I’m sitting in Zurich airport preparing to return to the motherland for Reclaim Open after celebrating 20 years of marriage to my special lady friend. Lisbon was amazing, and life continues to be a gift with Antonella, I’m a very lucky man. It was our first time visiting Lisbon, and that city’s attractions are like something out of an amazing Dungeons and Dragons map, I really loved it.
But that is just one of the many anniversaries—albeit by far the most important—that are happening this year. I celebrated 10 years off the sauce, WordPress turned 20 years old last month, the world wide web went open 30 years ago in April, and next month Reclaim Hosting gets its double-digit wings by turning 10 years old in July—which is insane. Next week we kick off the celebration with our bi-annual conference re-framed as Reclaim Open, which will find many of the original DTLT crew back at the University of Mary Washington.
I’m really excited for this event, especially given this conference is going to be fairly small and focused. We’ll be lucky if we get 50 people all told. And all those attending represent a community of folks that still believe in the possibilities of the open web for education, and I count myself a proud member of this shrinking club. In fact, that was the take-away for me from OER23 in April, that re-connecting and re-committing to the work open ed techs do is crucial. It’s work I love, work I believe in, and work that has never been more important. We’re a motley crew strewn across the globe here and there, but for a few days Reclaim Open will bring together a handful of those mutants for a celebratory meeting to help us remember what it is we do and why—especially in the wake of the pandemic.
What’s more, while we’ve tried to keep it on the down-low given Reclaim hates to over-promise and under-deliver, the the official event (everything but the un-confernece) will be accessible remotely. We’re using our watch site setup discussed in my last post about karaoke to play with a hybrid conference delivery setup, and we plan on streaming all sessions and managing the online conversations through Reclaim Hosting’s Discord server. We can even stream out the Tuesday night karaoke from Reclaim Arcade! So in many ways the conference will be an exploration of how we can deliver an effective hybrid event, and it will be freely accessibly during the conference as well as throughout the month of July when we transition the sessions from the in-person conference to a fully online, month long 10-year anniversary celebration.
So yeah, I am definitely getting fired up for Reclaim Open, and given it is accessible from anywhere you should be too!