Reclaim the Office

Lindley Estes caught up with Tim Owens yesterday to talk about the new Reclaim Hosting offices in Fredericksburg. Tim and Lauren have already written about the space, and just today Lauren posted an update with pictures of the demo work going on as well as some insights to our thinking about the redesign.

On top of that, Lindley published an article for the Freelance Star today based on her conversation with Tim. What was cool about the article is how she connected the new offices with our earlier collaborations at UMW. Tim’s first day on the job at UMW in 2011 was being thrown into a nutty office space with a makeshift TV studio and a missing Dr. Oblivion, as well as hysterical teaching assistant-once-removed Martha Burtis. The fabled Summer of Oblivion!

When Tim and I were still at UMW one of the things we talked about was having a space like the DTLT offices for Reclaim. Three years later that is becoming a reality, and that’s truly awesome. As noted in the article and Lauren’s post, we’re opening the space up, exposing the ceilings. adding a glass-enclosed conference room, laptop bar, collaborative table, private desks, booths, as well as a recording studio, green screen, and 3D printing. We even have awesome sonic professionals folks like Mark Snyder who have already offered to help out.

That said, I’ve seen enough to know posh offices don’t necessarily make the magic, that’s about the people, the vibe, and the freedom. And after our trip to Portland, it was clear we have those three right now—in fact it was being together for that week that made us think about doing this. We are all locked-in, and very much taking care of business as I suggested in a recent braggy post about just this topic. In fact, Brian Lamb commented on that post asking how we managed our distributed workflow, which brought me to the post I wrote over a year ago about settling into distributed work from Italy. All of which seems ironic given I am writing a post about our new collaborative office space in Fredericksburg, right?

Maybe, but it all seems related to me. We know we can effectively run Reclaim Hosting in a distributed manner around the globe—and I’ll remain distributed for the foreseeable future. But the idea of creating a dynamic space that can become a headquarters for Reclaim as well as a communal hub for distributed workers in and around Fredericksburg is a new challenge. And if it has any of the energy and goodness of ds106, as Lindley suggested in her Tweet above, then I can’t help but think it will be a most fun and creative one at that.

An Office Update

Though I’m currently living about two hours from Fredericksburg, I’ve been making the trip up here every couple weeks or so– can’t stay away! I’m so amazed with how quickly the office space is already transforming. Demolition started yesterday, and already we have three walls knocked down and most of the ceiling tiles removed. Jim, Tim, and I are having weekly meetings to discuss new changes and ideas for the space: including but not limited to a 1950’s wooden phone booth, 3-D Printing station, floor-to-ceiling glass walls, and a 10-foot farm table. (Check out Tim’s post to read more about our vision.) I’m thrilled.

Last week I was able to pick out a chair, rug, and two coffee tables from a local furniture store in Waynesboro- made it all the more real, let me tell you. 🙂 We’re going to be pulling in a lot of industrial gray tones with wooden & steel accents. The area itself will be very simplistic & open. An open ceiling concept with a poured concrete floor. The stuff inside the space– that’s where the magic happens. An orange couch, colorful art, and a little bit of greenery to liven the place up.

I made a quick mood board that embodies (at least for me) the vibe of the space. I want the darks and lights to compliment each other, and I want every color in the space to feel genuine and intentional. Can colors be genuine? Well, they are now.

In case you missed it, take a look at my previous post for an idea of how the space looked like before we began. Now take a look at its current state:

I spy tall ceilings & a massive coworking space!! What about you?

Reclaiming Domain Privacy

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One of the issues that’s gotten increasingly troublesome recently has been the increasingly more aggressive domain registration spam and scams. As I wrote earlier this year, it’s gotten to the point where companies are calling our clients soon after sign-up pretending to work for Reclaim and asking for credit card information. This is unconscionable, and we knew then and there we could no longer make identity protection for domains optional. So, as of January 1, 2017 we will be including ID protect for all new domains, whether registered individually or as part of a hosting account.

There is a cost involved in doing this, so we will be increasing the price of domains to $15 /year, and Student and Faculty shared hosting accounts will be raised to $30 and $50 /year respectively. We understand increasing prices may not be ideal for many, but being able to guarantee Reclaimers’ online identity helps justify the costs while reinforcing an ethos of openness and vigilance when it comes to one’s digital lifebits.

Let us know in the comments below if you have questions or concerns.

Nota bene: Any existing coupon codes that entail bulk account purchases will be honored at previous pricing structure.