Reclaim web hosting: An educational Technologist and a Developer group as much as present practical and easy web hosting for Universities


TL; DR: Getting started constructing a web site may also be daunting. the combo of hardware and tool, the phrases and technology, and the by no means ending circulate of dangerous knowledge on the internet leaves a number of other people scratching their head and giving up on their dreams of a digital id. Tim Owens and Jim Groom envision an international where webhosting is inconspicuous, shared, and to be had to someone that has a want to say it. collectively they’re turning that dream into fact with easily available web hosting for everyone — including a product for students and workforce to get free website hosting via their college. Tim Owens used to be just a self-proclaimed “geek at heart” with a technical career in larger schooling except the day he and some contributors of his Twitter network devised a plan. uninterested in forking over 10 to 20 bucks a month to secure a site of their own and host it on a shared server, they fashioned a kind of “server co-op,” i.e., sharing house on a private digital server quite than each paying over a hundred bucks once a year on shared server internet hosting. in the meantime, another technologist in the higher-ed sector, Jim Groom had launched ds106: an online and open-to-all route in digital storytelling. by way of providing students with day-to-day challenges to think and design outside the field, the “non-route course” has fostered a neighborhood of ingenious thinkers on a quest to building their digital id. Jim Groom and Tim Owens met one fortuitous day in 2011, later spearheading superior initiatives like Reclaim hosting. the category is free to take, equipped you already personal or have get right of entry to to a computer, internet, hosting, and a domain identify, and the community has grown to incorporate a whole lot of lively think about-eers, as a way to discuss. five years in the past, standing out amongst 500 or so, was Tim. Jim Groom & Tim Owens speak about the road to Serving 1,000s of students Jim sought out Tim and collectively they joined forces, striking out to empower the ed tech world with hosting ideas that may make bigger the scope of what will be done on the web for college students, educators, and their establishments. today, Jim describes ds106 as “an epicenter of the work we wished to do” — and it’s the flicker of ardour in his voice that mandated we talk with these two educators grew to become web hosting evangelists. Digital Storytelling with ds106 & the “Server Co-Op” That impressed Hippie website hosting Jim’s free on-line course in digital storytelling (ds106) evolved from an “open experiment” to a web of over 50,000 contributor posts. The direction is an amoeba advocating inventive virtual expression and exploration. via 2013, the class had gained a lot traction that it impressed a spin-off undertaking: Headless ds106, wherein there is no trainer (no Jim?!); college students self-administer the syllabus tasks at their very own will. in the meantime, Tim’s “server co-op” grew from “just a group of pals sharing a server” to a full-fledged internet host: Hippie hosting — the precursor to Reclaim internet hosting. these of you who entered the internet in its early degrees may just take into account that the times when you had a tilde account, FTP access, and a miniscule quantity of disk area to work with. perhaps you’ll take into account “FTP-ing” round and calling it “web hosting.” while you probably realized rather a lot, you probably ripped out more than a few of your hairs as well. both ds106 and Hippie website hosting (and later, Reclaim hosting) stemmed from the realization that internet hosting and growing on the net typically can be more straightforward — and that both should be available. Giving every interested student, instructor, or college Member a website of one’s personal They instated a mission: “We want to be an unbiased ed tech firm that provides school and students an extraordinarily reasonably priced space the place they may be able to keep watch over their digital identity,” Jim elaborated. segment I was once a plan that Jim had been dreaming of in view that ’08 — a plan to equip any student or faculty member that wished one with a site identify and a space to host it online. They known as it: a site of one’s personal. area of 1’s personal empowers instructional institutions to provide any pupil or workforce member a domain and internet hosting. They started out at college of Mary Washington (UMW), where Jim and Tim were each employed on the time. With the lend a hand of Martha Burtis, who Jim told us had been a useful contributor to the success of ds106 as smartly, Jim and Tim pioneered the movement to give every UMW student and team of workers member access to practical website hosting. they selected the server, installed the tool, managed operations, and secured the licensing for the control panel, striking the establishment contributors in regulate. area of 1’s personal project: where Universities Can turn into internet Hosts The area of 1’s personal challenge is now utilized by lots of students related to a range of tutorial establishments. The package permits colleges and universities to offer a self-branded hosting experience that’s all their very own to their students and school contributors. “We construct out a portal for every of our institutions and it’s branded for them,” Tim stated (e.g., for Brigham young college). customized Branding for golf equipment, colleges, or college-extensive Use by using individuals as of late, area of one’s own (DoOO) customers are by no means in fact interacting with the undertaking’s guardian company, Reclaim web hosting (founded by means of Jim and Tim in 2013); as an alternative they experience a seamless internet hosting expertise supplied with the aid of their organization. DoOO is used in both tutorial settings, e.g., along side the curriculum in the writing program at Emory college, and for college kids’ and body of workers individuals’ non-public use. “It’s flexible, so any school can do whatever they want with it, and we’ve viewed an enormous variety of use circumstances,” Tim shared. He threw out just a few examples, together with particular person student use, club organizers wanting an online presence for their society, and college individuals the usage of it for their portfolio or path knowledge. “i love that NYU is the usage of it and they’re simply calling it straight-up hosting,” Jim delivered, chuckling. “Their library is working it as a webhosting server and so they’re announcing, “here’s web hosting for whoever desires it,” and i just love that.” Integration with the varsity’s Single signal-On for a Seamless expertise To the end-person, their college is simply providing them with a shared server web hosting experience. Jim had excessive praise to give against his accomplice for engineering the ability to integrate their webhosting with the varsity’s single sign-on. “Tim can sell it, Tim can build it, Tim can think about it — he’s the entire package,” Jim mentioned. “We mainly packaged the website hosting as an iFrame the usage of WordPress as a container. Then we built-in cPanel right into a WordPress interface to make the experience easy through WordPress plugins, however it also made the experience completely seamless for the scholar or faculty person.” the student or group of workers member can log in with their college login, select a site, and voila: cPanel appears. “We wish to be an unbiased ed tech firm that provides faculty and students an extraordinarily affordable area the place they may be able to keep an eye on their digital identification.” – Jim Groom, Reclaim internet hosting Co-Founder “i feel it’s a quantum jump from what we have been doing with internet hosting even five years in the past,” Jim brought. schools pick up the price of the web hosting, and the institution has regulate over which features are to be had. as an example, an organization can make a choice to show off eCommerce features or sure security settings in cPanel. students can also log in by the use of SSH, however the college determines whether or not or no longer that is an choice as well. for people who do allow SSH access, the venture makes use of CloudLinux to make certain that no one student can inadvertently consume up all the CPU allowance for the month. In equivalent fashion, they use MySQL Governor to contain MySQL procedures. Sharing Hippie internet hosting With any person — the rise of Reclaim webhosting by summer time of 2013, Jim and Tim had requested themselves the query: What if we took the concept of Tim’s server co-op (Hippie website hosting) and supplied it to any person who used to be ? Responding with fervor, they registered their idea as an organization and referred to as it Reclaim web hosting. taking part with MIT Hackers To Kick Off The movement just earlier than they got began with Reclaim web hosting in 2013, Jim attended a Hackathon hosted via MIT, where he was once offered to Audrey Waters, a sustainable and moral ed tech group fanatic, and relatives Lane, an API evangelist. “We came from a concept of empowering college students and faculty from the beginning, however we teamed up, to some degree, with Audrey and family to suppose extra widely about what this is able to mean as a motion with ed tech,” Jim shared. Explosive growth for an Empowering group Reclaim webhosting commenced as a wholly bootstrapped operation. “For all the first year we ran the company at-price,” Jim said. “We informed those who we couldn’t afford to purchase the domains for them, but when they would pay 12 greenbacks for his or her domain, we would cover their complete internet hosting prices for your complete yr.” From July of 2013 in the course of the summer season of 2014, they operated like that. Tim instructed us he remembers announcing and considering, “We’re not sure if this is going to work — if this can be a startup that’s going to take off, or if that is just something fun that we’re going to do for a 12 months.” inside a 12 months, about 1,400 people had signed up. workforce Reclaim internet hosting: Jim Groom (top Left), Tim Owens (backside Left), & Lauren Brumfield (backside proper) Humbly in awe of their success, the crew adjusted their pricing version to acknowledge the truth that what they had been offering was certainly legit and taking off. “I don’t suppose Tim and i expected us to have the success that we endured within the first yr, but that used to be fun,” Jim chuckled. Tim used to be ready to maneuver full-time to the Reclaim webhosting undertaking in January of 2015 and Jim followed suite just a few months later. the entire while, they’ve saved the prices “practicable for educators,” the gentlemen agreed. The Reclaim website hosting Duo overview: building Your Digital identification #4life whereas retracing their steps to engineering empowerment for the ed tech community, Jim and Tim never showed signs of their ardor for making the web an accessible and superior area for student construction wavering. definitely, this staff has adopted the “for life” mentality that’s featured in Jim’s ds106 path with the hashtag: #4life. Jim informed us at one level, “ds106 changed my existence — and i say that jokingly, because it’s a comic story-y category, but ds106 was the litmus test for domain of 1’s personal.” It was once the “canary within the coal mine” that decided whether or not or no longer this idea of giving every student and educator a platform to discover and construct their digital id would work. to claim it used to be a success can be an underestimation. Reclaim hosting, domain of one’s own, and ds106: highly effective tasks led by using Jim Groom and Tim Owens area of 1’s own is now used by 35 schools, serving virtually 10,000 college students, and with the evolution of Hippie internet hosting that grew into Reclaim web hosting, Jim and Tim have offered up the chance for a “server co-op” to everybody. nowadays, the Reclaim web hosting crew consists of Jim, Tim, and their Operations manager and recent UMW graduate Lauren Brumfield, and while they’ve grown abruptly, they’ve by no means taken on any outdoor funding. As Jim mentioned, they’re about “making a modest value proposition while steadily rising over time.” the 2 halves of this dynamic duo seem to share a vision for the place their wheelhouse is, how to toughen while staying within it, and what a sustainable, long-term plan for empowering their niche neighborhood looks like. The HostingAdvice workforce can’t wait to see where the #4life direction takes them subsequent! photo Sources: Alan Levine (, Mark Snyder (, Bryan M. Mathers (


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