Red Alert! New Madville Times author coming up!
Toby Uecker officially signs on as Madville Times contributing author this morning, thus doubling the manpower of the best blog in South Dakota. You can read Uecker's first post here.
When Toby and I hatched this plot, we laughed over the fact that he was a state extemporaneous speaking champion, while I couldn't make it out of Regions; I had to stop in front of the judges and check my notes for my second main point.
To rectify my youthful forgetfulness (hey, I was busy watching chasing girl interpers!), I'll give you ten—ten reasons why it will be all sorts of fun having T.W. Uecker's name alongside mine here at the Madville Times:
- Real journalistic experience: Toby actually studied this stuff at SDSU!
- Awesome vocabulary: All of Shad Olson's ten-dollar words, but none of the KNBN anchorman's superiority complex. Plus, he beat me on the ACT (envy!).
- On-scene reporting: while I'm in exile, Toby can snag the eyewitness reports from Brookings and elsewhere on the prairie (again, envy!).
- Collaborative reporting: We co-authored a scholarly paper entirely by wire once. In a week. It was a blast! Imagine the fun we'll have writing blog posts that people will actually read!
- Honesty, integrity, and all that jazz: Recognizing that I hereby imperil Toby's good standing in South Dakota, I wholeheartedly vouch for Toby's character. He means what he says. He acts with honest and noble purposes. He's a heck of a guy.
- More bi-coastalism: Just as my two years in Spearfish expanded my sense of "home" to encompass both sides of our great state, Toby is a denizen and devotee of both sides of the state. He grew up in Madison and studied and now works in Brookings. But he also spends lots of time at the family hacienda out in the Black Hills. He groks West River and East River, and that's important for a South Dakota blog.
- Size matters: Toby won't look nearly as tiny when he interviews Stace Nelson as I do.
- Good arguments, good conversation: Toby is as committed as I am to focusing our blog discussions on policy, not personality. He is not interested in writing to assassinate characters. He wants to write to promote conversation that builds community in South Dakota. That's why he's writing for this blog.
- Editorial meetings: We had one! It was fun!
- Friends: Toby stood up for me at my wedding (so did my brother, but he's content not to blog). He's run speech contests with me. He's survived backpacking through dark, rain, and a buffalo herd with me. He's a heck of a compadre, and the fun we'll have blogging together will make this blog even better.
Yes, I mention fun a lot. We're doing serious things here: reporting news, sparking conversation, building community, and challenging the powers that need to be challenged. But blogging, for us, is also about having fun. And as a debate coach we both know and respect has said, "If we're not having fun, we're turning this bus around and going home."
Toby and I plan to have lots of fun blogging together. We hope you have as much fun as we do.
Welcome to the show, Toby!