...It was a dark and stormy night...
No, wait. That is not right.
It was a dark, but not stormy night, around 4AM April 25th 1999 when R. Joe was in his office in Ozark Hall at the University of Arkansas avoiding writing a final paper for Sabo's Environmental Archaeology class. After doing some, errr, research on a site Ryan had told him about he realized he needed to find another outlet to waste time to give his brain proper time to digest the nuances of his class notes. Inspired by how well an extended family mailing list he had set up recently was doing and remembering the axiom "Archaeologists are kind of technically slow and lazy" R. Joe decided to set up a little mailing list to help people find jobs in CRM and Archaeology. With no-one to talk to R. Joe typed in, and erased, a number of list "name" ideas and finally settled on "ShovelBums", a tongue in cheek name his mom had come up with years before...
So that is how it started. I then sent the sign up link to an informal list of my peers at Uark called the Pocket_Gophers (blame that name on Davidson and Larson) and asked them to send it to their own personal network of CRM and Arch friends. And like a Faberge commercial they all told two friends... I then posted it on Acra-L and now 17 years later here we are! 35,000+ positions filled and thousands of field school students placed. Kinda cool
I was just hoping for a few hundred members within the first year and maybe 2,000 within a few years. ShovelBums hit those numbers pretty quick and today it is approaching 18,000 members.
As always. My sincere thanks to James Colburn who has helped me moderate these postings for many years to make sure you only see relevant postings.
Most of all, thanks to all of you for helping to spread the word about ShovelBums. I know it sounds kind of corny. But I really mean that. The recognition I get when other arch's meet me on the rare trip to a conference and the positive things they tell me about ShovelBums makes me aware it has had an impact far beyond any I ever dared imagine. I am well aware that ShovelBum's relevance on any given year is tenuous at best. And in the absence of ShovelBums being a viable tool for us all I, and any memory of ShovelBums, will slip into obscurity quickly. But after 17 years ShovelBums is still here churning along, and I owe that all to you.
I look forward to another year of facilitating your search for crews, jobs, and field schools. And as always, if you have any suggestions, please do not hesitate to drop me a note.
And if you have ever found a job or field school through ShovelBums and feel like buying me a beer (that was always the deal ;-) you can use this link to buy me a dollar night virtual beer! https://www.paypal.me/ShovelBums