Fall Comes to the Roundup

Fall Comes to the Roundup
We even have our own Bryan Mathers' Logo now!

News from September 2022

Here's hoping your start of term was smooth and sweet, and that it continues to be all treats and no tricks as we move into the spookiest month of the year. We're capping off September and sliding into October with our monthly Roundup of all things Reclaim!

Image of Linus rolling a pumpkin down the sidewalk from a Snoopy animated cartoon
Roundup your pumpkins, people!

Monthly Announcements

Domains 2023: Reclaim Open

Mark your calendars! We will be hosting our fourth biennial conference and celebrating our 10th anniversary next summer at Domains 2023: Reclaim Open. We look forward to welcoming you in Fredericksburg, VA where it all began, on June 5-7, 2023. 🎉 More information to follow soon.

Image of Jack Black with weird glasses saying YEAH!

October Workshop - WordPress Multisite 101 with Tom Woodward

We hope you're ready, 'cause it's time – our WordPress Multisite 101 workshop is kicking off tomorrow! Tom Woodward, the master of multisite, is joining us to host a monthlong workshop tailored towards WPMS admins.

This workshop is designed to help you manage and fine-tune your project, examining both the big picture and the fine details of setting goals and taking stock of your resources, capturing evidence to assess how everything is going, and planning workflows that will set you up with a sustainable long-term lifecycle for your project. If you're interested in attending, you can register here, and we have more information on our event calendar here.

WordPress logo with following words "IM In UR COLLEGZ EDUPUNKN UR CMS"
WordPress Multisite=Awesome

October/November Flex Course - Hacks for Hybrid Working

For many of us in Higher Ed, hybrid working is here to stay. So whether you’d like to create a better work/life balance juggling being on campus with working from home, or you are looking to move from crisis mode to a way of working that is more sustainable, healthful or simply a little more joyful, this course is for you. Join us to explore hacks to create a better hybrid workplace for everyone.

We are excited to join forces with Dr Maren Deepwell, author of Leading Virtual Teams to bring this free flex course to you all. Starting on October 24th and running through November 18th, each week will feature ideas to try out, prompts to reflect on and resources with a host of community voices in the form of scheduled weekly video releases as well as dedicated Q&A times. This event is free for anyone to attend, and you can go here to register. Finally, check out our calendar for more information about the event and read through Lauren's outline for what's to come in her post, "Coming Soon: Hacks for Hybrid Working."

November Flex Course - Running a Newsletter with Ghost

Here at Reclaim, we love to talk about Ghost. (For example, did you know it's the engine that makes this very newsletter go?) And this November, we're going to do just that. Throughout the month of November, we'll be hosting a flex course on how to get your newsletter up and running with Ghost.

With sessions happening Wednesdays on November 2nd, 9th and 16th, we'll cover how to set Ghost up in Reclaim Cloud, how to configure your mailing list in order to get the word out, and all the tips and tricks we use to bring you a high-quality reading experience every month. If you're looking for a way to bring your writing to your audience, you can check out our event calendar for more details, and register here to join us.

Image of Caspar the Friendly Ghost reading Ulysses
Learn how to Ghost the Web!

December Flex Course - Open Media Ecosystem

This December, we're hosting an Open Media Ecosystem flex course! We'll be covering several powerful Reclaim Cloud applications that you can combine to create your own open source media toolkits, including the web conferencing software Jitsi Meet, the streaming tool Owncast, the video cloud platform PeerTube, and the web radio software Azuracast. If you're looking for open-source ways to produce and host videos, streams or podcasts, come join us. As always, our events calendar has the details, and you can register right here.

Image of icons for PeerTube, Jitsi Meet, and azuracast
Open Source Media Suite

October Community Chat - WordPress Multisite!

On theme for the month, in the October Community Chat we'll be building on our October workshop by talking about WordPress Multisites. What is a WordPress Multisite? What are its strengths and weaknesses? How do you plan your WPMS project for long-term success? If you're interested, the Community Chat is happening Wednesday, October 19th at 12pm ET. There are more details on our events calendar, and you can register for your invite here.

WordPress Multisite!

September Community Chat - Defining Success for Domain of One's Own

Did you miss our September Community Chat? No worries! This past month we talked about how admins for Domain of One's Own define success in their project on an individual, administrative and institutional level, and you can catch up on the conversation right here:

We also have a playlist of all past Community Chats, if you're curious about those. Check it out!

News from Infrastructure - PHP Updates

Beginning this weekend, we’ll be rolling out PHP 8.0 as the default or “inherited” version of PHP across all our servers.. This means that any account or application set to use the server default version will be using PHP 8.0 from this point on. PHP 7.3 and PHP 7.4 will still be available for the time being after this change, so if an application or user is inheriting the server default and there are concerns about application compatibility, users will need to manually set which version to use.

GIF Image with Samuel Jackson looking out ominously and the text "Hold On Yo Your Butts"

On January 1, 2023, we will remove PHP 7.2 from all servers; this means the lowest version available on our servers will be PHP 7.3 from this point on. Any installation or account still using PHP 7.2 at this point will be brought up to PHP 7.3. Users will need to address incompatibility of individual applications. You can read more about our Infrastructure updates for 2022 in this blog post.

Community News - Lansing Community College is Hiring!

Lansing Community College is hiring a full-time person to support and help lead its growing Open Leaning Lab. The Open Learn Lab is a Domains of One’s Own/OER program adapted to the needs of a community college. You’ll work in the Center for Teaching Excellence with Jim Luke and Megan Lin on both technical support and helping faculty develop innovative sites. Check out the attached posting and job description, or contact Jim Luke (lukej@lcc.edu) for more details. Posting closes October 14.

What's Happening in Discord/ICYMI

Sometimes we host impromptu streams or events in our Discord – you're in our Discord, right? This month several community members joined us for a WordPress Full Site Editor Sandbox day, where we all got together for an hour or two to experiment with and talk through the new WP Full Site Editor.

GIF Image from Get Smart TV Show
Get Smart, don't miss it!

Taylor also hosted a stream about Hugo, the static site generator he uses to host his blog. In it he talked a bit about why he chooses to both a static site generator generally and Hugo more specifically, as well as what his workflow is like. You can read more about it in his related blog post, "My Hugo setup and how this blog works", watch the stream below, and if you're itching to check out Hugo by the end, they have Quick Start Documentation available for beginners.

Recent Blog Posts

As always, the blogosphere is hot, hot, hot! This month we're bringing you our thoughts on a new model for hosting in higher ed, where Reclaim's come from and where it's going, how open source applications can fit into higher education, and how to use SSH access in Reclaim Cloud. Let's get right into it.

A businessman takes a sip of his coffee, then tells someone in the office, "I'm blogging right now, take a message."
Fun fact: this GIF was made in-house by our very own Taylor! Check out "Staff Picks" for the tool he used.

Lauren's been looking at how different schools make best use of their Domains setups, and/or their WordPress Multisites. In "A New Model for Domains: DoOO & WPMS", she talks about an emergent model we've seen for schools, where WordPress Multisite and Domain of One's Own work side-by-side to create sustainable projects that cover a wide variety of needs on-campus. In particular, she thinks through the ways this has worked well for Coventry University (Coventry Domains) and Oklahoma University (OU Create).

And as we come up on our 10th anniversary and continue to grow, Jim is reflecting internally in, "Re-visiting How we Work at Reclaim". The tools and workflows we use have evolved as Reclaim has, so if you're curious about how the magic happens, check out this post for a peek behind the curtain.

GIF Image from Snow White with 7 Dwarves Working
How to Whistle While You Work

Also on Jim's mind is how open source can fit into education. In fact, he recently sat down with Ed Beck of SUNY Oneonta for a streamed chat about the advantages and limits of open source applications for higher education. If you're interested in the stream, you can check it out below. Jim also expands on these thoughts in "Chatting DoOO, Open Source, and More with Ed Beck". He also talks about the EdTech team's recent conversations on how applications like Azuracast, PeerTube and Jitsi may be useful to student organizations.

And on the technical side, Taylor took a look at SSH access for Reclaim Cloud this month. "Notes on Direct SSH Access to Reclaim Cloud Nodes" is a great walkthrough of his steps and his thought process around backing up files to the Cloud using rsync, and it's well worth taking a look.

New Support Documentation

It's been a busy month for the Support team, and we've got tons of new documentation coming your way. In addition to some brand new guides on WordPress Multisite, we also have some new docs featuring Reclaim Cloud and even an updated guide on domains.

Image of two women saying "We'll Document it"
We'll Document it, of course!

On the WordPress Multisite front, Amanda and Meredith have got you covered. Amanda's put out not one, not two, but three new docs! She's got a great guide for the curious questioners, "What is WordPress Multisite?", a helpful handbook for those beginners out there, "WordPress Multisite: What to Consider when Getting Started", and a magnificent manual for anyone who's looking to level up their WPMS, "Helpful plugins for WPMS Management".

Image of person flying as imaged by ASCII Command Line Art
Command Line Super Hero

And if you've ever worried about how to use WordPress's command line interface to update your WPMS, fear no more. From Meredith comes an awesome support doc, "Updating WPMS from the WP-CLI". Whether you're using cPanel or not, whether you're updating plugins, themes, or the whole shebang, this guide will make it easy for you.

If you're looking to mix things up and move 'em around in Reclaim Cloud, you may be wondering how to get your files from one environment to another. Well, stop wondering, because Jim's put together "Copying Files between Environments using Export Tool", which will help you get everything right where it needs to go.

Flask's pretty popular, right? It's a great framework for your Python-based application, but rather than having to set up and configure a VPS or Python hosting environment, we've got a quick-start app in Reclaim Cloud that'll get you up and running. In "Developing Flask apps on Reclaim Cloud", Taylor will walk you through how to get started with Flask in the Cloud.

And if you've ever registered a domain, you may want to check out our updated "Lifecycle of a Domain - Renewal Timelines" guide, which talks about, well, the lifecycle of a domain: registration, expiration, and beyond. It's got some important details to make sure you're well-informed while managing your domain, so check it out.

Staff Picks

And now it's time to cap off the Roundup in the classic way, with some staff picks! Check out all the things that got us thinking, creating, "ooh"-ing and "ahh"-ing, or just plain smiling this month.

Bryan Mathers' art of a videocassette, a record, an arcade video-game joystick, a TV, and a small bubble with a world inside.
We've got so many fun things to share!

Since we've been thinking about open-source tools and how we can make best use of them in higher ed, Jim was taking a look at apps.education.fr, a French project working to offer digital tools to all National Education officials throughout France. If you speak French and are curious what this open media landscape looks like, go take a look at their site!

If you checked out our blog section, you may have noticed the "I'm blogging, take a message!" GIF Taylor created this month. The tool used was a free Mac-compatible GIF maker called GIF Brewery 3 – if you want to experiment with it, it's available through the App Store.

A many-colored fireworks display.
Searching for "gif GIF" didn't get any good results, but fireworks are a pretty great second!

Also from Taylor is WidgetBot, which we've been using as a tool to host our workshops and flex courses. It's been super useful for embedding our Discord server right alongside streams and videos, so that people can participate in the conversation right as they watch.

A round white robot with antennae looks around curiously before smiling at the camera.
What a cute robot!

If you are longing to learn more about the Sisyphean labor of maintaining 1980s arcade cabinets, then Jim's bavacade To-Do List, Part 1 might be just the pill you need.

Image of an Exidy Venture arcade cabinet
It's a different kind of Venture Capital!

And finally, Pilot wants to wish you a Happy Fat Bear Week! Fat Bear Week is an annual event hosted by the Katmai National Park in Alaska, US. It's a bracket-style tournament celebrating the park's brown bears as they bulk up in preparation for hibernating through the winter. Every day starting October 5th and running through October 11th, between 12pm and 9pm Eastern Time, you can vote for the bear you believe best exemplifies fatness. In preparation for any upcoming elections, go exercise your right to vote!

A brown bear behind a mesh fence waves to the camera.
Bye for this month, and have a bear-y good weekend!

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Dr. Brian Oblivion