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Emoji Domain- ???.ws

This weekend, I finally decided to jump on the bandwagon (if you can even call it that) and snag an emoji domain. Lol.

How to Register an Emoji Domain

First things first, you need to choose what you want. Chances are you’ll need to have at least two emojis in your new URL since it’s likely that single emoji domains are already registered. To search emojis on your computer, you can go to Edit > Emojis & Symbols on your Desktop,

but I much prefer going to emojipedia.org and searching emojis there. Once you’ve found your set of emojis, copy & paste them into a Punycode translator with a .ws extension: https://www.charset.org/punycode.

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Coventry Domains

I guess if the big boss is making it public, it’s safe to say that Reclaim Hosting has been helping Coventry University get up and running with a pilot of Domain of One’s Own (DoOO). As I alluded to in a previous post, hosting Coventry Domains on Digital Ocean has enabled us to comply with Europe’s data privacy requirements while offering a fast, seamless experience. In fact, given the miserable day we had with our Reliable Site datacenter in New Jersey, having Coventry Domains hosted in Digital Ocean’s London data center has been a total godsend. There will be more of that to come soon.

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Opening Pandora’s Box at Coventry

Yesterday I spoke with a faculty cohort at Coventry University about creating their own portfolios. This group was part of the Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice in Higher Education (or PgCert) course led by Martin Jenkins. PgCert provides professional development for faculty and staff, and this cohort will be building out a portfolio as part of the process. This is exciting because it builds on what Chris Long calls “online scholarly presence,” which provided a great frame for my discussion. Not sure it was recorded, but I’ve included the slides below that link to the various resources I discussed during the short presentation if you’re interested.

This was also exciting because it’s the precursor to a longer trip I’ll be taking to Coventry next week to talk to a number of staff, faculty, and students about opening up the Pandora’s Box that is Domain of One’s Own on their campus. I’m not saying they’re going to be running the very first Domains project in the UK at Coventry University through the Disruptive Media Learning Lab….at least I’m not saying that just yet. Who knows, there may even be a 90s computer lab/living room in our future!

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Opening Pandora’s Box at Coventry

Kiss Me Deadly's Pandora's Box

Yesterday I spoke with a faculty cohort at Coventry University about creating their own portfolios. This group was part of the Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice in Higher Education (or PgCert) course led by Martin Jenkins. PgCert provides professional development for faculty and staff, and this cohort will be building out a portfolio as part of the process. This is exciting because it builds on what Chris Long calls “online scholarly presence,” which provided a great frame for my discussion. Not sure it was recorded, but I’ve included the slides below that link to the various resources I discussed during the short presentation if you’re interested.

This was also exciting because it’s the precursor to a longer trip I’ll be taking to Coventry next week to talk to a number of staff, faculty, and students about opening up the Pandora’s Box that is Domain of One’s Own on their campus. I’m not saying they’re going to be running the very first Domains project in the UK at Coventry University through the Disruptive Media Learning Lab….at least I’m not saying that just yet ? Who knows, there may even be a 90s computer lab/living room in our future!

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Domains of Online Scholarly Presence

Yesterday Michigan State University’s Dean of the College of Arts & Letters, Chris Long, linked to this post on Twitter about MSU’s initiative to provide faculty and graduate students their own domain and web hosting.

Chris Long has been walking the walk of open, online scholarship for a long while now. He started regularly blogging his life and work as Philosophy professor while at Penn State University almost a decade ago, and he has not stopped.* There is added weight to a  dean’s advocacy for an entire college to shape their scholarly presence on the web when that champion has done it throughout their career as a faculty member and administrator.

“We’ve been working with our faculty and graduate students to think strategically about how best to build community around their scholarship by making sure their work is accessible to a broad public,” said Christopher P. Long, Dean of the College of Arts & Letters. “This is really just an extension of the land-grant mission to make knowledge accessible. But it’s also an opportunity to think strategically about how our work is presented and received so that it has the broadest impact possible.

The framing of academic domains as communal and broadly accessible is pitch perfect. Providing these spaces for MSU faculty is a calculated decision to not only help shape individual faculty presence on the web, but opening the door to the broader presence of MSU’s intellectual life online. And Long continues:

“What we realized early on is that students and faculty need a domain of their own, an online space they control to curate and present their work in ways that are consistent with the values and commitments of their research.”

Domains have been protean for the more than 40 schools exploring this as a project on their campus. For some it’s student portfolios, others course sites, others faculty scholarship,  still others straight-up library web hosting, etc. There is no one way at Domains, and the idea that each school molds it to their particular needs is a testament to its flexibility. At the same time domains are trailing edge technology, and they come with a fairly modest claim: simply provide your community a space to publish online. How they publish, what they publish, and for whom becomes is what gives this space a sense of life and personalization. And as the MSU article suggests, they have made providing guidance and support for their community during this process integral. Scott Schopieray, the Assistant Dean of Technology and Innovation, has been leading the effort to help faculty and graduate students get up and running:

“We weren’t providing 21st century web hosting …. all they could use was basic html. They couldn’t use databases, scripting, or install open-source products, none of that …. we will help them learn to build their sites in a way where it makes sense to them so they will remember what they are doing, and they can use any open source platform for content management based on what they are comfortable with.”

Domain projects live and die on the level of advocacy and support, MSU has both in spades in their initiative, which bodes quite well for the domain initiative in the College of Arts and Letters.

Yesterday was the first we at Reclaim heard about MSU’s announcement and their compelling two-minute video framing the project (you can find it at the top of this post). I must say we were pretty excited and humbled that they featured Reclaim Hosting so prominently. We try not to push ourselves on folks and we don’t pretend we are the next great disruptors of anything, we simply provide laser-focused support for student, faculty, and institutions exploring domains in a higher ed context. That’s our thing, and when smart folks like Chris Long and Scott Schopieray include us in their elegant and intelligent framing of what this means for their community, we really appreciate it.

In fact, there has been a series of extremely thoughtful, almost foundational posts, recently from Maha Bali, Audrey Watters, and Kate Bowles that I am now linking to for the second time in as many days/posts. The conversation around what domains are and are not is taking on some real momentum, and I have to say it is nice to see this conversation led by some of the smartest folks in the field. I have much to say on their respective posts, and that blog post has been in the works for a while given the conversation keeps getting richer with every addition, but something Audrey Watters said in her “A Domain of One’s Own in a Post-Ownership Society” beautifully captures how something like a domains project reinforces the ideal of a public Web:

But the Web – and here I mean the Web as an ideal, to be sure, and less the Web in reality – has a stake in public scholarship and public infrastructure. Indeed, I’d contend that many of the educational technologies that schools have chosen to adopt in lieu of the Web, in lieu of projects like Domain of One’s Own, help further this Uber-ification of education, in which everything we do now is trackable, extractable, and monetizable by other platforms, by private, for-profit companies.

This vision of public scholarship and infrastructure is echoed in Chris Long’s notion of the ideals that can and should undergird a public, land grant university that is invested in cultivating and sharing as widely as possible the ideas that inform who we are as a culture. The web is not adjunct to the mission of higher ed, in many ways it has become the mission.

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*I became familiar with Chris’s work thanks to Cole Camplese‘s tireless advocacy of so much of the great ed-tech work that came out of Penn State in the last decade.

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Georgetown Slavery Site

One of the things we were given a heads up about recently was the fact that the Georgetown Slavery, Memory, and Reconciliation site would be running Georgetown’s Domain of One’s Own server. Earlier this week they gave us a heads up there may be some interest and, as a result, traffic spikes over the coming days. Tim threw up the W3 Total Cache plugin, and things have held pretty solid thus far (knock on wood). It was wild to see the conversation around this topic emerge in my Twitter stream yesterday, and I was really impressed with Tressie McMillam Cottom’s post about why this important move by Georgetown should not be labelled reparations. It was clear this announcement was generating important discussion around questions of history, race, and what it means to make amends as not only an institution, but more generally as a culture.

One of the things I was thinking about when going through the site—admittedly this is a formalistic observation based on my fascination with what’s possible with a domain and web hosting rather  than a comment on the question of reparations (although I think Tressie makes the latter point brilliantly)—was how this announcement was framed as a web-based experience. The main WordPress site, the historical timeline using Timeline.js, the extensive use of video to highlight the conversations had, the Slavery Archive in Omeka, the embedded report, the contact form using Google forms, etc.  The whole environment provides a powerful example of what you can create using a bunch of open source and/or free tools through a domain and web hosting account to architect a robust media environment around a topic. Fact is, domains and web hosting are still quite important to build a web of knowledge and understanding how to create a compelling argument using various media including a domain and a few select publishing tools is not dead yet.

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New Server: Joy Division

You cry out in your sleep,
All my failings exposed.
And there’s a taste in my mouth,
As desperation takes hold.
Just that something so good just can’t function no more.

“Love Will Tear Us Apart Again” – Joy Division

If there are more devastating lyrics than these in a love song, I don’t think I have heard them yet. The second server we are rolling out this Fall at Reclaim Hosting is named after the Manchester legends of post-punk: Joy Division. As a kid coming of age to music in the 1980s, few bands had a more powerful aura even before hearing their music. Much of this was because of Ian Curtis’s suicide before their planned U.S. tour.* All of which was further reinforced by the band’s dark, ambient sense of an emotional world lost—which adds further fuel to the narrative that associates them with a whole new gothic sound. The 1980s pastiche Stranger Things didn’t miss the psychic hold this band had on a generation, and I was taken by the fact they chose the song “Atmosphere.”

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Capture, Annotate and Share Screenshots

Newest app worth looking into: Annotate

I’ve been using this app for a couple of months, per Tim‘s discovery, and it rocks. As both the title of this post and the tagline of the app suggest, Annotate really does change the name of the game in the world of screenshotting.

Capture, Annotate and Share Screenshots

^Annotate allows you box out the part of a screenshot that you’re wanting to focus on. This is most useful in showing a customer where to click inside of their account. I love that it still keeps the rest of the screenshot visible so the viewer can keep their whereabouts, but still hones in on the important part of the screenshot.

Capture, Annotate and Share Screenshots

^Another favorite Annotate feature is the blurring out tool. I’m sure it’s assumed, but this is helpful for writing tutorials or support tickets where you need to screenshot a window that has holds private information. This screenshot also exemplifies the arrow and text features.

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