Reclaim the Comms

There’s been some discussion around the impact of the decline of centralized networks, such as Twitter, on individual and organizational communications. I’m not sure of the broader impact, but I do know it’s led Reclaim Hosting to take a wide range of approaches that have freed us from the impulse to centralize. More than two years ago we decided to focus on creating a monthly newsletter, as well as starting monthly community chats. More recently we moved away from irregular, syndicated posts from our own personal blogs and created a company-specific blog “Reclaim the Blog.”  Two of the three (the Roundup newsletter and Reclaim the Blog) are run on the open source blog software Ghost.* The community chat is usually held at using the video conferencing software Jitsi, recorded for posterity and archived on ReclaimTV. We like open source.

Screenshot of Reclaim the Blog

Reclaim the Blog

ReclaimTV is another facet of our social approach, we run regular video-based workshops and weekly streams that represent an ever-growing archive of the work we do. The forward facing site of ReclaimTV is built-out with OwnCast (Taylor documents the process here), and we usually use YouTube (and sometimes PeerTube) for the live streaming, which is often managed through StreamYard (but occasionally OBS). What’s more, we have an archive of all our videos in both YouTube and PeerTube that can be readily accessed after they premiere.† The videos you see on the OwnCast front page at are all pulled from PeerTube:

Screenshot of ReclaimTV site


In terms of announcing events, we do as much as we can to announce upcoming events in the monthly Roundup newsletter, and then use Mastodon to regularly remind folks and  make announcements for upcoming streams, blog posts, case studies, etc. A lot of our comms are still driven by email, but we’re hoping more and more they become part of an activity pub network with apps like PeerTube, OwnCast, and Ghost that are, or will soon be, part of the federated network.

Reclaim Hosting’s Community page

In terms of an active community for conversation, Ghost has comments but they’re pretty dead thus far. We’ve been long-time users of Discourse for our forums, but that’s been a pretty quiet space. We decided to use Discord for integrating chat into workshops and live streams, and that has been working pretty well thus far for conversations (thanks to awesome folks like Erik Likness), but I think we could still do better on the broader conversations and pulling in new voices. You can get a sense of the broad range of activities at the page, but the cool thing, at least for me, is that we’re relying on a fair amount of open source tools to create a fairly decentralized social presence. The return to a more heterogeneous web for publishing and connecting can be a bit more work, but at the same time I feel like we are returning to a web of building and connecting the tools to create that unique experience on the web we want, and that’s what I signed up for when I became an edtech—dammit.


*The engagement numbers for both Reclaim’s newsletter and blog are staggering, anywhere from 40%-60% of the 800 users signed up open the email and click through links.

†The PeerTube mirror is based on the not-so paranoid fear of YouTube shutting down our account without notice

This entry was posted in edtech survivalist, edtechsurvivalist, open source, reclaim and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Reclaim the Comms

  1. Eric Likness says:

    YouTube is a wily mercurial master of its domain. Nobody wants a ContentID scare notice coming in their emails or a block thrown up for seemingly innocuous reasons. Let freedom reign.

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