What people are saying

Wanted to take a quick minute to officially welcome Meredith Fierro to the Reclaim Hosting team via the blogosphere! Yesterday was her first day as Reclaim’s fourth full-time employee, and it’s already been wonderful having her online and around the office for the extended hours.

It’s also no coincidence that Reclaim’s support has been top notch recently! Our customer support satisfaction rating has been gliding at a steady 100% for the last few weeks, and there’s no doubt that Meredith’s participation has helped with that.

After folks submit a ticket, receive help, and then resolve the ticket, they’re sent a feedback form on the level of service they received. Here are some recent responses:

Best customer support I have ever received and I have been working in the technical field for over 20 years! The team responded within 5 minutes of my initial inquiry and my issue was resolved within an hour.

You guys are the best. I’m not the most tech-savvy guy, but you patiently translate my concerns into quick action. And somehow never charge me for it. Who does that anymore?

I was very impressed by the speed of reply to my initial email and the way I was kept informed all the way through the process. Everything was dealt with speedily and efficiently. Thank you.

Not only do you always address my problems quickly, but I always learn something in the process – a wonderful bonus to working with Reclaim!

And my personal favorite:

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I feel incredibly lucky to be apart of a team that is so authentic and helpful.

Restoring a Full cPanel Backup on the Server

If for whatever reason a user needs their account restored from a full cPanel backup, or if a user is migrating to Reclaim Hosting & has provided us with a cPanel backup, the restoration process is actually quite simple:

  • Make sure that the user has signed up for an account so their domain has been pre-assigned to a server.
  • Log into the root folder of the server via FTP & upload the cPanel backup:

  • Once the backup has been uploaded successfully, log into WHM & search “Restore” in the left sidebar. Select Restore a Full Backup/cpmove File:

Continue reading “Restoring a Full cPanel Backup on the Server”

Resignation

It’s official, I have resigned my position at University of Mary Washington, and will be going full-time at Reclaim Hosting. It’s almost surreal, and I follow in the footsteps of the great Tim Owens—-whose hard work these last six months has made it all possible. And while I reference the opening sequence of The Prisoner above in honor of #prisoner106, my resignation was neither premature nor acrimonious, and it won’t be immediate. I will be working through September at UMW to ensure a smooth transition. What’s more, one couldn’t have asked for a better situation over the 1o years I’ve been at UMW. I had amazing colleagues in DTLT, a remarkable level of autonomy, and the best faculty and students you could imagine. I think the work I’ve done at UMW speaks for itself, and I leave feeling I was part of a group that truly made the campus a better place to teach and learn. There can be no greater professional satisfaction than that in this line of work.

As to why, it’s pretty simple and I alluded to it in an earlier post. I’ve been longing to explore some of the exciting work Tim and I have been doing with Reclaim Hosting and this is my chance. We’ve been growing Reclaim slowly but surely for almost two years now, and it’s at a point where we can both devote our full attention to what’s next. I’m looking forward to working more closely with Tim on a daily basis because he has been an unbelievable source of inspiration for me these last four years. I would follow him and his edtech work to the ends of the earth. I learn a ton from working alongside him, and I want that to be my full time job. What’s more, I  think we complement each others skills quite well: he’s awesome and I can promote awesome pretty well :)

I’ll be transitioning most of my attention on this blog to exploring the work we’re doing with Reclaim, while at the same time working through what will certainly prove an amicable, but deeply emotional, breakup with UMW (that’s the real reason I need three months to transition :) ). I love that school! It has provided me countless opportunities to explore and experiment as part of my day job since 2005. While I am thrilled with the future prospects Reclaim provides, I will remain forever grateful to everyone at UMW—it’s truly a remarkable community of committed, talented, and generally awesome people. It’s been an honor to serve in your ranks for the last decade.

Allow me to introduce myself

avatarMy name is Tim Owens and I’m the co-founder of Reclaim Hosting and often the person you’ll be interacting with when you run into problems or need a helping hand. It never hurts to put a face to a name and there’s nothing that bugs me more than faceless corporations that treat you like a number and their business like faceless entity. When Jim Groom and I began Reclaim Hosting in 2013 we believed that web hosting didn’t have to be difficult but that the solution wouldn’t be found in technology alone, rather in people helping each other out. This idea of distributed edtech is at the core of our mission and we hear time and again how that personal relationship makes all the difference.

At the end of 2014 I announced on my blog that I’d be going full time with Reclaim Hosting to continue building those relationships and ensuring that Reclaim continues to excel at providing the best support and platform for building on the web. Today is my first day working in this new position. No longer is Reclaim a side project that Jim and I manage alongside full-time positions. Not only do we have a lot of great plans for growing Reclaim and the community that has come to trust us as a leader in hosting, but I have the time, energy, and focus to do that here.

So come say hi, ask questions, get advice. Because you’ll find that no question is too small and when you need help you’ll find it here with a personal touch that has sadly become the exception rather than the rule when it comes to working on the web. It’s great to meet you and I’m excited for 2015 and what we can do here together!

UMW Domains a Win for Open

Audrey Watters has been on an all-out tear over at Hack Education as she wraps up the year in edtech. Few, if any, in the field are sharper, more concise, and resolutely independent of the institutional and corporate entanglements that pervade this space. I’ll echo so many others who have recognized how unbelievably important her voice is as a result. That said, working independently, speaking freely, and calling out so many on their nonsense doesn’t always pay the rent, so to help ameliorate this UMW’s DTLT would like to provide a standing offer of a job for Audrey when she finally decides to settle down ;)

Until then, I totally support her writing things like what follows when ennumerating the many “wins for open” in her recent post  Top Ed-Tech Trends of 2013: The Battle for ‘Open’:”

University of Mary Washington’s “Domain of One’s Own” initiative (one of the very best things in ed-tech right now) has been picked up by other universities, including Emory and Davidson. Also, in addition to the Domain of One’s Own project, we saw efforts to “Reclaim Your Domain” and to Reclaim Hosting.

I know I’m biased, but I have to agree with Audrey 100% that Domain of One’s Own and its Reclaim tributaries are amongst the best things happening in edtech right now. And while I may have let myself get overly excited at the prospect of building on these initiatives independently over the next year as a Shuttleworth fellow, especially since I recently found out that won’t be happening, it doesn’t dull my enthusiasm in the least. Shuttleworth would have provided some nice start-up funds and a certain amount of geographical freedom for my family and I, but in the end that’s all it would have provided. The idea is still there, the people interested are still awesome, and the rejection by Shuttleworth just makes me that much more determined to make it all work.

I’ve had some time over the last week to consider what my plan will be for the coming year, and I’m doubling down on what we’re doing at UMW with Domain of One’s Own. We already have the infrastructure, the institutional support, and an amazing community of faculty, staff, and students. I’ve let myself get pulled in way too many directions this last semester between the idea of becoming a Shuttleworth fellow, entertaining  job offers, and negotiating structural shifts at UMW. That’s my fault, and I take full blame for the fractured attention to my work. But hope springs eternal, and it’s high time I put all of the distractions aside and start focusing all my energy on Domain of One’s Own. It’s what I want to do anyway, and I’m realizing I don’t need a fellowship or new surroundings for it to seem fresh. My work at UMW is not yet done, it’s time to recognize that and get locked in again!

But first I have to enjoy the next three weeks in Italy.

Gulou or, Public Scholarship in the Digital Age

Gulou ScreenshotThis post is long overdue, and if I hadn’t checked out for a couple of months in April and May it would have been blogged on the bava a lot earlier. In fact, it’s criminal it hasn’t been broadcast more widely around the UMW community because the fact that Sue Fernsebner, a Chinese history scholar and faculty member in the History department at UMW, has a blog that has become a spotlight page for news on Tumblr is a kind of a big deal. Sue lays out the whole phenomenon far better than I ever could in this post. I love the way she ponders the implications of her blog being featured alongside major Mass Media Outlets for news:

It’s now introduced there alongside established media (Reuters, LA Times, CNN, USA Today, etc.) and also accompanies other, less traditional but equally popular sites for news consumption (e.g. The Daily Show) on the same page.

I’m just beginning to ponder the implications. What does it mean that an individual’s site—one person’s own, simple Tumblr—is beside the site of a news agency like, say, Reuters, a major news organization founded in 1851 (and now owned by The Thompson Corporation)? More immediately, at least for a scholar of China and Asian Studies, what does it mean that a microblogging, pop media site such as Tumblr is interested in featuring stories from that region at its top-most news page?

I love this! And if I might be so bold to try and answer some of these questions, I would argue it represents a new era of the scholar. I was first introduced to the idea of the public scholar back in the late 90s when I was at the CUNY Grad Center. The definition I heard was that a public scholar was an academic  who might give a few public lectures  a year and/or  write an article or column for a well-known, popular magazine. Morris Dickstein and Luke Menand (both big names in the field working in the English department at the Grad Center at the time) are considered public scholars as such, but it seemed to me that their scope was only public in a rarified , NY intellectual cultural frame. I don’t mean this as a criticism—I’m a huge fan of Dickstein’s—as much as a basis for some of the limitations of the idea of a public scholar in the academy before the web.

What happens when a scholar from UMW,  a small public liberal arts university all too often overlooked when it comes to scholarship, can turn a simple, free resource sharing site on Tumblr into a featured, popular news site read by tens of thousands of people daily? That’s pretty mind blowing to me, and given how cool and awesome Sue is (I mean she’s pioneering animated GIFs as film analysis in her Chinese film class!) it couldn’t have happened to a better person. We have had an amazing group of fellows in the Domain of One’s Own Faculty Initiative this past Spring, and while Sue’s work with Tumblr pre-dates that initiative, but still I would like to claim her as the poster child for Domain of One’s Own. But, in the end, that might turn into a faculty cage match given how many faculty stepped up their game to Crouching Tiger levels of awesome! ;) I love featuring faculty work, it has been too long since I have, maybe it’s time to start featuring just what all those amazing faculty fellows did as part of the Domain of one’s Own initiative.

GIF Submission from Sue Fernsebner’s Chinese History through Film