A wonderful symptom of launching Instructional Technology at Reclaim Hosting has been the rediscovery, for me at least, of all the avenues to join in alongside others and “reclaim” slices of the web. It has been such a joy to be a part of this community, and to watch it transform and grow through the years has been one of the more rewarding aspects of my job.
But the Reclaim Community didn’t just appear overnight; it was the slow burn of good people doing good work, and then meeting regularly to talk about it. These meetings and conversations have taken many different shapes and forms: We have traveled to campuses to speak with folks in person. We have hosted workshops,
Domains art conferences, and even virtual singalong karaOERkes. Folks from all over the world have come to listen in on the radio, comment on forum posts, challenge us in support requests, write in discord, participate in DS106 daily assignments, share thoughts in blog comments, experiment with cloud environments, strategize on best practices in the open web, buy reclaim t-shirts, watch retro domains videos, read monthly newsletters, …
I could go on and on and on.
There isn’t an individual thing that automatically makes a ‘Capital C’ Community, but rather a bunch of small, intentional moments that, when combined, is rather special.
We wanted to make sure that anyone hearing about Reclaim Hosting for the first time could easily learn what we’re about– aside from basic web hosting. To that end, we’ve been working on a special project for a while now and I’ll be excited to see the first part of it come to fruition in the next few weeks. Right now, community.reclaimhosting.com is home to our Community Forums where users can go to ask questions, comment on tech trends, submit feature requests, and more. At one time, this space was also home to our support documentation until guides were later moved to our dedicated knowledge base during summer 2021. This also feels like an appropriate time to share a snippet of one of the first forum posts from October 2014:
While the Forums space is great, it takes up prime domain real estate in a way that doesn’t do the larger Community justice. When someone goes to community.reclaimhosting.com, we want them to see all of the community happenings, not just a single element. (And how cool that we’ve reached a point where there are so many other elements to share!)
Over the coming weeks, we’ll be moving the Community Forums to the better suited forums.reclaimhosting.com subdomain in order to free up community.reclaimhosting.com for a different landing page:
Thanks to Bryan Mathers‘ artwork, we are able to build out a visual collection of all the ways to join in the fun at Reclaim. I see this space continuing to expand over time as new elements arise, but for now, this feels like an impressive feat and kudos to the team (and community!) for making it all happen.
When you click on each TV monitor, the succeeding popup window will give you a brief summary of what each section represents at Reclaim, along with supplementary links, and updated activity like recent posts, new video streams, upcoming events, new support guides, and more. A one stop shop. Tom Woodward and Taylor Jadin have been collecting API endpoints to pull in current data automatically, which is extremely cool. Tom is also working to flatten the site to make it load at warp speed, and I’m so excited to see the final product. I built the original site design using WordPress and Elementor, mostly so we could have a skeleton of what we wanted it to look like. I also used popup windows as a way to avoid page changes (i.e. community.reclaimhosting.com/page) to make redirecting forum posts cleaner when the time comes.
Below is a sneak peek of some of the language used to define different community elements at Reclaim.
What is Instructional Technology at Reclaim Hosting?
Simply put, this is professional development and intentional community support built specifically with Educational Technologists in mind.
The tools we host are only as interesting as the people behind them, and it’s our goal to create a structure to help everyone explore, question, learn, and build the future of teaching and learning together. We are a niche support hub and learning community for curious minds and creative tinkerers, whether you have a background in Instructional Design, advanced IT Support, or sit somewhere in between.
What’s a Community Chat?
Community Chats are a chance for the Reclaim community to get together once a month in an informal setting and connect about different web technologies, working with Reclaim Hosting products, or discussing anything else that might be trending in higher ed.
The monthly topic is chosen by the Reclaim team and announced a few weeks in advance. Community Chats are completely free, open for anyone to attend, and a great chance to get to know folks from other schools that might be running projects similar to yours.
What does Reclaim talk about?
It’s no secret that there’s a lot going on at Reclaim Hosting. At any given time, we’re planning for upcoming trainings, scheduling out infrastructure maintenance and improvements, and even looking towards our next biennial Domains conference.
Our internal team has a lot to say, too. We’re always narrating the work that we do by capturing our thinking blog posts, podcasts, and informal streams. We’re so happy that you want to be a part of the conversation.
What are the Reclaim Community Forums?
This is a space for general conversation relating to web hosting, domains, best practices, web software, and anything else trending in higher ed. We want this to be place for questioning, learning, and exploring. There’s even a space to submit feature requests if you’re interested. For more real-time chats, check out our Discord server!
Reclaiming the Newsletter
A lot goes on backstage at Reclaim Hosting, and we want to share it all with you. The Reclaim Roundup is published on the last day of each month and includes the following topics:
• Company Announcements (hiring, infra maintenance, etc.)
• New support documentation & other video tutorials/streams
• Event recaps & what’s coming next month
• Blog Posts, Podcasts, and other conversations around the web
• Other Staff picks (like 90’s Cursor Effects, you’re welcome)
• The greatest collection of GIFs of all time
What does Support look like at Reclaim Hosting?
Support is rooted in almost everything we do at Reclaim, and it’s one of our key considerations when we think about upcoming events, plan for infrastructure improvements, and even hire new team members. We want everyone that engages with Reclaim Hosting to have a top-tier support experience, and that means that we aim to listen, teach, consult, and help out any way we can. For more information, read more about our core values.
Support takes many shapes at Reclaim Hosting, including but not limited to: thorough responses in Support tickets, observing unique Service Level Agreements, regularly adding to our Support Documentation, creating Professional Development materials for upcoming trainings, jumping in on escalated Support calls, and monitoring our fleet of servers around the clock.
What is Reclaim TV?
Reclaim TV is a collection of of video recordings running on a self-hosted PeerTube instance of all things happening at Reclaim Hosting. As we slowly make the switch from YouTube, Reclaim TV will be our home base for archived events, community chats, podcast episodes, impromptu streams, and how-to videos.
Reclaim Hosting around the Web
Reclaim Hosting can be found on a number of social media accounts, and connecting with us on these platforms can be a great way to stay in the know or quickly get in touch. We use these tools to talk about the work we’re doing, highlight voices in the community, share upcoming maintenance, and more.