CoWork – we took over and renovated a co-working office space in Fredericksburg starting in December, and that is now open and fully operational. The space looks amazing (as does the website), and what’s crazy is that the entire design process was all Reclaim and quite a Frankenstein creation—and it turned out gorgeously.
I’m really excited to get back to Fredericksburg in 10 days or so that I can work out of the space in the flesh. What’s cool about CoWork is that it is a realization of something Tim and I were dreaming about while still working at UMW’s Convergence Center-a work space of our own. Just two short years later we made it happen
Domains 2017 – We are running a conference in Oklahoma City on June 5th and 6th, which is only two weeks away now. It’s always a bit nerve-wracking to throw a party like this in fear no one will come, especially given it’s the first time. That said, when has our community ever let us down? EVER?! Folks are locked in, and this is happening in a big way. We have closed official registration, but if you still want to come and are alright with the possibility of not getting an awesome shirt you can still register on the downlow here. The drop-dead registration date is May 30th given we have to give the hotel a final head count then, so this is a special link for all you fine bava readers. Some other special things about Domains 2017 is that we’re brining in a very special ds106 DJ for the Domains Fair, and various conference functions and after parties 🙂 More details on that forthcoming.
Additionally, after drawn-out negotiations, untenable requests, and a generally demanding artist scenario – we’re thrilled to announce infamous ed-tech punk rock legends The Dead Moocmen have agreed to perform live on Monday night. I’ll be writing more extensively about this, but I could not be more thrilled at the prospect. And as always, thanks to Bryan Mathers for the lightening fast turn around on the art request. It will help us with The Dead Moocmen swag we’ll need to convince folks to donate to the cause in order to offset the band’s ridiculous drink demands during the gig. Bring your lunch money to the show 🙂
Rockaway Hosting – we quietly opened up a second hosting company earlier this month. The reasoning behind this was pretty simple, we wanted to be able to keep Reclaim Hosting focused on education and affordable for faculty and students alike. And given the word was getting out about us, we were beginning to have a good number of people who wanted to host with us, but needed more resources, a service level agreement, and business-level support that were not necessarily education specific. So, this was a nice solution for us, create Rockaway so we can point folks there that need more than what we offer through Reclaim without confusing the two.
All that said, between the office and the conference we have not had much time to push Rockaway too hard, which is kinda of nice given we really don’t have to. We’d like to see this organically grow based on need, and that really only happens if we continue to provide the experience folks have come to expect at Reclaim.
Another development this semester I’ve yet to discuss on this blog—which is a sign I’m slipping—is that we had our very first intern this Spring. Newly minted UMW graduate Meredith Fierro interned with us as part of her Digital Media Studies major. She even blogged about her internship, and we were truly blown away at how ready and willing she was to throw herself into the support game from day 1. She worked twice a week for ten weeks, and when the internship ended Tim and I quickly offered her full-time job starting this June. In fact, hiring Meredith was not only cool on a personal level given she was part of the True Crime freshman seminar Paul Bond and I ran back in Fall 2013 (her first semester!), but she was also a ds106er and worked as a tutor at UMW’s Digital Knowledge Center. She is eminently qualified for the work, and her time as an intern proved that she fits in perfectly. I’m sure Martha Burtis would concur that Meredith’s path through UMW represents a unique cross-section of all the ways UMW students are exposed to the digital liberal arts as part of their journey, and Reclaim is thrilled to benefit from all that good work. Welcome Meredith!
So, in short, the last 6 months just further reinforces how awesome Reclaim Hosting is in every way. Back in October, coming off a great Reclaim week in Portland, Oregon, Tim and I sat in a bar in Fredericksburg and mapped out a plan for the coming year: office space, conference and an additional hire (Rockaway was not something we were seriously considering yet). We did everything we set out to do for 2017 and more so far, and this has been my experience working with Tim on Reclaim Hosting in general—we get the things we say we will do done, and quickly. What’s more, while doing them, we try not forget the good people who got us here. So far, 2017 has been all about investing back in Reclaim to ensure we maintain the amazing experience folks have come to expect, while keeping it fresh and providing a space we can operate from. I could not be more thrilled with what we have all accomplished thus far, and in some ways Domains 2017 will be a celebration of all that and more! Thanks folks for believing in us, we love you!