Happy 9th birthday to our dear @ReclaimHosting! ?
— Lauren Hanks (@brumface) July 23, 2022
On Saturday Lauren Hanks reminded me that Reclaim Hosting celebrated its 9th birthday. I get confused on the official formation date, I oscillate between the 28th of July (which Gusto—our payroll/hr service—notes as my anniversary) and the 23rd—the date I traditionally associated with it in celebratory posts over the years like this one. So I guess am going to make 23rd the formation date and the 28th my first day of work 🙂
Nine years. Crazy to think we are approaching a decade of Reclaim. I mentioned in the 7 year post how Reclaim was 1) growing and starting to dial in a more definitive sense of culture, and 2) imagining a reality where Tim and I were not as central as we had been to start.
To the first point, I think our hires in 2021 and 2022 have really solidified the questions around culture, which have been to intentionally build a team that is rooted in a support mind-set that is informed and reinforced by educational technology. It helps that Goutam, Pilot, Taylor, and Amanda all came from Domain of One’s Own programs, there understanding of higher education and a deep commitment to vision of technology to both augment and transform education is foundational to being able to both dream up and roll-out an Instructional Technology team in a few short months to start 2022. That has been a gigantic shift in Reclaim’s understanding of itself, that said what it means more specifically is still yet to be determined—which makes it that much more fun! It’s a moment where we can explore, experiment, and figure it out, which i believe is a sandbox for all kinds of magical possibilities.
As to Reclaim operating without Tim and I as central, this has been sealed over the course of our ninth year. If you told me a year ago that Tim would be entirely removed from the day-to-day of Reclaim Hosting starting January 2022, I would’ve laughed …. nervously. But that has been the case, between Lauren ruling the Director of Operations position like a boss; Chris taking over infrastructure and truly shining through not only adroitly managing a mighty fleet of servers—but also making them that much more secure; and Meredith stepping up big time on the regular to train everyone on our team to become fluent in frontline support; we’ve all gotten better as a result. And while Tim’s creative innovation at Reclaim is legend, we now have nine well-rounded team members that truly do make Reclaim bigger than either of its founders, and that’s the dream.
As for me, I’m not going anywhere cause Tim now owns the amazing Reclaim Arcade, so Hosting is all I got! It does help that I love it, and I want to keep experimenting with what a marriage of hosting, support, and edtech looks like as we continue on this journey. In this regard, I have to say our ninth birthday marks a moment where we can not only sustain the laser-focused support our community has come to expect, but also provide a broader outreach thanks to Taylor’s community work and Pilot’s Roundup newsletters—we’re now able to think beyond the immediate. This means building on experiments like the OERxDOmains21 conference delivery platform for ongoing professional development (thanks to Tom Woodward and Michael Branson Smith); more experimentation with container-based edtech; as well thinking through how Domain of One’s Own, WordPress Multisite, and Reclaim Cloud represent a multi-level offering for schools to provide a wide range of options as part of our services—all of which remains undergirded by edtech-drive support.
So, as I reflect on our ninth year of Reclaim Hosting I believe we are entering a new phase wherein we have the headspace to experiment more, re-think how our ostensibly unrelated products can be understood as part of a greater whole, all while creating a culture of the possible at Reclaim Hosting that understands educational technology need not be a clarion call for the apocalypse, but an imaginative way to build cool, fun things that make a difference on a human scale. I’ll take nine more years of that!