Last Friday the Domains 17 organizing committee got to sit down and chat with Martha Burtis, keynote for the Domains 17 conference, to get a preview of what she’ll be presenting in June. There’s a lot to process in this 50 minute gem, a conversation that ranges from everything to how domains got started to the posts tagline “web literacy as cultural literacy” (one of the many gems from the conversation) to the ongoing work of making digital fluency a foundation of higher ed. It’s a great look at what’s in store, and listening to Martha riff on this stuff really made me miss the 10 years we worked together on all these issues and more. Few people frame it better, and this conversation underscores the fact that NOBODY thinks domains like the Burtis!
Tim Owens and I were getting Reclaim Hosting up and running two years ago, Howard Rheingold was right their experimenting with the platform for his classes at Stanford as well as providing broader support for our efforts through his vast network. I’ve come to understand over the last few years why Howard’s work is ground zero when it comes to imagining the web as a humanized construct for bringing people together. I could point to his pioneering work with online communities viz-a-viz The Well, his numerous books on all things social web, innumerable blog posts, etc. That’s all part of an extensive archive of its own that will stand testament to his brilliant career thinking about the web as the social fabric of the future. But more than anything it’s him—the person who online (and off) supports your work enthusiastically, champions ideas he believes in, and honestly and openly shares his excitement with others. There is no bullshit with Howard. He is who he is, and he shares what he likes. He didn’t have to do his previous feature of ds106 (though I’m glad he did because it enabled us to work together on Connected Courses), nor did he have to conduct this recent interview with Tim and I about Reclaim Hosting, but he did. And I really appreciate it, but more than anything I have come to appreciate him. Few people have been bigger advocates for this work over the last few years, and I’m personally honored he’s taken an interest in what we’re doing. It’s buoyed me more than a few times when I’ve had to ride the surf of uncertainty as I left the belly of higher ed–so thanks for ruling Howard, and thanks for yet another fun discussion.Since the very beginning when