that what you do is very important, but I wonder if there is any way that it could be packaged and distributed (even on a modest scale) to those who need it most. Just a vague thought to chew on there.

  2. Toby Higbie says:

    Hey Church Secretary–Thanks for the advice. You’re probably right that I can keep the virtual location going in my new physical locale. After all, the historical Bughouse Square was a haven for labor people and radicals.

    Glad you liked “Outspoken.” It was a lot of fun to put together. At some point in the future I might write a book on the same concept.

    Hopefully I can do some work on promoting labor history more broadly in this new job. Regarding the “Marketplace/Laborplace” analogy, I just ordered a book by a labor activist on how to do union/social movement oriented internet “radio.” I’ll let you know if it’s useful.

  3. Jeff says:

    Hell, keep the title, whatever the content. This blog is your “soapbox”, and no other location defines that word more. You can put a little explanation in your profile like the Church Secretary.

    I promise no naughty nurses, maybe naughty “co-eds” now that you’ll be back in a college town.

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    and we had to go back to it! Every chance I get on the
    net I search for blogs just like your site.
    Click on my blog before its to late.

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