Stepping into Domain of One’s Own

Over time, this web space has naturally become a collection of tutorials, guides & how-tos for navigating a Reclaim Hosting account. Documentation makes for really easy blog posts. And I’m constantly learning something at Reclaim. So when I learn something, I blog it. It’s been a great system.

That said, there’s a whole other side of my position at Reclaim that I don’t blog about often, likely because it still feels new and a bit intimidating. But it’s beginning to take up so much of my time that I simply can’t ignore it any longer!

I’ve always had a serious interest in the “people” side of Reclaim Hosting. And by that, I mean discussing with folks at institutions about supporting Domain of One’s Own on their campuses. For those who are new to the scene, Domain of One’s Own is a package offered by Reclaim Hosting to schools who are interested in giving their students and faculty members a space to explore what it means to have an online identity. Everyone who signs up through the customized single sign-on portal is given access to their very own cPanel account & domain. There’s generally a couple (if not a full team) of folks at the school that then spearhead the project and act as liaisons between students/faculty & Reclaim Hosting support.

It’s an incredible initiative, but a project of this magnitude requires a lot of conversation and a lot of moving parts to get up and running. And that’s where I’m beginning to find a new niche at Reclaim. It’s been a slow process, but a rewarding one. When I was first hired at Reclaim, I started by imagining DoOO info kits. That later led to shadowing Jim on interest calls, and then traveling to Muhlenberg College together for a hands-on, two-day workshop. I surprisingly found a voice that I didn’t realize I had there, and was able to speak publicly about Domain of One’s Own for the first time. It was a huge step! Now roughly a year later, shadowing calls here and there, I feel able to take on a larger role during meetings.  At the very least, I’m able to share half of the conversation with Jim. I’ve noticed a huge improvement in my knowledge of nitty-gritty details, and my level of confidence during these conversations has spiked. It’s all very, very cool.

After discussions & signing of contracts comes the actual work: setting up the school’s DoOO platform & learning how to support it. I’ve recently had the opportunity to try my hand at server setup and that’s been a super cool experience as well. Not only because new challenges are fun, but because it’s been wildly helpful for understanding the infrastructure that I help support on a daily basis. When you’re building it from the ground up, you’re able to better understand how everything in the background is connected and working together.

Over the next coming months, I hope to continue moving down this path. I want to continue learning what DoOO means for a given institution; I want to continue cultivating my professional voice; I want to continue learning the nitty-gritty details of Domain of One’s Own. I hope to step further into these conversations, inform & teach. And in my opinion, the more I can stay connected to the folks outside of Reclaim Hosting, the better I can do my job inside Reclaim Hosting.

One comment

  1. I couldn’t agree more with the idea of how useful it is to actually go through a fullblown DoOO server setup in order to get a better sense of the whole. It took me time to get comfortable with everything Tim did to make DoOO so elegant, and once I started setting up servers things started to click. Dealing with people is fun because while it can be technical, it is often simply a matter of understanding how and why schools might need/use Domains. It’s never identical from school to school, and often times you learn as much about what you are doing from how they will use is, rather than some routinized idea of how we imagine it can/should be used. It’s been amazing watching you master all the elements of Reclaim, and its a testament to your drive that no one facet is enough. Forza!

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