Domains 19: Part 2

If you missed Domains 19: Part 1, feel free to read that post first for an overview of the first day of the conference!

Day two of Domains19 was just as great if not better than day one. Martin Hawksey kicked off the day with his first-ever keynote entitled Minority Report: One Nation Under CCTV. The eerie talk was a great bookend to Chris and sava’s talk that we had just listened to the previous day. sava and Chris told futuristic sci-fi stories of surveillance, discriminatory practices, disruptions of privacy, etc. that could/would embed themselves into the world we live in. The following morning, Martin rounded out those discussions by pulling up specific, very real examples of those discriminatory practices and disruptions of privacy happening in the world today. His shared his personal experiences with Google Analytics and facial recognition in real-time on stage, played clips from Minority Report and They Live, and referenced article after article of facial recognition in 2019. A quote from Martin that has resonated with me: “Your face has become a service.”

Similar to day one, I had to do a bit of running around and prepping for the next phase of the day so I missed a large chunk of the presentations that followed Martin’s talk. (I’m planning on watching their recordings over the next several days/weeks!) That said, I did have a chance to pop into a few presentations to take pictures for the @domainsconf twitter page, and enjoyed the above scenes.

During lunch, part of the Reclaim crew briefed the audience (most of whom are DoOO/Managed Hosting institutions) with a “here’s what we’re working on” chat. This included an overview of our journey with making our site/products more accessible (Justin), custom installers and new tools that we’re adding (Tim), how we’re working to organize our support team (Meredith), and the work we’d like to do over the coming months to showcase community work (Jim).

When recapping with the team after the conference, we talked about whether or not a 10-min lunch session was the best format for something like this. In the future, I’d love to offer a dedicated Q&A session where those that want to attend can interact a little more by offering feedback, communicating concerns, and asking targeted questions to the entire Reclaim crew. I attended a session like this at a cPanel conference in 2016 and really appreciated the opportunity to be heard by cPanel developers. If there was a way at the Domains Conference to pull this off, I’d love to make it happen. The other side of that though is that time is so limited during a packed two-day event, and I wouldn’t want a Reclaim session to interfere with or compete with the well-earned time of other concurrent sessions. This is definitely something I want to continue thinking through, and if you have any suggestions I’m all ears. :)

It was an absolute pleasure to hear from Amy Collier after lunch during her keynote, Ambitious Futures for (Digital) Education: Perspectives from Tropicalia. (Her transcript is available here & here.) While our first two keynotes called to light the harsh realities that we currently face regarding surveillance and privacy, Amy explored questions of creative resistance, agency, literacy, and solidarity through the lens of Brazilian music and artwork. She ended the keynote with a strong call to action: 1) be intentionally and extraordinarily cross-disciplinary, 2) make space for students to take risks & be willing to explore one’s freedoms and demolish one’s restrictions, 3) embrace open practices that make anthroprophagia possible, and 4) invert colonizer/colonized relationships in education. It’s not every day that you see the Tropicália Movement pulled into an edtech conference, and I’m forever grateful to Amy for having the courage to speak on a topic so close to home.

All in all, this was an awesome conference and a great “round 2” of Domains. It was hardly perfect, and there’s always room for improvement, but overall I’m proud of the event that we put together. I’m proud that we were able to create a space that allowed 80+ attendees to share their stories, hear new perspectives, and foster important conversations about the higher educational world we live in and beyond.

Domains 2019 – Pt. 1

The second Domains Conference has been in the works since last September, so it feels a bit surreal now to be back home, one week later, writing that Domains19 has come and gone.

I’m not exactly in a position yet to even begin unpacking all of the conversational goodness that happened in Durham, North Carolina over those two days. I was in hostess/event planner mode for the large majority of the event, so my reflections to the concurrent sessions will likely happen over the next few weeks as I watch recordings. However my in-person experience was still slightly magical, and I’ll do my best to share highlights below:

I arrived in Durham on Saturday evening after a delayed (and then delayed again) series of flights and began prepping right away. I met with our 21c Event Manager and toured the venue space for the first time since last September. That was a bit nerve-wracking if I’m being honest. I had taken as many pictures as I could when I originally saw the space, no doubt, but still had this looming fear that I spent months planning an event around a made-up vision for the space, all the while misremembering how the space would actually function. If that makes sense. My fears were immediately put to rest, however. The 21c Museum Hotel never disappoints!

After spending way too long talking about extension cords, chair placements, light switches (yadda yadda, etcetera etcetera) I quickly put my bags in my room and walked outside with one goal: to get lost. LOL, if only I was kidding. I walked pretty much every street and alleyway around and near 21c with the sole purpose of exploring the area so I could answer questions if needed. I retraced my steps to Monday Night’s event space, grabbed a quick bite to eat, and then went to bed early.

The rest of the Reclaim team got to town on Sunday morning, and before we knew it we were unpacking the van and setting up the registration table, t-shirt table, art installations, and various signages. And, of course, we had to test out the arcade games to make sure they were working properly.

One of the major differences in how we carried out Domains17 vs. Domains19 was how we organized internally before and during the event. In 2017, there were so many helping hands (thankfully) and so many things to do but everyone ended up working on top of each other instead of spreading out and manning different stations. Even further, no one knew where anyone else was without going on a wild goose chase. Granted, we had delegated certain things like who would be keeping time during concurrent sessions, but that still only meant that each person knew where they were supposed to be but couldn’t reference where anyone else would be.

Enter Domains 2019 Rundown. The Rundown was an annoyingly precise schedule of everything that needed to happen, by the hour, from setup on Sunday night to breakdown on Tuesday evening. It had internal notes & reminders (sheesh) and was color-coded by person (yikes). It became a running joke by the end, to make sure everyone would “consult the Rundown!” and the Reclaim Team will likely chuckle that I’m blogging about it now. But in reality it proved to be extremely helpful, and I consulted it more often than I care to admit over the two days. That’s definitely something I plan on carrying to a Domains 2021 if that happens.

The conference began with a bang as sava saheli singh and Chris Gilliard opened with a compelling keynote that pushed the audience to think about discriminatory practices and imaginative possibilities for edtech through the use of storytelling. As Joe Murphy put it, the presentation was hardly a presentation at all, but a string of futuristic sci-fi stories that got wheels turning from the get-go. The Domains conference has always stood behind creative, experimental ways of “conferencing” and I think these two presenters/artists/storytellers pulled it off.

The Art Fair, which followed Chris and sava’s keynote, was absolutely one of the biggest highlights of the conference for me. We did something similar for D17 with the Domains Fair Showcase in which attendees were invited to engage with their peers in digital demonstrations of projects happening on their respective campuses. Differently, the D19 Art Fair was less of a poster booth session and much more of an interactive art display that dealt with one of the conference themes. Both the D17 Showcase and the D19 Art Fair were great for different reasons, but I personally enjoyed this one more simply because it felt more creative. I mean, these artists brought their ‘A’ games. Here are some of my favorite scenes from the Twitterverse:

And one cannot mention art at Domains19 without pointing to Ryan Seslow‘s incredibly cool keynote art installation:

All 360 degrees of this piece required the attention of the viewer. I had the pleasure of spending a few silent moments during sessions to walk around and explore, and I feel grateful for that. Ryan, Tim, and Jim really outdid themselves with putting this together. More details about the installation can be found in Jim’s post, 5 Min Tour of Reclaim HQ.

After the completion of the Art Fair and a series of attendee presentations, the entire group met back in the Main Gallery for lunch & quick viewing of sava & Tim Maughan’s Screening Surveillance film, A Model Employee. The Big Data Surveillance project has produced a trio of short sci-fi films, all with extremely ‘Black-Mirror-meets-EdTech’ vibes, so the lunch viewing complimented the dystopian stories from Chris & sava’s keynote quite nicely. We were also able to put the films on a loop in one of the upstairs galleries which ended up making a super cool permanent art installation. This was such a different way to ingest conference themes, and I’m so happy we were able to feature these films throughout the event.

I also found myself taking a moment on the afternoon of Day 1 to think back to where I was exactly two years prior: Physically- OKC for Domains17; Professionally- Operations Manager at Reclaim, and wanting more interactions with DoOO/Managed Hosting schools; Personally- recently moved from Madrid to Fredericksburg to begin working at Reclaim HQ. When lined up like that, in combination the mirror selfies, I can’t believe how much has changed! I’m certainly not the same woman from the 2017 photo, and it’s cool that the Domains Conference has become such a large cornerstone for me to track that growth.

Judith grabbed this awesome pano of Monday night’s event

After wrapping up sessions on Day 1 and taking a dinner break, the D19 crew made their way to Durham’s finest: Quarter Horse Bar & Arcade! It was fun to connect with everyone after the first full day of Domains, and then pressing pause on the conversation to go play an arcade game. :)

I call this one, The Ladies of Reclaim

If you’ve read this far, congrats. If you’re interested in reading more, I’ve got a Day Two post coming soon!

Amy Collier on Wakefulness, Agency, Ownership, and Trust

If you’ve been following recent updates around Domains19, you’ll know that we’ll be hosting quite a few keynotes this year to round out the event. Jim blogged about the following featured keynote presentations already:

Chris Gilliard & sava saheli singh will aim to complicate our conversations around futuristic technology as it relates to diversity, drawing on themes of accessibility and ownership.

Martin Hawksey will explore the ethical boundaries of the technology we have come to take for granted, focusing on privacy & surveillance and ownership.

Ryan Seslow has recently created a series of work called Communicating my Deaf and Hard of Hearing Self. His keynote at Domains 19 will be an extension of this in the form of art exhibits and installations.

image via

I now have the pleasure of introducing our fifth and final presenter, Amy Collier, Associate Provost for Digital Learning at Middlebury College, who will take on the pedagogical piece of the future of technology as it relates to Surveillance, Ownership, and Accessibility in the classroom. Collier leads Middlebury’s strategic vision for digital learning and oversees a group (DLINQ) that works with faculty, staff, and students to explore and question the roles digital technologies play in education. Her work surrounding Digital Detox and After Surveillance is inspiring, and we’re excited to see what she’ll bring to the table in June. Here’s an abstract for her upcoming talk, Wakefulness, Agency, Ownership, and Trust:

What does teaching and learning look like when we take seriously our students’ privacy and agency? This is a question we wrestle with in my group at Middlebury, Digital Learning and Inquiry, and I imagine this will feel like a familiar or even front-and-center concern for others at Domains. Surveillance and other troubling practices enter our teaching in seemingly benign ways, with mostly good intentions. This presentation will ask us to reconsider those practices and explore how pedagogy is transformed when we center the ideas of wakefulness, agency, ownership, and trust (ooh and freedom, and possibility, and love, and…and…and…). There will be a lot of expertise in the room and I hope to draw that expertise out with opportunities for us to move between examples of work that is currently happening and speculative futures for education.

Stay tuned for more announcements about Domains 19 (the schedule is coming next!) and go ahead and get to registering! Those early bird prices won’t last forever!

Featured image via Creative Commons.

Domains ’19: 21c Durham

With the Domains 2019 conference location finally released yesterday, I thought it would only make sense to share a few photos of the venue. I visited the space back at the beginning of September and it’s been so hard to keep quiet! If you can believe it, 21c Museum Hotel in Durham is arguably cooler than the 21c in OKC, but shh, don’t tell Domains ’17.

First thing’s first: the museum hotel has been built out of an old reconstructed bank, so you’ll find this push & pull between creative art installations and corporate architecture throughout your entire stay. 

I absolutely love that you can find art at every turn– whether you’re waiting on the couch in the hotel lobby, sneaking a penguin into your hotel room, or grabbing a bite to eat at Counting House

Similar to Domains ’17, presenters at Domains ’19 will speak in/around art galleries like the ones pictured below:

Even the stairwells have their own installations, which I like to call Head in the Clouds.

Without a doubt, I’m incredibly pumped for Domains ’19. Taking the year off from conference planning sure was nice, but it feels good to be back in full force with the bigger & badder conference theme, Back to the Future. I’m looking forward to blending in our Domains content with that of our way-cool conference venue, and am anxious to see what our crazy-talented artist friends come up with.

My personal hope for Domains ’19 is more or less identical to the expectations that I had for my 21c visit: to have an interactive experience, to be challenged by what’s in front of me, and to leave with a greater appreciation of the extreme talents of others. I was impressed in September, and now I can’t wait for next June.

To stay in the know about all things Domains ’19, make sure you’re subscribed to notifications.

Cleaning up Domains 17 with Sitesucker

It’s hardly news at this point, but Reclaim Hosting isn’t doing a Domains conference this year. We loved Domains 17 (and are currently mulling over a Domains 19) but we deemed 2018 as a gap year a couple months back. This has meant that the conference website, domains.reclaimhosting.com, was just sort of sitting there with content that is now close to a year old. I was also growing rather tired of logging in every now and then and making sure all plugins, themes, and softwares were up to date. What’s even more, the Domains17 site was sitting on domains.reclaimhosting.com, meaning if we were having a Domains19, things would obviously need to be shuffled around.

On an unrelated (or is it?) note, I’m headed to California in a couple of weeks to take part in Stanford University’s Preservation Workshop to chat about archiving digital projects and possible strategic partnerships with preservationists and technologists. So to say the least, I’ve had archiving on the brain over the last week or so. As part of my preparation for the workshop, I’ve been wanting to play around with and explore some of the digital archiving tools that are already out there. Though I’ve recommended SiteSucker to many Reclaim users in the past, I’ve never given myself the chance to play it. So between this workshop and the Domains17 site, I thought there would be no better time than the present to get going:

I started first by making the subdomain, domains17.reclaimhosting.com, and then added it as an AddOn domain to the cPanel account where the current conference site resided.

^I then cloned the original conference website from domains.reclaimhosting.com to domains17.reclaimhosting.com using this method.

After confirming that the site was completely up to date and loading securely on the new domain, I opened up the SiteSucker MacOS app that I had previously downloaded. (It’s $4.99 in the App Store, fyi. Kind of a bummer, but I imagine if you do some serious archiving you’d make your money back rather quickly with the amount of time you save. It’s lightning fast.)

^Screenshot of what the SiteSucker window looked like while it was working.

I simply entered the URL and pressed enter. Within two minutes it was done! I pressed the folder icon (top bar, middle) and could immediately see all the WordPress site files that had been translated to Static HTML. Once having the files on my local hard drive, I closed out of SiteSucker and opened up my FTP client. (My personal favorite is Cyberduck.)

I navigated to the domains17.reclaimhosting.com directory, removed the existing cloned WordPress files, and uploaded my new static HTML files.

I refreshed my browser and boom! The site now loads beautifully (and quickly!) over HTML only. I had an issue with one of my visual builder buttons still linking back to the old domain, but that was an easy fix. I used Chrome’s inspect feature to figure out where the link was located in the code and then used the command+find tool to fix it in my File Manager.

As my final step of maintenance cleaning, I created a redirect so that all visits to domains.reclaimhosting.com be redirected to domains17.reclaimhosting.com for time being. This way I can begin to alter the content that currently sits at domains.reclaimhosting.com, while simultaneously familiarizing visitors with the new domain.

From start to finish, this took less than ten minutes complete.  Not a bad for a little afternoon project. I’m excited to continue playing around with Sitesucker, but very impressed so far.

Critiquing Domains 17

#Domains17 has been over for about a week now, and I’m only now getting to a place where I feel like I can write about it. There are already a few really good reflection posts about the event (touching on metaphors, belonging, professional development, #notaconference, & newness, to name a few) and I’m really enjoying reading them all. Though I can hardly take credit for the brilliant conversations and displays for forward-thinking projects that folks brought to the table last week, I do like to think that my work over the last few months was able to help make this possible. And for that, I am honored and grateful.Due to the nature of where I’d like to take this post, there was another reason that I wanted to push back publication: feedback entries. At the end of the conference, (and sort of on a whim, mind you) we decided to put together a quick survey in hopes for some brutally honest feedback. In writing this, I’m also over here giggling as I’m reminded of Sundi‘s comment to me at the end of day two: in a nutshell, everything rocked except for giving out the feedback form. Haha! (I secretly agree with you, Sundi.) As obnoxious as feedback forms may be, I believe that at least providing the platform to be honest is the crucial first step to improving.But before I share a few of my favorite responses, I wanted to explain briefly how I’d like to angle this post. Since my experience at the conference was mostly behind-the-scenes, I feel like it would be silly for me to try and top what’s already been said about Martha’s brilliant keynote, for example, or the thought provoking conversations that were born from the Domains Fair or Concurrent Sessions. Instead, I’d like to talk more about the behind-the-scenes complaints & critiques– both my own and the ones I received over the two-day event. And in the spirit of improving, whether for a “volume two” or just to better ourselves as human beings, talking honestly and openly about what didn’t work is important.

The -Isms.

Just going to jump straight in here. At the risk of getting rant-like, I believe ‘the -isms’ deserve a continuing, ongoing conversation, always. More specifically, I want to speak to racism, sexism, and ageism in the Ed-Tech field. This is not in reference solely to the Domains 17 event, but I did feel susceptible to it in OKC, and I know others felt it as well. I feel very proud of how we set the tone for Domains 17, and admire Adam’s opening words that encouraged community, friendliness, and openness. But we could have/should have done more before the conference. Secondly. As a fail-safe reminder: Under no circumstances should Respect be in correlation with age, gender, or skin color. Asking questions or making comments that highlight not the strengths, achievements, or thoughts of an individual, but their age, gender, or skin color instead is offensive and unnecessary.

The Feedback

Commenting on Concurrent Sessions:

Given that multiple sessions were running in parallel, it would be great if presenters wrote up a few sentences about their sessions to be included in the Agenda/Itinerary. I would certainly take a close look at those before choosing which session to join.

^This is so, so valid. I agree– I think that somewhere along the way I should have added abstracts to the website for folks to view in advance. I also believe that setting up a poster-size itinerary in front of each gallery with an itinerary specific to that space would have been super helpful. I found that a lot of folks didn’t really carry their itinerary around, but would instead come up to me and ask, “What’s in there?” as they point to a gallery. I would then shrug as I scrambled through everything I was holding to find my own folded copy of the itinerary with the insanely tiny font. (Who let me get away with that?)

Commenting on evening plans:

As a student who is not of age to drink yet, there was no incentive for me to attend at all. I felt that was a large barrier to the socializing for underage students.

^Again, this is valid. Here we are saying, bring your students! Bring all the students! and then making the base activity a rooftop bar scene. One of the main reasons we chose to rent out a space as opposed to taking over someone else’s space was for that reason specifically, so that should have been communicated more thoughtfully. And while we did make sure that all were able to attend all conference events, we could have added cornhole, life-size jenga (the venue offered those options), or other things “to-do” as opposed to just hanging out, drink in hand. Would have loved to have offered a mocktail or two as well (& better local beer options).

I think there was maybe too much attention paid to getting the music up and running. I think most people would have been OK with just the DJ playing some mellow tunes and kicking back and having conversations.

^I believe that this also speaks to something larger: People like to hang out differently. So when you bring everyone together for some good ole’ fashioned forced fun, there are bound to be mixed reviews. I’m a massive introvert, so my version of “hanging out” includes room service & Westworld. Last year the Reclaim team went to a cPanel conference and the venue for their night event was so freaking cool. Yes, there were drinks, but there was also karaoke, bowling, and a ton of space to chill & chat. So maybe a future set up should look a little more extrovert AND introvert-friendly.

The Notes to Self.

+Never assume anything with any venues. No one can read minds.
+Locate all thermostats ahead of time. (*eyeroll*)
+Make a note with venue staff on which doors can and cannot be locked. (*bigger eyeroll*)
+Add a tad more light in the main gathering space.
+The unplanned chunks of time still deserve a little research.
+Carry a pen, scissors, phone charger, and hotel room key everywhere you go.

Who wants a Domains 18? ?

Domains Dinner: Get-Togetherness

I hesitated even writing this post. It’s just about one itty bitty detail of the Domains 17 conference. A detail that is normally overlooked or tossed to the side as “free time”. But the more I think about it, I want to actually address something I’m rather passionate about. I call it get-togetherness.

At conferences and larger group events that I’ve attended in the past, meal time is pretty open-ended. That is, if there’s no large banquet or buffet-style group meal, attendees are generally left to fend for themselves. And when you have folks that are coming in from out of town and aren’t familiar with the area, I’m not sure if this is the best way to go about it. Now it’s absolutely possible that this has only been my personal experience, but the most organization I’ve seen is a nonchalant “hey we’re headed here…feel free to join us” at then end of a presentation, or everyone DM-ing each other on Twitter to tag along to “the group” dinner. Which can be fine in some circumstances, but has the potential to overwhelm restaurants, or leave out those who may have used old-fashioned methods to make their dinner plans.

I’ve decided to give folks a little more guidance for Domains 17. Nothing mandatory, but the offer will be there. I want to be able to say, “we’ve done the bulk of the work for you– these restaurants all have great reviews, are super close to the venue, and won’t break the bank“. So that’s what’s going to happen!

With the help of Adam‘s on-the-ground-floor expertise, we have put together a list of restaurants. I have called them all in advance and have made a reservation for 10 at each place. On the first afternoon of the conference, we’ll put out whiteboards with each restaurant listed. People can choose to sign up wherever they’d like to go, while roughly observing the 10 person headcount.

Besides the already discussed benefits to this, my hope is that it will encourage a further sense of community & get-togetherness. My hope is that folks from the same schools will feel like they can branch out and, (pulling in an appropriate metaphor here), go sit at another lunch table. Again, there have been moments at past conferences where I would have happily done this if there had been a guarantee that I wouldn’t be showing up to a restaurant and having dinner alone.

So anyway, that’s my little spiel for the day. Check out the list of restaurants below, and get pumped! They’re all unique, all amazing, and have something for all taste buds. (Restaurant descriptions pulled from corresponding websites.)

S & B’s Burger Joint • 20 NW 9th St

Fresh, gourmet burgers and sliders. Full-service bar with unique Bloody Mary’s, over 65 beers, hand-dipped milkshakes, homemade pies, beer floats, soda floats. View Full Menu.

Iguana Mexican Grill • 9 NW 9th St

Urban core and authentic Mexican & Tex-Mex Restaurant. Fresh, from scratch, every day. View Full Menu.

Packard’s New American Kitchen • 201 NW 10th St

Located in the original 1920’s Packard Automobile showroom. Unique features are offered daily during lunch and dinner as well as changing freshly baked bread, veggie, and cheese boards. Packard’s offers seasonal craft cocktails, unique local beers, a carefully curated wine list, and an eclectic food menu. View Full Menu.

Barrios Fine Mexican Dishes • 1000 N Hudson Ave

Barrios Fine Mexican Dishes is named after the Barrios family, who is the cornerstone of all of A Good Egg Dining Group’s restaurants. Pull up a seat on the patio & enjoy fine, fresh, made-with-love Mexican food. View Full Menu.

FLINT • 15 N Robinson Avenue

The Patio at FLINT is the quintessential Oklahoma City outdoor affair. The outdoor patio offers comfortable seating, fire pit, sunset views, walk-up service outdoor bar, & seasonally inspired cocktails. Inside seating available. View Full Menu.

Fassler Hall • 421 NW 10th St

Fassler Hall, a popular Tulsa beer garden, now has a second home in Oklahoma City’s Midtown. German gem is known for its German beer and live entertainment. View Full Menu.

James E. McNellie’s Pub • 1100 Classen Dr

Feature menus with fresh, reasonably priced food and an atmosphere that is ideal for everyone. The pub has a great selection of hard-to-find draught and bottled beers (350 at last count), plus great collections of single malt scotches. View Full Menu.

Louies Grill & Bar • 1215 N Walker Ave

Louie’s is a casual American-fare grill and pub. It serves a variety of mid-priced food and beverages in a come-as-you-are atmosphere. Louie’s is positioned as a neighborhood restaurant with strategically placed flat screen televisions featuring your favorite regional sporting events. View Full Menu.

We Like to Wear Hats: Overview of Projects

You may or may not have noticed, but I’ve given this site a little facelift! I’m hoping that it will give me the motivation to blog more often. ;)

I’ve been in a huge period of transition over the last month. Flying home from an 8-week stay in Madrid, pulling my stuff out of storage & moving it to Fredericksburg, unpacking & purging everything, attending multiple graduations & birthday celebrations for family and friends, and switching from a remote to office schedule. << I realize that’s a bit of a run-on sentence, but my entire life has felt like a run-on sentence! May and June are always crazy busy, am I right?

Having said that, I have never felt more connected to my job than I do now. I wear many hats, and my title as Operations Manager feels truer than ever.

As mentioned above, I moved back to Fredericksburg so I could be on the ground floor of something really cool called CoWork Fredericksburg. I’ve blogged a few times about this, but here’s the scoop: At the end of last year, Reclaim Hosting took over a seriously out of date coworking/office space. Over the last few months, we’ve broken down walls, ripped up floors & lifted ceilings. We’ve rebranded and are now opening the space back up to the public in a soft launch. My primary roles with this project have included helping with making a lot of the design decisions for the space, building out CoWorkFXBG.com, and working alongside Tim to set up furniture, chat with new members, and manage our social media accounts & membership software.

We’ve actually joked on several occasions while in the middle of ripping up carpet or moving a ridiculously heavy table by sarcastically saying the following phrase: ‘This will be a low-key computer job,’ they said.

I think I can speak for Jim & Tim here too when I say that it has been so fun to watch the space transform. We will have plans to add artwork, a completely renovated kitchenette, more lounge furniture, and another screen for larger presentations. We want to add lockers for members to store their belongings, and vintage p.o. boxes so we can receive mail for them as well. But for now, the important stuff is here and that feels good: countless desks, a large (gorgeous) custom farm table & laptop bar set from Frasier Wood Elements,  a vintage phone booth, the cutest little succulents, and plenty of snazzy tech gadgets. This is where I’ve started coming to work every day, and I count myself pretty lucky.

When I’m not taking care of my Reclaim or CoWork to-do lists, I’ve been spending a large chunk of my time planning for the Domains 17 Conference that’s taking place at the beginning of June. All the behind the scenes details like catering, liability insurance, furniture setups, security regulations, t-shirts, website & twitter management, travel & room reservations– I’m your gal.

I’ve planned for conferences & events in the past, but nothing of this magnitude. We’ll have roughly 80 attendees when its all said and done, and I can’t wait! It has been a brilliant challenge so far, and I owe a great deal of my organizing to Asana. I honestly feel like my master to-do list in my Asana project is my most prized possession at the moment. Haha!

The other big project that Reclaim Hosting has taken on in the last couple months is our new sister hosting company, Rockaway Hosting. Since both CoWork and Domains17 come with a “here and now” mentality while Rockaway sort of runs itself, it has been put on the backburner in a lot of ways. But that doesn’t make it any less important or awesome! While Reclaim Hosting tailors to the needs of educational institutions, faculty & students, Rockaway was born out of meeting the needs of the non-educational folks. We kept large businesses and organizations in mind when creating the hosting plans. Rockaway offers SLA agreements, phone support, and video training. While the infrastructure remains entirely the same on our end, Rockaway is priced per month instead of Reclaim’s annual renewals to accommodate for the ebb & flow of a business.

I was able to build out the Rockaway site with the incredible help of Bryan Mathers‘ artwork. (His art is actually on the sites for Domains 17 & Reclaim Hosting as well. If you can’t tell, we love him.)

In what free time I do have, Tim has been teaching me different SSH commands. You have to remember that I’m an English major turned full geek, and all geekdom has been brought on my own personal doing or Reclaim’s doing. I currently know just enough about SSH that I know how much I don’t know. Does that make sense? I find logging into the servers via SSH on the terminal so completely fascinating. I’ve been introduced to a new world– a new challenge to conquer! Tim works at lightspeed using SSH, so that’s where I’m setting the bar. (#LOL)

I suppose the last (but definitely not least) item worth mentioning is that Reclaim Hosting is soon to be bringing on a new member to the team! Meredith Fierro just graduated from the University of Mary Washington this past weekend and spent the last semester of her senior year interning with us. She blogged about her experiences here! Meredith will be joining us in OKC for the Domains conference, and then begin her position at Reclaim in mid-June.

Good stuff all around, and I don’t see it slowing down anytime soon.

Domains Venue

Missed yesterday’s OKC post? Read it here.

This morning Adam and I had a chance to sit down with Haley, our contact at 21c, to talk through event logistics over breakfast. Afterward, we were able to tour the venue. Have a look below:

^entrance to circular, main gallery (on right). the purple curtain can be pulled around to enclose the space.

^another penguin. notice the floor: open open open!

^turning completely around now, this is a view in the opposite direction. so much flexibility and potential.

^one of the galleries to be used to for break-off sessions.

^same gallery, other side.

^larger gallery for break-out sessions.

^walking out of the break-out gallery spaces, this is what you see-

^we’ve got some awesome ideas for this area- can’t wait to share.

^and lastly, here are a few room setups to look forward to. love the gorgeous windows!

^some rooms are literally set in an art installation.

^not too shabby, huh? folks from UMW might recognize the chair on the right. 😉

I might also note that by the time the conference comes in June, 21c will have a completely new art exhibit. So exciting!

Being here has made me that much more pumped for #Domains17. Adam and I sat down this afternoon and took the time to draft out an itinerary- the hardest part was trying to fit in all the awesome stuff that we want to do! Definitely continue to check the event website over the next few weeks as we begin to add more details.

As a quick reminder: Call for Proposals closes on February 1. If you’re interested in speaking but aren’t entirely sure about your presentation topic, no worries! Shoot us a message & we’ll help you work out the kinks. We’d love to hear your ideas even if they’re not complete.

OKC

Hello from Oklahoma City! I flew in from Virginia this morning and am loving the vibe here so far. I came to check out the event location and surrounding area for the Domains17 conference in June. We felt it was important to get a sense ahead of time of what it was like to stay in the hotel, tour the venue, experience the transportation & walking around, the potential nightlife scenes, etc. to make sure it will fit the vision we’re going for. I believe the sign of a successful event is one where the itinerary is seamless and flows naturally; so much so that it disappears into the background & the attendees feel like they’re the ones making the call. So that’s the goal of this trip- to make sure that the itinerary is feasible, seamless, and f*cking awesome.

We’ll be adding more details to the Domains website once plans are a little more solidified, but you can catch a sneak peek of some of the scenes to look forward to.

^stepping out of the elevator at the 21c Museum Hotel.

^walking to your hotel room.

^a rooftop bar for a jam session or two.

^the womb.

^purple penguins.

^…everywhere.

I was easily able to grab a taxi from the airport to 21c Museum Hotel- the venue AND hotel for Domains. It was about a 15-minute ride. 21c is on the outskirts of downtown OKC. I was a little hesitant upon arrival that there wasn’t much to do around the hotel, but man was I wrong. Adam was kind enough to show me around for a couple of hours- we spent the afternoon scoping out potential hotspots including but not limited to: Flashback Retro Pub (thanks for the idea, @DrGarcia!), Cultivar (hidden gem in the back: Ms. Pac-Man) & PLENTY Mercantile (a shop by day, rooftop bar by night!)

Excited to share more about the actual venue tomorrow- stay tuned!