Reclaiming 2015

Image Credit: "Keep on Reclaimig" by Alan Levine

Image Credit: “Keep on Reclaimig” by Alan Levine

2015 was a rough year on many fronts. In the U.S. racial tensions continued to boil over; the richest few didn’t getting any poorer; mass shootings reached epidemic levels; and American politics have become even more farcical than many thought possible. Globally, ISIS continues to terrorize and their victims have become our targets. And to round it off, the bizarre weather continues to freak us all out. I don’t live in bubble, and all these things effect me given I exist in this moment, but at the same time 2015 may have been one the best year on record for me personally, which feels odd to write given everything that came before it. Anto and I have been dreaming of spending an extended amount of time in Italy with our friends and family there for more than a decade. This year we made it happen. I officially quit my day job at Mary Washington in June—where I worked for just under a decade—and the family got on a plane to Europe in September. I followed shortly after. The whole thing happened pretty fast, and the change has been refreshing on so many levels,* but watching the kids navigate a new language, culture, and extended family they’d only experienced in small fragments up and until now has been worth the risk alone.

But I’m not sure it was all that much a risk thanks to the insanely hard work and unbelievable organizational acumen of my partner and friend Tim Owens.
Reclaim Hosting went full blown in 2015, and thanks to Tim’s laying of the groundwork for the previous year and a half we found ourselves in a situation where we both could go full time. We were also able to bring on UMW alum Lauren Brumfield and Joe McMahon this year. What’s more, we remain truly fortunate for the continued positive feedback and support from so many folks within the higher ed community of North America and beyond. We have built Reclaim entirely on word of mouth, and we try and repay the favor with exceptional support for whomever is trying to establish their presence on the web.

So for me 2015 has been humbling and exhilarating all at once. I love what we are doing,
and I think the Reclaim Hosting blog reflects the fact that we are #4life—long live the blog! And even despite our blogging (or is it because of it?), we still have individual and institutional partners who know who we are, what we stand for, and want to keep pushing on alternatives. We have a lot to be thankful for in that, and I really do think 2016 is going to see even more headway in making personal cyberinfrastructure, content syndication, and the personal API easier and better.

And to echo Jennifer Vinopal, what better way to end 2015 then with a mention in William Fenton’s article “Beyond Academia.edu: Taking Control of Your Online Presence” in PC Magazine:

Happy New Year everybody, and thanks for reclaiming!

P.S. Did I mention 2016 is Reclaim’s year? We called it first 🙂

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* Being outside the U.S. has some real psychic advantages, especially given the list I started this post out with.

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