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A Little Help From My Friends. Or Whatever You People Are.


Imagine a scenario with me, if you will. I would like to take my labor history posts and turn them into a website and app that would create the possibility for labor history tourism around the country. I would like to create said site and app that allowed me to link to my essays that were connected with various places so people could visit our many, many lost sites of labor history. Said site and app might also allow other people to contribute, crowdsourcing our labor history so that individuals might tell the story of industrialization, unions, and deindustrialization in their communities. Or they could find the site of old brothels and discuss sexual labor. Or they find information on plantations and talked about slavery and sharecropping. The possibilities are nearly endless.

Now imagine that there is a fellowship I could apply for that has a $50,000 prize for putting together public facing projects in the humanities. You don’t have to imagine this part as I am applying for it. And my application is the project described above.

I can describe this really well. But while I am one of my school’s nominees, to actually win this fellowship, I have to deal with one huge problem. And that problem is having a clue about the budget for how much putting together the site and app would cost. I am not real great with technology, but the fellowship could pay for me to learn that stuff. But I would obviously need to pay one or more people some level of money to put the initial site together to get it off the ground. I would like it to be fairly user friendly so to attract real people who are into this.

This is where you all come in. Many of you I know are far more tech-expert than I am. Some of you work in this field. How much would it cost to put all of this together. Ideally, I’d love that $50K to buy me out of a semester of teaching so I could make this project happen and pay for the necessary tech support. But if that’s not possible, I can work around the teaching. But I do need a real budget and I need you to help me show that I know what I am doing, or at least to pretend.

So help a labor historian out, will you? Comments are great, so are e-mails.

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