Thursday, September 10, 2015

Blog of the Week, Vol. 1, No. 17

   Our Blog of the Week feature explores Rob Baker's The Historic Struggle: History and the Mountains in this week's episode. Rob has been teaching high school history and coaching wrestling for several years in Georgia. He earned a BA in History at Carson-Newman College in 2010 and a MA in Teaching 6-12 Social Studies in 2011. He went back to school at the University of North Georgia in 2011 to work on his MA in US History. He has written and presented several papers over the last few years as well.

    Rob focuses on both Appalachian and Civil War History in the blog. It looks like he began the blog in 2009. I am not sure how many incarnations the blog has been through. It is now on WordPress having originally been on Blogspot (why do so many people move to WordPress?). Comments have been interesting as of late with the last post bringing in over 100 comments and actually spilling over into two other blogs. Rob does not maintain a regular posting schedule, but does manage to get new posts up every other week on average.

     The posts themselves are interesting. Rob obviously knows his history. His research into Appalachia is interesting whether it involves the Civil War or not. It is an area of American history that some serious research needs to be conducted in. He uses a menu widget which when clicked opens a sidebar showing several categories. One feature of this widget I like is the Recent Comments. I find that to be very useful on all blogs. I am a bit surprised that Rob has placed so many of the usual WordPress widgets inside this menu widget. His Like for FaceBook, Twitter feed, featured sites, Catoosa County History project, and genealogy work are only found in this menu widget.

     I find Rob's blog to be interesting for several reasons. One is that Rob is a history teacher who is not a university professor. Many of the history blogs ran by historians are ran by university professors who only teach two or three classes a semester. The workhorse teachers like Rob who teach full time have to use their own personal time to conduct research in and often have fewer resources. Fortunately, the Internet levels the research field quite a bit these days, but the time issue is still one that is difficult to overcome.

     All in all, Rob has a great blog in The Historic Struggle. I check it daily and comment on it often. The posts are informative and cover some ground not seen in other history blogs due to Rob's focus on teaching. So drop by and see some of Rob's posts at The Historic Struggle.

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