April Showers Bring Hopepunk Flowers
News from April 2023
Hello everybody! Can you believe it's almost May? We can't either – April's been so jam-packed that it seems like we've hardly gotten started and the month's already over. We've got a lot to report, so let's get rolling!
Come join us! Reclaim is looking for a Hosting Account Manager to join our growing team. This person will work directly with existing and potential schools to onboard and support Reclaim Hosting products and services. This position is highly collaborative and will sit in both Sales and Support departments. For more info, go to our Careers page here!
Reclaim Open 2023
We're shouting it from every rooftop: Reclaim Hosting's 10-year anniversary is coming up in June, and we want to celebrate with you! From June 5-7, 2023, we'll be hosting our upcoming conference, Reclaim Open 2023, where we'll not only celebrate the history of the open web, but take stock of the present moment while exploring the future of Open as well.
We'll converge in Fredericksburg, Virginia where the University of Mary Washington will be hosting us. We can't wait to head back where it all began. And if you're interested in joining us, we'd love to have you! Early Bird Registration is open from now until the end of April at a discounted rate (that's just two more days!), and we have location details about travel and lodging available as well.
And while the general call for proposals has closed, there's still time to submit your artwork, creative pieces or show and tell work. June 7th will open with an hour long period dedicated just to these pieces. (June 5th, if you're interested in another alternative, will be our unconference, a less structured participant-driven time for sharing and learning.) Please send in your work – we'd love to feature you.
May Flex Course - Splashing Around with Installatron Apps
WordPress is great, but Installatron has a lot to offer. In our May flex course, you can get your feet wet splashing around with some of the other apps they've got on tap. Over four weeks, we'll take a look at four applications (Omeka/Omeka S, Scalar, YOURLs and Matomo) and see what they can do for a beginner. To find out more, just check out the events page.
July Virtual Conference - Reclaim Open Online
Have you heard about Reclaim Open? (We hope so – we've been plugging it as much as we possibly can.) Well, coming up in July, we'll be hosting Reclaim Open Online, a virtual event to follow-up Reclaim Open!
Throughout the month, we'll be hosting multiple virtual events to capture some of the highlights from Reclaim Open. As we get closer to the conference, and as the conference concludes, we'll have more specific details about Reclaim Open Online available on our events calendar here. In the meantime, if you're interested in proposing a virtual session, you can submit that right over here.
Heading to the Big Easy for WPCampus
From July 12th-14th Reclaim Hosting will heading down to New Orleans to attend the WPCampus conference for the first time. A majority of our work is focused on supporting WordPress in higher ed, so it was high time we made it to a WPCampus event. If you're attending be sure to look for us, and don't miss Jim and Lauren's general session "University of Mary WordPress: a Small, Public Liberal Arts Love Affair" which will look at WordPress in higher-ed over almost 20 years through the lens of a small, public liberal arts college.
May Community Chat - Looking Ahead to Reclaim Open
We've been talking about Reclaim Open an awful lot, and we're not done yet. (We're excited, sue us!) Our May Community Chat, happening on Wednesday, May 10th at 12pm ET, will serve as a preview of what to look forward to at the conference – come on by and chat with us!
April Community Chat - cPanel Themes and Dreaming Up the Future of Hosting!
This past month we met about, well, exactly what the title says – the new cPanel theme Jupiter, changes to the interface, and our dreams for what the future of hosting could look like. It was a great time, but if you missed it, don't fret – we've got the video recording available for you.
EdTech Year Two is Starting!
It's crazy to think, but we're coming up on the one year anniversary of EdTech at Reclaim. We've accomplished and learned so much over the past year, and we can't wait to go full steam ahead into year two!
Perhaps the most immediate change: starting in EdTech Year Two, there will no longer be subscription costs associated with Discord or our flex courses. Instead they'll be part and parcel of our support offerings, in order to make sure they're accessible and open to everyone. For more information, check out our announcement here!
Reclaim Today Episode 37: OER23 Reflections
This past month, Jim and Lauren were lucky enough to participate in OER23, and we were lucky enough to catch their thoughts! They've recorded a brand new episode of Reclaim Today all about the experience (and Jim's blogged about it here, too).
Reminder: Domain of One's Own Pricing Changes
As a reminder for Domain of One's Own schools, our new pricing changes will be taking effect for renewals happening on or after August 01st, 2023. You can find information about these price changes here, and we're offering schools the opportunity to renew early and/or for multiple years any time before July 31st, 2023. Just for context, that's only three months from now. Or, to use a different metric, that's only three Roundups! (And only if you count the one coming out at the end of July.)
OER23, Hope Punk, and the Blog-a-Palooza
In what has become a bit of a tradition, a couple members of Reclaim Hosting attended the UK-based OER conference that was held in Inverness, Scotland on April 5-7. It was a truly inspiring event that breathed hope and possibility into those who attended, much of which can be gleaned from the seemingly endless stream of blog posts that followed.
Catherine Cronin provides one of many great reflection posts that gives a great overview of the event "OER23 Part 2: Inclusive, Hopeful, and Warm Space*." What's more, she included a wonderful annotated list of some of those posts, which we're reproducing below to give you a sense of the magic that was OER23 (you know it's a good conference when you see multi-part reflections):
Lou Mycroft wrote a beautiful reflection on the conference, focusing on it as a joyful, inclusive and warm space.
Louise Drumm wove connections from the practical activities in the ‘Guerilla EdTech responses to climate change’ workshop (more on this below) to broader ideas: “just because we are living through cycles of extinction, it does not mean we cannot exert our agency and voices, even when the scale can feel overwhelming”.
Lorna Campbell wrote a thoughtful, reflective post about the conference, as always, even down to the beautiful train journey home from Inverness.
Anne-Marie Scott captured some of the joy of returning to “home” to OER23.
Helen DeWaard wrote about participating (including presenting) virtually and her experience of the “joy in open”.
Enilda Romero-Hall wrote about her experience as a first time OER Conference participant, including presenting her work on self-archiving practices (a collaborative project with Josh Rosenberg & George Veletsianos).
Joe Wilson wrote a great overall summary, including his personal takeaways from the conference.
Sheila MacNeill was inspired by the conference to write a provocative piece of speculative fiction about open education futures in an Open Scotland. Well worth a read!
I loved listening to Martin Weller and Maren Deepwell share their reflections on an episode of Martin’s ‘Metaphors of EdTech’ podcast, focusing particularly on the thread of hope through the conference.
Oh, and if you read just one of the OER23 blog posts, perhaps it should be Eamon Costello’s One Star Review … it says it all
But that's only a taste, Mags Amond is tracking the 25+ posts in this spreadsheet, and we're pretty sure we've not heard the last word from OER23 just yet.
In fact, Jim went on something akin to a blog tear both leading up to OER23 with his post about "Getting Back into the Conference Swing for OER23" as well as documenting his "Arrival Afternoon in Downtown Inverness #OER23" the day before the conference.
And then there were the Polaroids, which were the best we could do on short notice for swag.
Lauren wrote a post made up of "Mini-Moments at OER23" that does a compelling job of re-creating her experience over the three days. Whereas Jim focused in on the first full day of the conference in a two-part opus on what he claims is "the best single day of any conference he ever attended." He's not one known for hyperbole, so you may need to check out both part 1 and part 2.
Jim also shared his experience of Bryan Mathers's pre-conference workshop in his post "Visual Note-taking at OER23," which contains his amateur visual-notes of Rikke Toft Nørgård's keynote, a presentation which started the conference with a sense of hope and wonder that pervaded the atmosphere for the next two days.
Finally, you can read a summary of the presentation "Web 2.0 and Web3 Walk into a Bar..." that Jim gave, as well the breakthrough Lauren and Jim's joint presentation provided while "Presenting Reclaim Cloud at #OER23." It was quite a thrill to be amongst people who remain deeply invested in not only dreaming a hopeful and promising future for education, but also doing the work to get us there.
Recent Blog Posts
And if you can believe it, there was even more blogging going on at Reclaim beyond the OER23 blog-a-palooza. Let's dive on in.
Early on in April Jim mused about a podcast series of interviews wherein folks in edtech discuss the impact of the pandemic on their work: "What Happened? The EdTech Pandemic Podcast."
Lauren shares how she built-out the schedule for Reclaim Open in her post about "Using Custom Fields and Dynamic Tags in WordPress." And in the spirit of building, Jim wrote about the April flex course session he ran with Lauren focused on creating Reclaim Hosting's Discord servers as well as a reflection on the new Community site Reclaim has been sporting, which highlights the various channels you can connect with us. (Check out the Community site here!)
Jim's fallen down a bit of a technical Mastodon rabbit hole, writing about everything from "Mastodon Version Updates, Object Storage Security, and More" to "Moving Mastodon Object Storage from AWS S3 to DigitalOcean Spaces" to "Creating a Domain Alias for Mastodon Files Served through DigitalOcean Spaces." But if you just want to know why he's spending endless hours tinkering and blogging about Mastodon, his more recent "The Allure of Mastodon" is nice and will suffice.
New Support Documentation
Support Docs, get your Support Docs here! Each month our Support team works to bring you some sweet new guides, and this month is no exception.
First and foremost, we've been working on our FTP guides – FTP connections will need to be done via SSL/TLS, and we've been updating our documentation to reflect that. Amanda's gotten "Troubleshooting FTP" and "Getting Started with FTP" up to code, and Amanda and Taylor have collaborated on the new guide "Changing Default File Permissions via FTP" to bring you a bit more information on working with SFTP/FTP once you've gotten in.
Sometimes we get Domain of One's Own admins wondering how to deal with phishing requests or copyright takedown notices (they're rare, but they do happen very occasionally!) For those situations, Meredith's put together "Responding to Takedown Requests" to help you navigate.
And from Amanda, we have "Running Commons in a Box (CBOX)," which will show you, well, how to run CBOX! We're retiring our old CBOX custom installer, but that doesn't mean you can't still set it up, and this guide will help you install the right plugin and select the version of CBOX that's best for you.
Let's close out the month with some staff picks! We're bringing you the hottest and/or coolest things we have to offer – here ya go:
From Noah, we've got a throwback with Myst Online: Uru Live. This is a free-to-play MMO continuing on the legacy of the Myst, Riven, and Uru games, and it's tons of fun.
Maybe you remember from the March 2023 Roundup – last month Tim was looking at a tool based on the OpenAI Whisper API. Well, this month Taylor's been experimenting with MacWhisper, another speech-to-text transcription tool using the same API! That's called continuity.
If you're getting hungry, look no further – Chris blogged his recipe for vegan cheesesteak this month, and it looks super yummy. You can check out the post right here.
Erin Rose Glass delivered the talk "Education and the future of software freedom" to the Free Software Foundation in which she eloquently frames the precarious position experimental edtechs using free and open tools find themselves in a field dominated by invasive, surveillance-driven technology—a reality the pandemic exponentially exacerbated.
Jim discovered a fun tutorial/guide from DigitalOcean examining "How To probe the Depths of Nautically-Themed Open-Source Projects Using Moby Dick." That's right, Docker's whale is named Moby Dock, and the whole shipping metaphor goes far deeper than you could ever imagine.
And let's round it all out with a reading recommendation from Jim, "Friday Long Read: What To Do About AI". This is an extended blog post from WordFence about cultural trends around new tech, and the recent buzz happening around AI. Always good to keep up with the latest word about our upcoming computer overlords!
On that light note, it's been a great month, and we're looking forward to an even greater one in May. Have an awesome weekend!