Reclaim Hosting and the Space of Possibility

About a week ago Hosting Advice published an article featuring Reclaim Hosting. It was pretty cool given it is the second article Hosting Advice published about Reclaim, the first being back in 2016 when we were just getting our legs. It’s interesting to reflect where we are 5 years later, and one of the biggest, most welcome differences is the visibility and leadership of Lauren Hanks in the recent article. The relevance of Reclaim Hosting is premised on the growth of the folks that work with us, and it that regard I believe we are continuing to grow. The Reclaim is really starting to take shape and I believe by year’s end we will be in a position to start being far more pro-active to the demands of growth and scaling, a process made trickier by our insistence on resisting outside funding and investment.

In this regard, the recent article tells a story of a company working to provide new services, while simultaneously preserving a sense of personal service and attention that made us compelling from the start. Forgetting your community and turning your back on what made you relevant to begin with often goes hand-in-hand with venture capital investment, and we have seen it all too regularly in edtech. At the heart of this, at least for me, is the fact that Reclaim Hosting continues to lead with support and follow-up with a promise that cheap or free, while crucial, is not just a way to get your foot in the door or promote open educational resources, it’s a commitment to a community around providing them the tools and resources to build their own world online outside the online architecture of data extraction that everywhere surrounds us:

“I do think there’s a bigger question to be asked about how far we can go with free before it either catches up to us or we’re selling more than just student data, and we’re giving away the farm,” Jim said. “When you’re a hosting company, what’s your responsibility to the sacredness of that data?”

This is Reclaim’s perspective on data monetization — something Jim said he is very proud of.

“We try and keep as much of that outside of the relationship,” he said. “They pay for a service, and that’s what they get. And there’s no additional extraction of information.”

It’s a privilege and an honor to continue to provide a service to the educational community that I’m proud of. It gets me up in the morning and puts a smile on my face. There is no casuistry needed when explaining this: we provide a space of possibility for faculty, students, and staff to build a better web.

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