It has been a pretty amazing start of 2022 at Reclaim Hosting, with the creation of an Instructional Technology group, the building of an edtech professional development community, and then all things Reclaim Cloud, there has been no shortage of things to get excited about. In fact, it’s been a challenge keeping up with the fire hose of awesome!
Thankfully we are now 4 months into another highlight of 2022: the monthly newsletter Reclaim Roundup. Friday saw the fourth issue of this monthly chronicle of the work happening around Reclaim, it is something to behold.
Hard to convey how amazing it is to see a monthly collection of the great work happening @reclaimhosting via our Roundup newsletter. We are 4 months in now, and it has done wonders for keeping our distributed team connected through all the awesome work https://t.co/OcANcE4dGc
— Jim Groom (@jimgroom) April 30, 2022
And as I mentioned on Twitter this weekend, it can do wonders for keeping a distributed team like ours connected. And while we now have over 500 subscribers (more on that dangerous number in a bit) and has potential as a marketing tool, I think more than anything it provides a look inside the daily work at Reclaim Hosting which makes it an ideal hiring tool. We have been unbelievably fortunate with attracting amazing talent over the last year—Pilot Irwin‘s work on the Roundup is one of many examples of that—and I want to believe the newsletter not only provides folks important announcements, but also a look inside the work folks are doing at the company more generally.
This would be particularly relevant for anyone who might be considering applying for our recently announced Instructional Support Specialist position. I think it was Cloudflare that noted their blog was as much, if not more so, a recruiting tool than a broader marketing channel for new business. It’s a way to give potential colleagues a sense of what’s happening and who is doing it—I love that perspective. For me blogging was always about documenting the work, and the newsletter is just documenting all the work from everyone at Reclaim all at once. It’s like a monthly mega-blog!
On a more technical note about this month’s newsletter—and back to that 500 subscribers number—we had an issue with sending out the email for the first time. When Pilot published the newsletter in Ghost we got an error that no emails could be sent. Turns out the official Docker instance of Ghost we’re using runs SQLite for the database, which after some quick error searching seems to have some issues. In particular, it throws an error when trying to email over 500 people.
What’s more, once the post is published in Ghost there is no going back to parse and re-send the emails to smaller groups, so you have to copy and paste the entire post into a new post and re-publish in order to try and re-send email. Small inconvenience, right? Theoretically, but turns out it is particularly annoying given the way in which the text blocks work to prevent you from getting a clean version of the code from the editor, forcing you to copy the published post into a new post editor and then do a clean-up of any embeds to make sure it all works as you like—tell me again about why you love those “easy to use” block editors? They’re oh-so-easy until they’re a complete pain-in-the-ass. Sometimes dumbing-down basic web literacies in our tools does more harm than good.
Anyway, all worked out and I can now do some research to figure out how to resolve the SQLite issue before next month’s issue. And, to be fair, in the end I can stomach some of these new fangled editing tools given how focused Ghost is at being a slick, clean newsletter—but is a clean way to copy and paste a post’s code from the editor too much to ask?