I’m in the middle of a full course load this quarter and following that, in November, I plan to start a new blog for my new work, which will reduce my time available for this blog. I’ll continue to be around posting and commenting at a reduced level, and will continue to do the administrative work. To that end, I’m going to ask for a couple of volunteers.
Volunteer Poster. This person would post things I have been sent by people who don’t have access to post. You wouldn’t have to decide if they were post-worthy, I would decide that and all you’d have to do is format them and maybe look for appropriate photos to go with them. Perhaps one of those who reads the blog but does not comment.. a kind of in-the-background kind of person might volunteer for this. I suspect that it would take less than an hour a week. I would help you learn to post things on WordPress, as the other contributors can tell you it’s really easy, and even silver-haired retirees can learn to do it (but students might enjoy it as well!)
Additional Contributors Since at the end of this year I will rotate off my volunteer work with SAF, I will no more be on email lists with interesting topics. It would be helpful if one more person with this background would offer to contribute.. you don’t have to have big ideas about it.. just post interesting things you find. Since I am interested in the difference between local press and the national media (which tend to be on the coasts), I think it would be interesting to have a contributor from the South or the Lake States. It might be nice to have another female voice or other sources of diversity.
Note for current Forest Service employees – I’m not sure that being a Contributor is a good idea for you. Originally, we started this blog as an official Forest Service/ University of Montana collaboration. Turns out that apparently we weren’t supposed to do that, but I didn’t realize that there was a policy in development that said that. After some discussion with folks in the WO, I knew I had to stop doing it officially (somebody from the Dept was not happy), but because I couldn’t figure a way to stop it without the FS sounding bad (“shutting down communication again!”), I decided to go ahead and do it in my spare time, and have it not be official. Note: this may not have been the best idea, in retrospect, in terms of my career in the Forest Service, but I was very aware when I started the blog that I was Retirement Eligible.
While it is considered to be free speech in your spare time, it may not make you very popular with the powers that be. Around this time, I became very unpopular with my superiors, bad things happened to me, and I had to file a grievance to get the bad things reversed. Was it this or something else I did or didn’t do? Who knows? The people who know aren’t telling. It worked out well for me, as I am now on my true path, but I would not wish my experience on anyone.
My old Regional Forester used to say that new ideas attract “organizational antibodies,” so maybe now blogging is part of the landscape there is not an issue. Nevertheless, my experience makes me cautious in advising anyone about blogging, and also very careful about preserving the privacy of those who send me information. Still if you want to take the risk, we’d be delighted to have you.