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!

Announcing Domains 2017

Well, it’s official, Reclaim Hosting is partnering with University of Oklahoma to host Domains 2017.

What is Domains 2017 all about? Well, read Adam Croom‘s Letter of Welcome for more details, but in short it’s modeled on the idea of a two-day Record Fair where folks come together to share the work they are doing around domains projects. This is by no means limited to schools running Domain of One’s Own projects—though they are certainly one focus—but to showcase a wide array of approaches to everything from free web-based tools to SPLOTS to Personal APIs to teaching on the open web to Digital Identity to critical approaches to Digital Literacies and more. It’s a communal, fair-like event where pedagogy and ed-tech meets technical architecture so that we can begin to think through them together.

Continue reading “Announcing Domains 2017”